Publication Type:Conference Paper
Source:SUCCESSES, LIMITATIONS, AND FRONTIERS IN ECOSYSTEM SCIENCE, SPRINGER, 233 SPRING STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10013, UNITED STATES, p.165-194 (1998)
Global- to regional-scale studies have played an important role in the development of ecosystem ecology. Long before there was evidence of global-scale impacts by humans on biogeochemistry, ecologists recognized that there were strong, interactive forces at global scales that were responsible for the state of the earth. In addition to this knowledge, many early ecologists made observations of biogeochemical pools and processes at regional to continental scales; their interpretations of patterns and their causes made significant contributions to our understanding biogeochemistry. The work of these early scientists was characterized by creative induction and vision; many of the frontiers and questions identified long ago still remain the focus of our activities today. In recent decades, immense progress has been made in understanding biogeochemical processes at regional to global scales. Considerable advances have been made in understanding global- and regional-scale budgets of carbon and of nitrogen, and the interactions of trace gas fluxes, biophysical processes, vegetation, and climate. These successes were partially the result of the development of new tools, new collaborations, and an imperative from the international public to solve important environmental issues. Although the linkage between our present-day scientific activities and regional- to global-scale environmental problems is strong and productive, there is a need for continued support for basic research that will identify new horizons.
7th Cary Conference, MILLBROOK, NY, MAY, 1997