Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

Editor(s): Richard J. Hobbs, Eric S. Higgs, Carol M. Hall

Published Online: 31 JAN 2013 07:33AM EST

Print ISBN: 9781118354223

Online ISBN: 9781118354186

DOI: 10.1002/9781118354186

About this Book

Land conversion, climate change and species invasions are contributing to the widespread emergence of novel ecosystems, which demand a shift in how we think about traditional approaches to conservation, restoration and environmental management. They are novel because they exist without historical precedents and are self-sustaining. Traditional approaches emphasizing native species and historical continuity are challenged by novel ecosystems that deliver critical ecosystems services or are simply immune to practical restorative efforts. Some fear that, by raising the issue of novel ecosystems, we are simply paving the way for a more laissez-faire attitude to conservation and restoration. Regardless of the range of views and perceptions about novel ecosystems, their existence is becoming ever more obvious and prevalent in today's rapidly changing world. In this first comprehensive volume to look at the ecological, social, cultural, ethical and policy dimensions of novel ecosystems, the authors argue these altered systems are overdue for careful analysis and that we need to figure out how to intervene in them responsibly. This book brings together researchers from a range of disciplines together with practitioners and policy makers to explore the questions surrounding novel ecosystems. It includes chapters on key concepts and methodologies for deciding when and how to intervene in systems, as well as a rich collection of case studies and perspective pieces. It will be a valuable resource for researchers, managers and policy makers interested in the question of how humanity manages and restores ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

A companion website with additional resources is available at

Table of contents

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  1. Part I: Introduction

  2. Part II: What are Novel Ecosystems?

    1. Chapter 3

      Towards a Conceptual Framework for Novel Ecosystems (pages 16–28)

      Lauren M. Hallett, Rachel J. Standish, Kristin B. Hulvey, Mark R. Gardener, Katharine N. Suding, Brian M. Starzomski, Stephen D. Murphy and James A. Harris

    2. Chapter 4

      Islands: Where Novelty is the Norm (pages 29–44)

      John J. Ewel, Joseph Mascaro, Christoph Kueffer, Ariel E. Lugo, Lori Lach and Mark R. Gardener

    3. Chapter 5

      Origins of the Novel Ecosystems Concept (pages 45–57)

      Joseph Mascaro, James A. Harris, Lori Lach, Allen Thompson, Michael P. Perring, David M. Richardson and Erle C. Ellis

    4. Chapter 6

      Defining Novel Ecosystems (pages 58–60)

      Richard J. Hobbs, Eric S. Higgs and Carol M. Hall

  3. Part III: What We Know (and Don't Know) about Novel Ecosystems

    1. Chapter 14

      Fauna and Novel Ecosystems (pages 127–141)

      Patricia L. Kennedy, Lori Lach, Ariel E. Lugo and Richard J. Hobbs

  4. Part IV: When and how to Intervene

    1. Chapter 18

      Incorporating Novel Ecosystems into Management Frameworks (pages 157–171)

      Kristin B. Hulvey, Rachel J. Standish, Lauren M. Hallett, Brian M. Starzomski, Stephen D. Murphy, Cara R. Nelson, Mark R. Gardener, Patricia L. Kennedy, Timothy R. Seastedt and Katharine N. Suding

    2. Chapter 24

      Characterizing Novel Ecosystems: Challenges for Measurement (pages 192–204)

      James A. Harris, Stephen D. Murphy, Cara R. Nelson, Michael P. Perring and Pedro M. Tognetti

  5. Part V: How do we Appreciate Novel Ecosystems?

    1. Chapter 30

      Engaging the Public in Novel Ecosystems (pages 247–256)

      Laurie Yung, Steve Schwarze, Wylie Carr, F. Stuart Chapin and Emma Marris

  6. Part VI: What's Next?

    1. Chapter 37

      Concerns about Novel Ecosystems (pages 296–309)

      Rachel J. Standish, Allen Thompson, Eric S. Higgs and Stephen D. Murphy

    2. Chapter 38

      Novel Urban Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services (pages 310–325)

      Michael P. Perring, Pete Manning, Richard J. Hobbs, Ariel E. Lugo, Cristina E. Ramalho and Rachel J. Standish

  7. Part VII: Synthesis and Conclusions

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