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. Ecology In An Era Of Globalization

Photos of US-Mexico border fences taken in July 2006. (a) Border fence located east of San Diego, CA. (b) Recently built "permeable" border barrier located south of San Diego will allow migration of smaller species, but proposed double-barrier impermeable fencing may not.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 07, 2007
In a special issue, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment explores ecology in an era of globalization, looking at the impacts of human migration, production systems, and invasive species on ecosystems and people throughout North, Central, and South America. Scientists from throughout the Americas gathered last year in Merida Mexico and held a conference on this very topic. The following are highlights from the meeting, including more extensive work done since the event.

In an introduction by Jeffrey Herrick (US Department of Agriculture) and Jose Sarukhan (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico), the authors discuss the impacts of globalization on environmental degradation. They suggest ecological science must be more rapidly integrated to keep up with the changes, including an ecological knowledge system to facilitate access to new and existing sources of ecological information throughout the world.

Frederick Meyerson (University of Rhode Island, US), Leticia Merino (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico), and Jorge Durand (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico) describe the impacts of human migration and population growth in their piece, "Migration and environment in the context of globalization." The researchers describe the economic, environmental and social factors that will play a major role in the future of ecosystems, biodiversity, land use, and conservation policy. They suggest that migration and other demographics - when combined with ecological data - present opportunities for modeling projections, long-range conservation strategies, and policy interventions.

In "The future of production systems in a globalized world," Elena Bennett (McGill University, Montreal, Canada) and Patricia Balvanera (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Morelia, Mexico) analyze ecosystem services, especially those providing food, fiber, and timber. They discuss the challenges ahead in sustaining these services.

Exploring the role of invasive organisms, Laura Meyerson (University of Rhode Island, US) and Harold Mooney (Stanford University, California, US) discuss "Invasive alien species in an era of globalization." Noting invasions occur across global, regional and local scales, they describe the possible use of information networks to manage invasions on the ground. The scientists also discuss the importance of determining the economic impacts of alien invasives to better manage and assess existing infestations.

The special issue also contains workshop reports, including "Ecological impacts of wildlife conservation units policy in Mexico," "Timber production in selectively logged tropical forests in South America," "Assessing invasive alien species across multiple spatial scales: working globally and locally," and "Cascading events in linked ecological and socioeconomic systems.

This special issue is also an open access issue, and may be viewed here.

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Related Links
Ecological Society of America
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Climate Change Impacts Stream Life
Cardiff UK (SPX) May 07, 2007
Climate change is warming Welsh streams and rivers, affecting the number and variety of some of their smallest animals, a major Cardiff University study has found. Rivers and streams are key ecosystems for many aquatic species and form important links with surrounding habitats, yet little emphasis has been given so far to the ecological effects of climate change on these running-waters.

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