Managing and Sustaining Ecosystems

  • F. Stuart ChapinIII
  • Pamela A. Matson
  • Peter M. Vitousek


Human activities influence all of Earth’s ecosystems. This chapter summarizes the principles by which important ecological properties can be sustained to meet the needs of ecosystems and society.


Ecosystem Service Adaptive Management Disturbance Regime Ecosystem Management Natural Capital 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Agrawal, A., A. Chhatre, and R. Hardin. 2008. Changing governance of the world's forests. Science 320:1460-1462.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alpert, P. 1996. Integrated conservation and development projects: Examples from Africa. BioScience 46:845-855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Armitage, D., F. Berkes, and N. Doubleday, editors. 2007. Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning, and Multi-Level Governance. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  4. Arrow, K., L. Goulder, P. Dasgupta, G. Daily, P. Ehrlich, et al. 2004. Are we consuming too much? Journal of Economic Perspectives 18:147-172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barbier, E.B. 1987. The concept of sustainable economic development. Environmental Conservation 14:101-110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barrett, C.B. and P. Arcese. 1995. Are integrated conservation-development projects sustainable? On the conservation of large mammals in sub-Saharan Africa. World Development 23:1073-1084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berkes, F., J. Colding, and C. Folke, editors. 2003. Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  8. Berkes, F., T.P. Hughes, and R.S. Steneck. 2006. Globalization, roving bandits, and marine resources. Science 311:1557-1558.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berkes, F. 2008. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management. 2nd edition. Taylor & Francis, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  10. Berkes, F., G.P. Kofinas, and F.S. Chapin, III. 2009. Conservation, community, and livelihoods: Sustaining, renewing, and adapting cultural connections to the land. Pages 129-147 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beschta, R.L. and W.J. Ripple. 2009. Large predators and trophic cascades in terrestrial ecosystems in the western United States. Biological Conservation 142:2401-2414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bormann, B.T. and A.R. Kiester. 2004. Options forestry: Acting on uncertainty. Journal of Forestry 102:22-27.Google Scholar
  13. Bradshaw, A.D. 1983. The reconstruction of ecosystems. Journal of Ecology 20:1-17.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, K. 2003. Integrating conservation and development: A case of institutional misfit. Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment 1:479-487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carpenter, S.R., E.M. Bennett, and G.D. Peterson. 2006. Scenarios for ecosystem services: An overview. Ecology and Society 11:
  16. Carpenter, S.R. and R. Biggs. 2009. Freshwaters: Managing across scales in space and time. Pages 197-220 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chapin, F.S., III, E.S. Zavaleta, V.T. Eviner, R.L. Naylor, P.M. Vitousek, et al. 2000b. Consequences of changing biotic diversity. Nature 405:234-242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chapin, F.S., III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. 2009. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Chapin, F.S., III, S.R. Carpenter, G.P. Kofinas, C. Folke, N. Abel, et al. 2010. Ecosystem stewardship: Sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25:241-249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Choi, Y.D. 2007. Restoration ecology to the future: A call for a new paradigm. Restoration Ecology 15:351-353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Christensen, N.L., A.M. Bartuska, J.H. Brown, S. Carpenter, C. D'Antonio, et al. 1996. The report of the Ecological Society of America committee on the scientific basis for ecosystem management. Ecological Applications 6:665-691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Clark, W.C. and N.M. Dickson. 2003. Sustainability science: The emerging research program. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 100:8059-8061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Clark, W.C. and L. Holliday. 2006. Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management. National Academies Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  24. Coleman, J. 1990. Foundations of Social Theory. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  25. Costanza, R. and H. Daly. 1992. Natural capital and sustainable development. Conservation Biology 6:37-46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Daily, G.C. 1997. Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  27. Daily, G.C., T. Soderqvist, S. Aniyar, K. Arrow, P. Dasgupta, et al. 2000. Ecology: The value of nature and the nature of value. Science 289:395-396.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dasgupta, P. 2001. Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment. Oxford University Press, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Davis, S.M. and J.C. Ogden, editors. 1994. Everglades: The Ecosystem and Its Restoration. St Lucie, Delray Beach, Florida.Google Scholar
