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The New EcologyRethinking a Science for the Anthropocene$
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Oswald J. Schmitz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160566

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160566.001.0001

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The Ecologist and the New Ecology

The Ecologist and the New Ecology

Chapter:
(p.193) Chapter 8 The Ecologist and the New Ecology
Source:
The New Ecology
Author(s):

Oswald J. Schmitz

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691160566.003.0008

This chapter examines the efforts of ecologists—with the help of the New Ecology—to better understand nature in ecosystems created and heavily populated by humans. Ecology has developed into a science in support of sustaining nature for people. This fresh scientific role is certainly helping to overcome the human–nature divide by promoting the view that biodiversity and ecosystem functions must be protected to provide the suite of environmental services, inside as well as outside of protected areas, in support of humanity. Ecologists are now realizing that understanding and predicting global trends in biodiversity has important implications for sustainability, ethics, and environmental policy in the interest of both humans and nature. An important challenge is to devise new experimental approaches that can speak to issues playing out at the large spatial extents and long time periods that are commensurate with the scales of human engagement with nature.

Keywords:   ecologists, New Ecology, nature, ecosystems, human/nature divide, biodiversity, ecosystem functions, sustainability, ethics, environmental policy

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