Posts

Two Ways to Discover Disturbance

Ecological disturbance is often defined as an event that disrupts the structure of a specific system (Pickett & White, 1985).  This kind of material or physical disruption is important because it can result in changes in behavior of the system, or leave heterogeneous structural legacies that affect the system in the future (Pickett, Cadenasso, & […]

The Evolution of Urban Heterogeneity Thinking

The heterogeneity of cities has been acknowledged as one of their most striking features for a very long time.  Spatial heterogeneity characterized the ancient, cosmologically oriented cities of the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas (Lynch 1960; e.g. Fig. 1).  Social heterogeneity of cities, compared to rural village life, was recognized by the founders of […]

The Human Ecosystem: What’s Missing?

The human ecosystem concept is one of the most common tools used in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER.  Adopted from a team of social ecologists and sociologists who were involved in community forestry in the Himalayas, the application of such approaches to underserved areas in American cities, and the conservation and management of US National […]

Just One Book a Year — That’s All We Ask.

BES is a far flung, disciplinarily diverse project.  We do many things to apply centripetal force to a situation that seems naturally to be dissipative.  One centering activity is to identify a “book of the year.”  In the past, we have had two such books.  They were chosen to provide useful and interesting background on […]

Coupled? Hybrid? Or Just Systems?

Having recently returned from the first Congress of the Society of Urban Ecology, I can report that there was a lot of talk in the plenary sessions about the nature of cities-suburban-exurban areas as systems.  In particular, it was emphasized that they were “hybrid” systems, incorporating social and biophysical components and the interactions that involve […]

Press-Pulse Dynamics: A Hypothetical Feedback Model for Long-Term Social-Ecological Research

An important conceptual resource for BES III has recently appeared online. This publication presents the feedback cycle between social and ecological structures and functions as mediated by ecosystem services and by press and pulse events. This conceptual framework highlights that the dynamics of press and pulse events is a key link in the integration of […]