Applied Ecology shows how an understanding of ecological theory can be used to address the most important issues facing ecologists today. It emphasizes the use of ecological tools and approaches in applied contexts and consists of four parts. Part 1 provides an overview of the subjects covered in this text and introduces applied ecology. Part 2 covers monitoring and looks at ecological surveying, monitoring, and ecological indicators. The next part is about managing and examines ecological impact assessment, remediation ecology, landscape ecology and management, non-native species management, and pest management. The final part is about conserving and includes the principles of conservation, in situ conservation, ex situ conservation, and reintroduction and rewilding.
Anne E. Goodenough and Adam G. Hart
Ecological Impact Assessment
This chapter explains ecological management in line with enhancement, mitigation, and compensation strategies to maintain ecology. It first discusses Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), wherein an evaluation is conducted with regard to the impacts of proposed human development. The chapter then looks at the EIA value of habitat, species, site, individual organism, and ecosystem. It clarifies that Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) and EIA can be either granted, withheld, or denied. Moreover, the chapter expounds on the likely impacts of development, which always includes construction and operational states. However, it lists the impact of development alongside its possible solutions, such as mitigation and compensation. The chapter includes an interview with applied ecologist Lorna Roberts.
This chapter explains the concepts behind ecological indicators. Some ecological indicator systems are based on the abundance of a single species. It is said that environmental indicators are founded on the principle of ecological niches and tolerance range. The chapter lists types of ecological indicators, such as surveys and biotic indices, and discusses the theory underpinning environmental indicators. Then, the chapter explicates biological and biodiversity indicators. It also considers the effort of reconstructing historic landscapes known as palaeo-biomonitoring. The chapter highlights the importance of being aware of ecological indicators so that they can be used appropriately and results are correctly interpreted. It also includes an interview with applied ecologist Alice Trevail.
Ecological Surveying and Monitoring
This chapter discusses the importance of the monitoring process in applied ecology. First, it differentiates types of surveying and monitoring that would be used under the parameters of habitats, species, interactions and ecosystem services, and environmental parameters that influence ecology. Moreover, the chapter considers using direct, indirect, remote, secondary, and primary data for monitoring. It explicates the monitoring of habitats and species as well and uses the Common Standards Monitoring as an example. It lists the main types of monitoring and their main considerations: baseline surveying, spatial surveying, temporal monitoring, compliance monitoring, and mitigation monitoring. The chapter suggests that there is a correlation between monitoring and management. It cites an interview with applied ecologist Elizabeth Pimley.
Ex Situ Conservation
This chapter looks into ex situ conservation. It acknowledges that in situ conservation techniques might be needed if a successful ex situ conservation programme, which is termed reintroduction, is achieved. The chapter explores the subdivisions of ex situ conservation: intensive or general captive breeding programmes and gene banks. Additionally, it discusses the example of the Lord Howe Island Group's ex situ conservation action on the Lord Howe Island stick insect. The chapter notes the significance of collection, transport, captive breeding, reintroduction, supplementation, and reinforcement in relation to ex situ conservation. It talks about the concept of captive breeding by explaining husbandry, inbreeding, and hybridization. Finally, the chapter includes an interview with applied ecologist Dr. Tim Bray.
Fundamentals of Ecology
This chapter focuses on the fundamentals of ecology. Organisms interact in various ways regardless of relationship, pattern, space, and time. The chapter looks at various ecological relationships such as mutualism, competition, decomposition, predation, parasitism, competition, and commensalism. The chapter examines the concepts of an animal's niche, habitat, and geographical range which are informed by requirements and limitations. It briefly considers the role humans play in the context of ecology. Moreover, the chapter discusses life history theory in relation to r-strategists and k-strategists. The chapter also highlights the importance of evolution in ecology and ecological succession. It introduces some early ecologists like Ernst Haeckel, Eugen Warming, and Charles Sutherland Elton.
In Situ Conservation
This chapter focuses on in situ conservation. First, it defines in situ conservation and explains that it covers numerous active management techniques. The chapter looks at the aims of in situ management, which range from creating, restoring, protecting, and maintaining to improving and connecting. Then it lists active management and custodial management as approaches. The chapter explicates the process of managing habitats and species by citing translocations, insurance population, and reintroductions as examples. In addition, in situ conservation is underpinned by policies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Biodiversity Action Plans, National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans, and the Convention on Biological Diversity's implications and frameworks. The chapter includes an interview with applied ecologist Gareth Parry.
