We can enhance our efforts to focus on the time period that includes human presence on the landscape, and to characterize how past human manipulations continue to influence the critical zone. Second, KRX-0401 in vitro we can apply our
knowledge of connectivity, inequality, and thresholds to landscape and ecosystem management. I use management here to refer to coordinated and directed actions, rooted in scientific understanding, that are designed to maintain or enhance the integrity and sustainability of a landscape or ecosystem. This form of management contrasts with individualistic, narrowly focused manipulation of landscapes and ecosystems designed for immediate survival or economic profit, which characterizes most of human history. On the one hand, I am uncomfortable with the notion of management and the underlying hubris, because I see so much evidence that we cannot or do not intelligently or sustainably manage highly complex landscapes and ecosystems. On the other hand, we have been manipulating landscapes and ecosystems for millennia, and our manipulations will only continue to accelerate as human populations and access to technology increase. So, we might as well attempt to improve our management. Among the ways to improve management are to emphasize adaptive management (Walters, 1986), which
involves selleck screening library monitoring system response to specific human manipulation and, if necessary, altering manipulation to obtain desired outcomes. Another obvious improvement would be to practice integrated management that considers, for example, not only how a proposed dam will alter hydroelectric power generation and river navigation, but also river connectivity, biological connectivity, sustainability of riverine and nearshore ecosystems, and so forth. Adaptive and integrated management can be most effective if underpinned by a conceptual framework that includes
fundamental geomorphic concepts such as feedbacks Casein kinase 1 and thresholds (e.g., Florsheim et al., 2006, Shafroth et al., 2010 and Chin et al., in press). Finally, geomorphologists can quantify thresholds, alternative stable states of a landscape, landscape resilience, and critical zone integrity. To return to the beaver meadow example, the input of ecologists is needed to specify parameters such as minimum water table elevation to sustain willows, minimum food supply to sustain each beaver, and minimum genetically sustainable populations of beaver. Geomorphologists can quantify the channel obstructions and channel-floodplain connectivity necessary to maintain an anabranching channel planform, or the differences in overbank deposition rates of fine sediment and organic matter under single-thread versus multi-thread channel planforms. Quantitative thresholds can provide targets that management actions are designed to achieve, as when environmental flow regimes are designed around exceeding thresholds such as mobilizing bed sediments or creating overbank flows (Rathburn et al.