ecosystems. Chapter 3 describes many of these advances in more detail and explains the roles of limnologists, along with aquatic scientists in related discipline, in assessing and developing solutions for contemporary problems related to the degradation of inland waters. Many advances in limnology were made by academic limnologists and other scientists working in departments not traditionally focusing on limnology (such as civil and environmental engineering, environmental science, and earth sciences); others were made by interdisciplinary research teams associated with government agencies and with contract research and consulting firms. Thus, limnological research has spread beyond its traditional base of operations in academic departments of biological science.

Activity in limnology in recent decades is reflected by the vitality of its professional societies and scholarly journals. Within the past 15 years, three new North American societies have formed, each resulting from the expanding activities in a particular aspect of limnology and its related aquatic sciences:

  1. The North American Benthological Society (NABS) expanded from an older regional organization (the Midwest Benthological Society) in 1974, emphasizing stream ecology and processes occurring at the interface between water and land.

  2. The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) was established in 1980 as an outgrowth of expanding interest in restoring and rehabilitating lakes and reservoirs degraded by human activity.

  3. The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) was founded in 1980 to promote research for understanding and managing wetlands.

Memberships in the above three societies plus the two older limnological societies, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) and the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR), total more than 12,000 (see Appendix B). Many limnologists also belong to SIL and to discipline-based societies. The aquatic section of the Ecological Society of America, for example, has more than 1,000 members (although many of these individuals also belong to one or more of the five primary limnological societies listed above).

The scholarly and technical journals published by the limnological societies continue to grow in circulation and pages published annually (see Table 2-2), and several new journals that focus on different aspects of limnology (for example, Lake and Reservoir Management, Ecological Engineering, and Wetlands) have appeared within the past two decades. Moreover, annual meetings of the societies attract growing numbers of presentations and attendees. For example, the number of presentations at the annual meeting of NABS increased from 234 to 409 between 1984 and 1994, while the number of papers at the annual SWS meeting increased

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement