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Copyright © 2002 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance.

The following is the established format for referencing this article:
Trimble, K. 2002. Conservation of places versus processes. Conservation Ecology 6(1): r12. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss1/resp12/

Response to J. Stan Rowe 2001. "In search of intelligent life ..."

Conservation of Places Versus Processes

Kevin Trimble

ESG International

Published: May 13, 2002

I would like to add to Dr. Rowe's (2001) points. Environmental practitioners working in the field of land use planning are forced to deal with professionals and municipalities that attempt to achieve conservation goals through the management of places. With this approach, they assume that critical bio-physical processes and services are maintained if special places are protected. They fail to realize that ecosystems are more fundamentally a collection of integrated processes relying on specific transfers of energy and nutrients, and that conservation would be better served by examining the requirements of these processes in order to integrate an appropriate mosaic of juxtaposed places and technologies with human settlement. It may be obvious to conclude that a river corridor requires protection to maintain its ecological functions, but less clear is the need to maintain adjacent tableland succesional areas while allowing uncontrolled urban expansion on active agricultural land that may be more ecologically "strategic" for regional processes. One "place" (with existing vegetation) takes precedence over another (which may be visually sterile) without consideration of the species or lands carrying out critical transfers of materials through the region. There is clearly a need to re-define the application of ecological sciences in traditional resource management and land use fields.


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Rowe, J. S. 2001. In search of intelligent life. Conservation Ecology 5(2): r3. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/Journal/vol5/iss2/resp3

Address of Correspondent:
Kevin Trimble
206-160 Research Lane
University of Guelph Research Park
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1G 5B2
Phone: 519-829-2518 (ext 402)

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