A Guidebook for Integrated Ecological Assessments
Ecological assessments are a critical component of land management planning and regulatory decision-making. In the United States, for example, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 directs that the environmental consequences associated with proposed management of federal lands be fully disclosed to the general public through environmental impact assessments. In a similar manner, over 40 other countries have legislated the use of some type of ecological assessment as a prerequisite for effective environmental planning and land management.
Although ecological assessments can be conducted at a variety of spatial scales and may address one or many issues, the main intent of this book is to describe topics with particular importance to strategic integrated ecological assessments at a regional or subregional scale.
The chapters in this book range from overviews of basic ecological principles, to suggestions concerning ecosystem characterization and analysis, to systematic reviews of selected case studies. In this respect, the book provides both theoretical and practical advice for future ecological assessments given specific land use planning objectives. This book will be the reference standard for any person engaged in any ecological assessment exercise at any level, whether they work for national, state or regional authorities or in academia.