Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Special Issue: Continental-Scale Ecology in an Increasingly Connected World

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Special Issue: Continental-Scale Ecology in an Increasingly Connected World

Article excerpt

Special Issue: Continental-scale ecology in an increasingly connected world; Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, June 2008.

Ecologists discuss how human influences interact with natural processes to influence global connectivity in this U.S. National Science Foundation publication special issue. The authors conclude that networks of large-scale experiments are needed to predict long-term ecological change.

"The world is becoming highly interconnected through the movement of people and the transport of goods locally to globally," says Debra Peters, an author in the issue and a scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Ecologists are increasingly realizing that these links can have profound influences on the long-term dynamics of ecological systems."

For instance, because of increasing globalization, people often inadvertently introduce non-native plants, animal and diseases into new locations. Invasive species and pathogens, such as fire ants from South American and West Nile virus from Japan, can create large, expensive problems: the U.S. currently spends more than $120 billion per year on measures to prevent and eradicate invasive species, according to the publication. …

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