Foundation in the Fundamentals

The diversity of concepts drawn from ecology and applied in management of our natural resources is vast and stems from the multidisciplinary nature of natural

Table 1 Topics in 'applied ecology' and concepts, ideas, and topics in ecology that are used in applied ecology

Topics in applied ecology

Relavant ecological concepts, ideas, and topics

Restoration ecology Habitat management and rehabilitation Management of invasive species

Conservation biology Wildlife utilization Protected area management Agroecosystem management Forensic sciences Landscape architecture Ecotourism Fisheries Forestry

Urban development Ecosystem services Climate change Pollution

Energy generation and carbon management Water management

Niche, succession, community dynamics, resilience Habitat selection, niche, community dynamics

Population dynamics, predator-prey relationships, competition, disease-host interactions, natural selection.

Population dynamics, population genetics, population viability, biodiversity Population dynamics, sustained yield

Island biogeography, population viability, biodiversity, ecotones Competition, biodiversity, natural selection Genetics, taxonomy

Connectivity, fragmentation, movements, metapopulations

Population dynamics, thresholds, resilience

Population dynamics, sustained yield, food webs

Population dynamics, sustained yield, demography

Habitat, corridors

Nutrient cycling, biodiversity

Niche, population dynamics

Niche, assimilation, bioaccumulation, ecotoxicology

Nutrient cycling, bioaccumulation

Niche, biodiversity assessment resource management generally. In dealing with the impacts of climate change on the biota, for example, we need to know of the habitat requirements of species or 'niche breadth', the extent of suitable habitat and connectivity that provides scope for 'invasion' of new areas as the climate shifts. Coupled with this is the need to know of the limitations to their 'physiological tolerances', their 'dispersal capabilities' and the 'demographic attributes' that will govern the speed of their response through range shifts. Many reptiles have temperature-dependent sex determination, and would appear appallingly vulnerable to climate change. What scope do they have to respond to climatic change, through 'natural selection', which in part will depend on 'genetic diversity' in the traits determining their 'evolutionary responses' to changing climate. Will an evolutionary response be rapid enough? What scope do species have to respond through 'phenotypic plasticity' rather than a direct evolutionary response. Table 1 provides a link between fundamental ecological concepts, principles, and ideas, and the broad areas of application in 'applied ecology'.

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