Feedbacks and Synergism among Biogeochemistry, Basic Ecology, and Forest Soil Science
Forest Ecology and Management
feedbacks, synergism, biogeochemistry, basic ecology, forest soil science
Sustainable natural resource use is only possible when management practices are grounded in the basics of soil science and ecology, and reflect a sound understanding of the interaction between soil–plant processes and nutrient cycling pathways. History has yielded numerous examples where an incomplete understanding of biogeochemistry has resulted in unexpected and sometimes undesirable management outcomes. In this paper we explore, using nitrogen biogeochemistry as our working model, how the boundaries between basic science and management-driven research have become increasingly blurred over time. The mutual feedbacks and synergisms between basic and applied sciences have been key in solving many environmental problems and have increased our ability to predict ecosystem responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Projects with a distinct management focus have also provided a fertile ground for cutting-edge and theoretical studies, and have greatly improved our understanding of the relationship between ecosystem structure and function. Periodically, scientists are faced with unexpected results or oddities that force us to question the veracity of long-held notions and lead us to revise conceptual models.
Van Miegroet, H., and D.W. Johnson. 2009. Feedbacks and synergism among biogeochemistry, basic ecology, and forest soil science. Forest Ecology and Management 258:2214-2223. Available On line: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.02.007