Metabolism of Terrestrial Ecosystems by Gas Exchange Techniques: The Brookhaven Approach
There is something rejuvenating in the tacit but progressive acceptance of F. E. Clement’s classical assertion that the community is an organism (Clements, 1928), a concept that was hardly original with him but under his pen proved almost destructively provocative, at least in America. Certainly in considering the metabolism of segments of the earth’s surface we recognize that there is at least an analogy between the community and an organism. Just as measurements of metabolism integrate function in a plant, so does metabolism integrate complex processes in arrays of organisms as diverse as forest, city, lake and ocean. And when we see the products of the metabolism of civilization becoming so dense as to affect life, as they are in too many places right now, the arguments for detailed knowledge of the metabolism of ecosystems become compelling.
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