8. The Extent of Novel Ecosystems: Long in Time and Broad in Space

  1. Richard J. Hobbs2,
  2. Eric S. Higgs3 and
  3. Carol M. Hall3
  1. Michael P. Perring2 and
  2. Erle C. Ellis1

Published Online: 31 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118354186.ch8

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

How to Cite

Perring, M. P. and Ellis, E. C. (2013) The Extent of Novel Ecosystems: Long in Time and Broad in Space, 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.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

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

  2. 3

    School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    Geography & Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, USA

  2. 2

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

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:

  • biosphere;
  • marine novel ecosystems;
  • novel ecosystems;
  • spatially explicit historical models;
  • terrestrial novel ecosystems

Summary

This chapter uses spatially explicit historical models to investigate how novel ecosystems have spread across the terrestrial biosphere in the last 8000 years. It also show their likely current distribution in both the terrestrial and marine realms. The aim here is to demonstrate that novel ecosystems can be ancient and deserve greater consideration in the efforts to manage and conserve the biosphere for humanity and other species over the long term. The chapter discusses how archeological and paleoecological approaches might confirm the patterns of spread that have been modeled. In particular, it highlights the difficulties associated with inferring novel ecosystem extent and in distinguishing between hybrid and novel ecosystems from currently available data. The chapter also considers the application of alternative land classification systems, and discusses the tension that arises when applying the novel ecosystem concept to spatially explicit models of the biosphere.