  30. DeAngelis, D.L., L.J. Gross, M.A. Huston, W.F. Wolff, D.M. Fleming, et al. 1998. Landscape modeling for Everglades ecosystem restoration. Ecosystems 1:64-75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Díaz, S., J. Fargione, F.S. Chapin, III, and D. Tilman. 2006. Biodiversity loss threatens human well-being. Plant Library of Science (PLoS) 4:1300-1305.Google Scholar
  32. Diener, E. and M.E.P. Seligman. 2004. Beyond money: Toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 5:1-31.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dietz, T., E. Ostrom, and P.C. Stern. 2003. The struggle to govern the commons. Science 302:1907-1912.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dobson, A.P., A.D. Bradshaw, and A.J.M. Baker. 1997. Hopes for the future: Restoration ecology and conservation biology. Science 277:515-522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Easterlin, R.A. 2001. Income and happiness: Towards a unified theory. The Economic Journal 111:465-484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ellis, E.C. and N. Ramankutty. 2008. Putting people on the map: Anthropogenic biomes of the world. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6:439-447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Elmqvist, T., C. Folke, M. Nyström, G. Peterson, J. Bengtsson, et al. 2003. Response diversity, ecosystem change, and resilience. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1:488-494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Foley, J.A., M.T. Coe, M. Scheffer, and G. Wang. 2003a. Regime shifts in the Sahara and Sahel: Interactions between ecological and climatic systems in Northern Africa. Ecosystems 6:524-539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Foley, J.A., R. DeFries, G.P. Asner, C. Barford, G. Bonan, et al. 2005. Global consequences of land use. Science 309:570-574.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Folke, C., M. Hammer, R. Costanza, and A. Jansson. 1994. Investing in natural capital: Why, what, and how? Pages 1-20 in A. Jansson, M. Hammer, C. Folke, and R. Costanza, editors. Investing in Natural Capital. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  41. Foster, D.R., B. Donahue, D. Kittredge, K.F. Lambert, M. Hunter, et al. 2010. Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape. Harvard University, Petersham, MA.Google Scholar
  42. Francis, R.C. 1990. Fisheries science and modeling: A look to the future. Natural Resource Modeling 4:1-10.Google Scholar
  43. Franklin, J.F., D.R. Berg, D.A. Thornburgh, and J.C. Tappeiner. 1997. Alternative silvicultural approaches to timber harvesting: Variable retention harvest systems. Pages 111-140 in K.A. Kohm and J.F. Franklin, editors. Creating a Forestry for the 21st Century: The Science of Ecosystem Management. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  44. Ginn, W.J. 2005. Investing in Nature: Case Studies of Land Conservation in Collaboration with Business. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  45. Goulder, L.H. and D. Kennedy. 1997. Valuing ecosystem services: Philosophical bases and empirical methods. Pages 23-48 in G.C. Daily, editor. Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Island Press, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  46. Grove, J.M. 2009. Cities: Managing densely settled social-ecological systems. Pages 281-294 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hardin, G. 1968. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243-1248.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Harpole, W.S. and D. Tilman. 2007. Grassland species loss resulting from reduced niche dimension. Nature 446:791-793.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Harris, J.A., R.J. Hobbs, E. Higgs, and J. Aronson. 2006. Ecological restoration and global climate change. Restoration Ecology 14:170-176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Heal, G. 2000. Nature and the Marketplace: Capturing the Value of Ecosystem Services. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  51. Hilborn, R., C.J. Walters, and D. Ludwig. 1995. Sustainable exploitation of renewable resources. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 26:45-67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hobbs, R.J. and V.A. Cramer. 2008. Restoration ecology: Interventionist approaches for restoring and maintaining ecosystem function in the face of rapid environmental change. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 33:39-61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Hobbs, R.J., D.N. Cole, L. Yung, E.S. Zavaleta, G.H. Aplet, et al. 2010. Guiding concepts for park and wilderness stewardship in an era of global environmental change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8:483-490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Holling, C.S. and G.K. Meffe. 1996. Command and control and the pathology of natural resource management. Conservation Biology 10:328-337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Holling, C.S. and L.H. Gunderson. 