Introducing Applied Ecology
This chapter provides a summary of applied ecology. It explains the series of topics included in ecology, applied ecology as a science, and its fundamentals. The chapter delves into the history behind applied ecology and clarifies the themes of applied ecology. The chapter notes how applied ecology operates within a changing and complex economic, political, social, and globalized landscape. It considers real-world applications, which are the focus of this book, but emphasizes that these applications are underpinned by theory. Additionally, the chapter delivers a summary of the title's chapters and their respective sub-chapters, which are grouped into sections on monitoring, managing, and conserving.
Landscape Ecology and Management
This chapter discusses the management of species over space. It looks at elements of landscapes ranging from patches, background matrix, linear features, and boundaries. The chapter notes study patterns in landscape ecology. It includes the spatial patterns of species and individuals by listing the terms of mapping range, species range, species distribution, home range, and movement. The chapter notes the impact of landscape processes such as habitat loss and fragmentation. It also includes the effects of non-landscape processes like climate change. The chapter expounds on the management of landscape ecology by referring to heterogeneity, connectivity, preventing species movement, and ecoregions. In addition, it presents an interview with applied ecologist Peter Fretwell.
Non-native Species Management
This chapter looks at the management of non-native species. It starts by explaining the human practice of moving non-native species in terms of temporal scale and spatial scale. The chapter highlights the importance of non-native species in applied ecology. Then, it explains the process of introducing species to a new location, which is called translocation. The chapter warns of a possible invasion meltdown amidst the moving process and lists the impacts of non-native species. The chapter mentions the importance of monitoring and management while acknowledging the role of citizen science. It also considers that controlling non-native species can be counter-productive. The chapter includes an interview with applied ecologist Helen Roy.
This chapter discusses pest management. It highlights that numerous insect species are considered pests. The chapter explores the concept behind pest management by noting the threshold value of harm called the Economic Injury Level. Additionally, it explains how the physical, chemical, and biological management of pests is becoming more sophisticated in line with technological advances. The chapter notes the central issues with pest management, including the possible resurgence of pests, the increase of secondary pests, and the ecological impact of pests. It introduces the Integrated Pest Management approach. Then, the chapter presents an interview with applied ecologist Luciano A. Moreira.
Principles of Conservation
This chapter explores principles of conservation. It acknowledges the concept and risk of mass extinction and explains the importance of conservation ecology. The conservation scale is best observed by looking at statistics of magnitude and geographical spread of current efforts, need for further action, and monetary costs. Then, the chapter differentiates between conservation and preservation. It highlights the focus of conservation, whether it is targeting a single species or communities of them. The chapter discusses the factors threatening population conservation, which range from natural abiotic and natural biotic to anthropogenic factors. Moreover, the best-known international species-at-risk systems are introduced, namely the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list and the NatureServe Imperiled list. These aim to quantify species' extinction risk. The chapter then discusses conservation strategies as well as conservation triage. It includes an interview with applied ecologist Paul Butler.
Reintroduction and Rewilding
This chapter explains the practice of reintroduction and rewilding. It discusses the process of reintroduction, which can be achieved through restoration, translocation, and captive breeding based on species-focused, site-focused, or human-focused motivations. Moreover, the chapter looks at regulatory frameworks and policies for reintroduction, such as those of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, as well as the Reintroduction Specialist Group's comprehensive guidelines. The chapter highlights the significance of post-release monitoring in relation to reintroduction. In addition, the chapter explores rewilding, which prioritizes habitats and landscapes, and notes the challenges of bringing species back to the wild. It includes an interview with applied ecologist Lynne MacTavish.
This chapter focuses on remediation ecology. First, it gives an overview of pollution in relation to the development of modern society. Pollution is defined as anything harmful that is introduced into the environment by humans. The chapter lists the types and sources of pollution before turning to an exploration of the scale of pollution. It then explains the general principles of bioremediation. The chapter notes that the practice is growing fast as a result of supported advances in biotechnology and the production of genetically modified organisms. It looks at bioremediation processes using plants, which are called phytoremediation. Finally, the chapter presents an interview with applied ecologist Matthew Simpson.