3. Towards a Conceptual Framework for Novel Ecosystems

  1. Richard J. Hobbs5,
  2. Eric S. Higgs6 and
  3. Carol M. Hall6
  1. Lauren M. Hallett1,
  2. Rachel J. Standish5,
  3. Kristin B. Hulvey5,
  4. Mark R. Gardener2,
  5. Katharine N. Suding1,
  6. Brian M. Starzomski6,
  7. Stephen D. Murphy3 and
  8. James A. Harris4

Published Online: 31 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118354186.ch3

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

How to Cite

Hallett, L. M., Standish, R. J., Hulvey, K. B., Gardener, M. R., Suding, K. N., Starzomski, B. M., Murphy, S. D. and Harris, J. A. (2013) Towards a Conceptual Framework for Novel Ecosystems, in Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order (eds R. J. Hobbs, E. S. Higgs and C. M. Hall), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118354186.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology (ERIE) Research Group, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia

  2. 6

    School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley, USA

  2. 2

    Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia

  3. 3

    Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada

  4. 4

    Environmental Science and Technology Department, Cranfield University, UK

  5. 5

    Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology (ERIE) Research Group, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia

  6. 6

    School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118354223

Online ISBN: 9781118354186

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • ecosystem services;
  • ecosystem shifts;
  • historical ecosystems;
  • novel ecosystems;
  • species conservation;
  • species diversity

Summary

Novel ecosystems can serve conservation aims, whether by maintaining species diversity or providing ecosystem services. The chapter presents a framework to aid in evaluation of such benefits. It first describes approaches to identify thresholds shifts into novel territory. Second, it considers how functional similarities between novel and historical ecosystems can inform decisions about when and how to intervene in novel ecosystems. It concludes with a discussion of practical considerations and methods for managing these systems. The chapter presents the story of Rodrigues fody (Foudia flavicans), which highlights three key points. First, it indicates that novel species interactions should be considered in conservation efforts. Second, it demonstrates that novel ecosystems can provide some of the same functions as their historical counterparts. Lastly, it serves as a cautionary tale: the fody nearly went extinct due to anthropogenic land change.