Cambridge University Press , 2010-03-04 What can ecological science contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of the natural systems that underpin human well-being? Bridging the natural, physical and social sciences, this book shows how ecosystem ecology can inform the ecosystem services approach to environmental management. The authors recognise that ecosystems are rich in linkages between biophysical and social elements that generate powerful intrinsic dynamics. Unlike traditional reductionist approaches, the holistic perspective adopted here is able to explain the increasing range of scientific studies that have highlighted unexpected consequences of human activity, such as the lack of recovery of cod populations on the Grand Banks despite nearly two decades of fishery closures, or the degradation of Australia's fertile land through salt intrusion. Written primarily for researchers and graduate students in ecology and environmental management, it provides an accessible discussion of some of the most important aspects of ecosystem ecology and the potential relationships between them.