Ecosystems: Planning and Trade-offs

Authored by: Ioan M. Ciumasu , Keith Culver , Mihai Costica , Jean-Paul Vanderlinden

Managing Biological and Ecological Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342644
eBook ISBN: 9780429346170
Adobe ISBN:


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Ecosystems are complex natural systems, characterized by nonlinear dynamics and thresholds. Contrarily, planning activities require predictability and clear dynamics between causes and effects. Consequently, ecosystem planning emerges as a concept that captures the very essence of the current, tensioned relation between humans and ecosystems; a potentially valuable but highly difficult concept. Trying to negotiate various pulls and tensions between disciplines, this chapter identifies ecosystem planning as an equilibrium-finding human activity of anticipating and inducing generation of a set of ecosystem goods and services, within the limits allowed by the intrinsic ecosystem dynamics. This chapter scrutinizes the meanings of the definition and discusses the limits and potential uses of the concept with respect to the current priorities related to environmental changes and the transition to sustainable development.

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