Applied (meta)community ecology: diversity and ecosystem services at the intersection of local and regional processes
It is argued that community ecology should provide useful knowledge for managing ecological interactions and biological resources sustainably. In the context of managing biodiversity and ecosystem services in human-dominated landscapes, a theoretical and historical background to metacommunity ecology (Chapter 5) is presented and some case studies showing the interplay between theory and applied questions in agricultural landscape ecology are discussed. Several expectations from metacommunity theory on the effects of land use intensification are suggested, based on the fact that both local and regional processes are important for diversity and ecosystem functioning. Some rules of thumb for landscape management based on metacommunity theory and empirical studies are suggested: maintain local conditions by management; manage whole landscapes and not only single patches; maintain diversity of local conditions in region; maintain connections between patches without homogenizing landscape; maintain disturbance regimes close to natural.
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