National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Appendix A: Symposium Program
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Selected Definitions." National Research Council. 2011. Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Managing the Living World Two Centuries After Darwin: Report of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13109.
×

Appendix B

Selected Definitions

 

 

 

 

KEY TERMS1

adaptation — Societal strategies for managing ecosystems to maintain ecosystems and ecosystem services in the face of environmental change that cannot be avoided. (In this report, adaptation refers to societies’ and ecosystems’ ability to adapt to climate change and other environmental stressors, as opposed to the ecological meaning of the process of change established by natural selection, or a biological character that gives increased Darwinian fitness.) (EB, p. 17)

biodiversity/biological diversity — Species, genetic, and ecosystem diversity in an area, sometimes including associated abiotic components such as landscape features, drainage systems, and climate. (EB, p. 377)

complex adaptive systems — Systems made up of individual agents, whose interactions have macroscopic consequences that feed back to influence individual behaviors.2 (Levin, 1998)

ecosystem functioning The rate, level, or temporal dynamics of one or more ecosystem processes, such as primary production, total plant biomass, or nutrient gain, loss, or concentration. (EB, p. 109)

image

1 Most definitions are from Levin, S., ed., 2001. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. Academic Press: 4666 pages. Cited in definitions as “EB,” with page number.

2 Levin, S. 1998. Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems. Ecosystems 1(5):431–436.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Selected Definitions." National Research Council. 2011. Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Managing the Living World Two Centuries After Darwin: Report of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13109.
×

ecosystem services — The wide array of conditions and processes through which ecosystems, and their biodiversity, confer benefits on humanity; these conditions and processes include the production of goods, life-support functions, life-fulfilling conditions, and preservation of options. (EB, p. 353)

evolution — The morphological or genetic change in species over time. Small changes that do not lead to reproductive isolation among members of a group are referred to as microevolution. Speciation, or the generation of new species, is generally referred to as macroevolution. (EB, p. 393)

ex situ — Literally, away from the site or location; in this context, referring to conservation efforts elsewhere than the natural habitat; for example, in botanical gardens. (EB, p. 645)

functional diversity The range and value of the species and organismal traits that influence ecosystem functioning. (EB, p. 109)

invasive species — Introduced species that establish self-maintaining populations and spread, with and without human assistance, into new areas where they frustrate human intentions in production and natural landscapes. (EB, p. 501)

mitigation — The implementation of measures designed to avoid, reduce or eliminate the undesirable effects of a proposed action on the environment. (CEQ Regulations for Implementing the National Environmental Protection Act, Sec. 1508.20)

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Selected Definitions." National Research Council. 2011. Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Managing the Living World Two Centuries After Darwin: Report of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13109.
×
Page 55
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Selected Definitions." National Research Council. 2011. Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Managing the Living World Two Centuries After Darwin: Report of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13109.
×
Page 56
Next: Appendix C: Biographies of Speakers »
Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Managing the Living World Two Centuries After Darwin: Report of a Symposium Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $39.00 Buy Ebook | $31.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, February 12, 2009, occurred at a critical time for the United States and the world. In honor of Darwin's birthday, the National Research Council appointed a committee under the auspices of the U.S. National Committee (USNC) for DIVERSITAS to plan a Symposium on Twenty-first Century Ecosystems. The purpose of the symposium was to capture some of the current excitement and recent progress in scientific understanding of ecosystems, from the microbial to the global level, while also highlighting how improved understanding can be applied to important policy issues that have broad biodiversity and ecosystem effects. The aim was to help inform new policy approaches that could satisfy human needs while also maintaining the integrity of the goods and services provided by biodiversity and ecosystems over both the short and the long terms.

This report summarizes the views expressed by symposium participants; however, it does not provide a session-by-session summary of the presentations at the symposium. Instead, the symposium steering committee identified eight key themes that emerged from the lectures, which were addressed in different contexts by different speakers. The focus here is on general principles rather than specifics. These eight themes provide a sharp focus on a few concepts that enable scientists, environmental NGOs, and policy makers to engage more effectively around issues of central importance for biodiversity and ecosystem management.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!