Evolution of land science.
Ojima, Dennis1, Moran, Emilio2, 1 Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO, USA2 Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change, Bloominton, IN, USA
ABSTRACT- Research in the next decade on global terrestrial systems will become increasingly integrated, bringing together the insights from both the biophysical and the social sciences. The coupling of human and environmental systems requires treating both as systems which exhibit specific types of characteristics, or configurations, at particular places and times. A useful framework for understanding the dynamics of these systems, so that both the internal dynamics of each system over time and their interaction with one another, is the notion of coevolution of human and natural systems. This view implies that the human and natural systems are not only related to one another, but each is changing and affecting the evolution of the other. Cascading effects of human activities interact with each other and with local and regional scale changes in multidimensional ways. Sustainability is to be achieved by human systems being responsive to environmental feedbacks, which are themselves simply changes in natural systems resulting from human activity. Given this focus on the human-environment, the research activities need to be formulated to account for place-based differences and to consider the time and spatial scale of changes in related properties. Three fundamental research themes will guide the research agenda of this land-centric integrative research programme. 1) What are the reciprocal interactions between changes in land use and land cover, and the human-environment system? 2) What are the reciprocal links between human and environmental changes and biogeochemical cycles on Land? 3) What conditions of the human-environmental system amplify and attenuate land-based sustainability?
Key words: global environmental change, coupled human-environment system
All materials copyright The Ecological Society of America (ESA), and may not be used without written permission.