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Ecosystem research and sustainable land use management


Kutsch,  W. L.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Barkmann, J., Blume, H. P., Irmler, U., Kluge, W., Kutsch, W. L., Reck, H., et al. (2008). Ecosystem research and sustainable land use management. In O. Fränzle, L. Kappen, & H. P. Blume (Eds.), Ecosystem organization of a complex landscape: long-term research in the Bornhöved Lake District (pp. 319-344). Berlin: Springer.

Today’s society is concerned with a multitude of events affecting the ecosystems of our planet, ranging from natural processes such as weather anomalies and climate changes to man-made phenomena such as the impact of environmental chemicals or occupational and outdoor noise. To better understand and assess the importance of these events and to resolve the related problems, the basic approach of systems ecology is indicated, appropriately coupled with societal considerations in a comprehensive, transdisciplinary way.Thus, in its capacity as an international pilot project of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Bornhöved Project also focused on applied aspects of ecosystem research, in particular on sustainable landscape/land use management. Two kinds of problems have to be distinguished in this respect, which will be discussed in Section 13.2 of the present Chapter as a theoretical background to a collection of illustrative examples of applied ecosystem research in Section 13.3. The first issue is how to solve particular, well defined ‘technical’ problems, e.g. in conservation biology or resource protection, the second is how to provide instrumental knowledge for societal decision-making at large.