2002. Resilience and adaptive cycles. Pages 25-62 in L.H. Gunderson and C.S. Holling, editors. Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  56. Kates, R.W., C.E. Colten, S. Laska, and S.P. Leatherman. 2006. Reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: A research perspective. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 103:14653-14660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kofinas, G.P. 2009. Adaptive Co-management in Social-Ecological Governance. Pages 77-101 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Kremen, C., I. Raymond, and K. Lance. 1998. An interdisciplinary tool for monitoring conservation impacts in Madagascar. Conservation Biology 12:549-563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kremen, C.K., A.M. Merenlender, and D.D. Murphy. 1994. Ecological monitoring: A vital need for integrated conservation and development programs in the tropics. Conservation Biology 8:388-397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Kristjanson, P., R.S. Reid, N.M. Dickson, W.C. Clark, D. Romney, et al. 2009. Linking international agricultural research knowledge with action for sustainable development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 106:5047-5052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Levin, S.A. 1999. Fragile Dominion: Complexity and the Commons. Perseus Books, Reading, MA.Google Scholar
  62. Liu, J., S.X. Li, Z.Y. Ouyang, C. Tam, and X. Chen. 2008. Ecological and socioeconomic effects of China's policies for ecosystem services. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 105:9477-9482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ludwig, D., R. Hilborn, and C. Walters. 1993. Uncertainty, resource exploitation, and conservation: Lessons from history. Science 260:17, 36.Google Scholar
  64. Mark, A.F., K.S. Turner, and C.J. West. 2001. Integrating nature conservation with hydro-electric development: Conflict resolution with Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. Lake and Reservoir Management 17:1-16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Maslow, A.H. 1943. A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review 50:370-396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Matson, P.A. and R.D. Boone. 1984. Natural disturbance and nitrogen mineralization: Wave-form dieback of mountain hemlock in the Oregon Cascades. Ecology 65:1511-1516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  68. Meffe, G.K., L.A. Nielsen, R.L. Knight, and D.A. Schenborn. 2002. Ecosystem Management: Adaptive, Community-Based Conservation Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  69. Millar, C.I., N.L. Stephenson, and S.L. Stephens. 2007. Climate change and forests of the future: Managing in the face of uncertainty. Ecological Applications 17:2145-2151.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Noss, R.F. 1990. Indicators for monitoring biodiversity: A hierarchical approach. Conservation Biology 4:355-364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. NRC. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing New York City's Approach. National Academies Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  72. NRC. 2006. Drawing Louisiana's New Map: Addressing Land Loss in Coastal Louisiana. National Academies Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  73. Ostrom, E. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Ostrom, E. 2007. A diagnostic approach for going beyond panaceas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 104:15181-15187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Ostrom, E. 2009. A general framework for analyzing sustainability of social-ecological systems. Science 325:419-422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Palmer, M., E. Bernhardt, E. Chornesky, S. Collins, A. Dobson, et al. 2004. Ecology for a crowded planet. Science 304:1251-1252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Patz, J.A., U.E.C. Confalonieri, F.P. Amerasinghe, K.B. Chua, P. Daszak, et al. 2005. Human health: Ecosystem regulation of infectious diseases. Pages 391-415 in R. Hassan, R.J. Scholes, and N. Ash, editors. Ecosystems and Well-Being: Current State and Trends, Volume 1. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  78. Pauly, D. and V. Christensen. 1995. Primary production required to sustain global fisheries. Nature 374:255-257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Peterson, G.D., G.S. Cumming, and S.R. Carpenter. 2003. Scenario planning: A tool for conservation in an uncertain world. Conservation Biology 17:358-366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Pires, M. 2004. Watershed protection for a world city: The case of New York. Land Use Policy 21:161-175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Raffa, K.F., B.H. Aukema, B.J. Bentz, A.L. Carroll, J.A. Hicke, et al. 2008. Cross-scale drivers of natural disturbances prone to anthropogenic amplification: The dynamics of bark beetle eruptions. BioScience 58:501-517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Ramakrishnan, P.S. 1992. Shifting Agriculture and Sustainable Development: An Interdisciplinary Study from North-Eastern India. Parthenon Publishing Group, Park Ridge, NJ.Google Scholar
