The increasing concern for the conservation of biodiversity arises from a fundamental and ongoing shift in the perception of natural resource systems and the role of humans within nature. The new management paradigm emerging from this shift emphasizes intergenerational time scales, nonequilibrium dynamics, and the information content of nature. The information content of nature manifests itself in variation in patterns at multiple spatial scales. Conservation of the information content of nature requires consideration of the entire landscape, rather than just small fragments, and must specify how anthropogenic disturbances can maintain patterns at multiple spatial scales. New geographic information system tools provide a vocabulary for analysis of pattern and specification of desired future conditions. Lacking a profound functional understanding of ecosystems, managers can use the range of variation in pattern over recent evolutionary time as an interim guide for the development of desired future conditions.
Greenwood, Gregory B.
"Managing wildlands for biodiversity: Paradigms and spatial tools,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 4, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol4/iss1/10