Enclosed ecosystem experiments have gained in popularity as research tools in ecological science, particularly in the study of coastal aquatic environments. These systems provide scientists with a degree of experimental control that is not achievable through field experiments. Yet to date, techniques for systematically extrapolating results from small-scale experimental ecosystems to larger, deeper, more open, more biologically diverse, and more heterogeneous ecosystems in nature have not been well developed. Likewise, researchers have lacked methods for comparing and extrapolating information among natural ecosystems that differ in scale.
Enclosed Experimental Ecosystems and Scale: Tools for Understanding and Managing Coastal Ecosystems provides scientists, managers, and policy makers with an introduction to what has been termed the "problem of scale", and presents information that will allow for improved design and interpretation of enclosed experimental aquatic ecosystems. The book integrates the results of a 10-year research project involving a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and students to explore scale-related questions in a variety of coastal habitats. Anticipating use as a reference, the book has been designed so that individual sections and individual pages can function as stand alone units.
Graduate and advanced undergraduate students, researchers, resource managers, and policy makers
Introduction and Background: Coastal ecosystems, management, and research.- Concepts of scale in ecology.- Mesocosms and scaling patterns.- Using mesocosms to study the effects of scale.- Designing Experimental Ecosystem Studies: General principles.- Temporal and spatial scaling.- Mixing and flow.- Materials exchange.- Light.- Walls.- Temperature.- Physical and biological complexity.- Aquatic grasses.- Marshes.- Sediments.- Chemistry.- Tools for Design and Analysis of Experiments: The world is variable.- Dimensional analysis.- Modeling tools.- Applications: Benthic organisms.- Nutrient enrichment and trophic efficiency.- Aquatic grasses, nutrients, and suspended sediments.- Index.