6. Defining Novel Ecosystems

  1. Richard J. Hobbs1,
  2. Eric S. Higgs2 and
  3. Carol M. Hall2
  1. Richard J. Hobbs1,
  2. Eric S. Higgs2 and
  3. Carol M. Hall2

Published Online: 31 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118354186.ch6

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

How to Cite

Hobbs, R. J., Higgs, E. S. and Hall, C. M. (2013) Defining 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.ch6

Editor Information

  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    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

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Keywords:

  • historical ecosystem;
  • hybrid ecosystem;
  • novel ecosystems

Summary

This chapter defines novel ecosystems and presents a simplified view of this definition by illustrating the relationship between historical, hybrid and novel ecosystems, based on the degree of change from historical conditions and reversibility of that change. It offers a working definition that has endured many conversations and reflections. A novel ecosystem is a system of abiotic, biotic and social components that, by virtue of human influence, differ from those that prevailed historically, having a tendency to self-organize and manifest novel qualities without intensive human management. Novel ecosystems are distinguished from hybrid ecosystems by practical limitations (a combination of ecological, environmental and social thresholds) on the recovery of historical qualities.