Main Ecological Engineering Principles of Landscape Planning

J0rgensen presents 19 ecological engineering principles for application in landscape management:

• Ecosystem structure and functions are determined by the forcing functions of the system.

• Energy inputs to the ecosystems and available storage of matter are limited.

• Ecosystems are open and dissipative systems.

• Attention to limiting factors is strategic and useful in preventing pollution or restoring ecosystems.

• Ecosystems have a homeostatic capability that results in the smoothing out and depressing effects of strongly variable inputs.

• Match recycling pathways to the rates to ecosystems to reduce the effect of pollution.

• Design for pulsing systems wherever possible.

• Ecosystems are self-designing systems.

• Ecosystem processes have characteristic temporal and spatial scales that must be accounted for in environmental management.

• Biodiversity should be championed to maintain an ecosystem's self-design capacity.

• Ecotones and transition zones are as important to ecosystems as membranes are for cells.

• Coupling between ecosystems should be utilized wherever possible.

• The components of an ecosystem are interconnected and interrelated and form a network, implying that the direct as well as indirect effects of ecosystem development need to be considered.

• An ecosystem has a history of development.

• Ecosystems and species are most vulnerable at their geographical edges.

• Ecosystems are hierarchical systems and are parts of a larger landscape.

• Physical and biological processes are interactive. It is important to know both physical and biological interactions and to interpret them.

• Ecotechnology requires a holistic approach that integrates all interacting parts and processes as much as possible.

• Information in ecosystems is stored in structures.

The following five recommendations are implicitly embedded in the 19 principles: (1) know the natural and man-made ecosystems that make up a landscape and the corresponding ecological properties and processes; (2) use this ecological knowledge in landscape management; (3) develop models and use ecological indicators to enable a thorough overview of the many interacting components, the ecological networks, and the most crucial ecological processes; (4) maintain high biodiversity and a high-diversity pattern of ecosystems, zones, ecotones, corridors, ditches, ecological niches, etc.; the overloading from man-made ecosystems can be reduced and buffered considerably by planning a landscape with a mosaic of different man-made and natural ecosystems; (5) everything is linked to everything else in an ecosystem, and the entire system is more than the sum of its parts. These principles should underlie all ecological management decisions.

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