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Ecology for a crowded planet

July 15, 2004

Within the next 50 to 100 years, the support and maintenance of an extended human family of 8 to 11 billion people will be difficult at best. The authors of this Policy Forum describe changes that are required if we hope to meet the needs and aspirations of humans while improving the health of our planet's ecosystems. Problems as diverse as disease transmission and global climate change have benefited substantially from advances in ecology. Such advances have set the stage for emergence of a proactive ecological science in which social and political realities are acknowledged and attention is turned decisively toward the future. The ecological sciences must chart an understanding of how ecosystem services can persist given their extensive human use. Innovative research on the sciences of ecosystem services, ecological restoration, and ecological design must be massively accelerated and must be accompanied by more effective communication of ecological knowledge to society.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2004
Title Ecology for a crowded planet
DOI 10.1126/science.1095780
Authors Margaret Palmer, Emily S. Bernhardt, Elizabeth A. Chornesky, Scott L. Collins, Andrew Dobson, Clifford S. Duke, Barry Gold, Robert Jacobson, Sharon E. Kingsland, Rhonda H. Kranz, Michael J. Mappin, M. Luisa Martinez, Fiorenza Micheli, Jennifer L. Morse, Michael L. Pace, Mercedes Pascual, Stephen S. Palumbi, O. J. Reichman, Ashley Simons, Alan R. Townsend, Monica Turner
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Index ID 70188602
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center