  83. Reynolds, J.F. and D.M. Stafford Smith, editors. 2002. Global Desertification: Do Humans Cause Deserts? Dahlem University Press, Berlin.Google Scholar
  84. Ricketts, T.H., G.C. Daily, P.R. Ehrlich, and C.D. Michener. 2004. Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 101:12579-12582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Rosenberg, A.A., M.J. Fogarty, M.P. Sissenwine, J.R. Beddington, and J.G. Shepherd. 1993. Achieving sustainable use of renewable resources. Science 262:828-829.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Sayre, N. 2005. Working Wilderness: The Malpai Borderlands Group Story and the Future of the Western Range. Rio Nuevo Press, Tucson, AZ.Google Scholar
  87. Shvidenko, A., D.V. Barber, and R. Persson. 2005. Forest and woodland systems. Pages 585-621 in R. Hassan, R.J. Scholes, and N. Ash, editors. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends, Volume 1. Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  88. Stafford Smith, D.M., N. Abel, B. Walker, and F.S. Chapin, III. 2009. Drylands: Coping with uncertainty, thresholds, and changes in state. Pages 171-195 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New Work.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Starfield, A.M. and A.L. Bleloch. 1991. Building Models for Conservation and Wildlife Management. 2nd edition. Burgess Press, Edina, MN.Google Scholar
  90. Steffen, W.L., A. Sanderson, P.D. Tyson, J. Jäger, P.A. Matson, et al. 2004. Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet under Pressure. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  91. Stokes, D.E. 1997. Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Brookings Institution Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  92. Suding, K.N., S. Lavorel, F.S. Chapin, III, J.H.C. Cornelissen, S. Diaz, et al. 2008. Scaling environmental change through the community level: A trait-based response- and-effect framework for plants. Global Change Biology 14:1125-1140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Sutherland, W.J. 2000. The Conservation Handbook: Research, Management and Policy. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Swanson, F.J. and F.S. Chapin, III. 2009. Forest Systems: Living with long-term change. Pages 149-170 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Szaro, R.C., N.D. Johnson, W.T. Sexton, and A.J. Malk, editors. 1999. Ecological Stewardship: A Common Reference for Ecosystem Management. Elsevier Science Ltd, Oxford.Google Scholar
  96. Tallis, H., P. Kareiva, M. Marvier, and A. Chang. 2008. An ecosystem services framework to support both practical conservation and economic development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 105:9457-9464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Tengö, M., K. Johansson, F. Rakotongrasoa, J. Lundberg, J.-A. Andriamaherilala, et al. 2007. Taboos and forest governance: Informal protection of hot spot dry forest in Southern Madagascar. Ambio 36:683-691.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Towns, D.R., I.A.E. Atkinson, and C.H. Daugherty. 2006. Have the harmful effects of introduced rats on islands been exaggerated? Biological Invasions 8:863-891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Turner, B.L., II, R.E. Kasperson, P.A. Matson, J.J. McCarthy, R.W. Corell, et al. 2003a. A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 100:8074-8079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Turner, M.G. 2010. Disturbance and landscape dynamics in a changing world. Ecology 91:2833-2849.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Vitousek, P.M. 1990. Biological invasions and ecosystem processes: Towards an integration of population biology and ecosystem studies. Oikos 57:7-13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Walters, C. and R. Ahrens. 2009. Oceans and estuaries: Managing the commons. Pages 221-240 in F.S. Chapin, III, G.P. Kofinas, and C. Folke, editors. Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Manangement in a Changing World. Springer, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. WCED. 1987. Our Common Future. World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  104. Wells, M.P. and K.E. Brandon. 1993. The principles and practice of buffer zones and local participation in biodiversity conservation. Ambio 22:157-162.Google Scholar
  105. Westley, F., B. Zimmerman, and M.Q. Patton. 2006. Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed. Random House, Toronto.Google Scholar
  106. Whiteman, G., B.C. Forbes, J. Niemelä, and F.S. Chapin, III. 2004. Bringing feedback and resilience of high-latitude ecosystems into the corporate boardroom. Ambio 33:371-376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Young, T.P., D.A. Petersen, and J.J. Clary. 2005. The ecology of restoration: Historical links, emerging issues and unexplored realms. Ecology Letters 8:662-673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Stuart ChapinIII
    • 1
  • Pamela A. Matson
    • 2
  • Peter M. Vitousek
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Arctic Biology Department of Biology & WildlifeUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.School of Earth SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations