Humans try to predict the timing and severity of disturbances to better reduce their negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, yet disturbances are an integral part of our lives. To survive, humans have adapted to disturbances that we cannot manage and manipulated those that we can. The recent and rapid growth of human populations has exacerbated interactions between humans and disturbances and made modern disaster management a necessary survival strategy. Expanding our knowledge about disturbance regimes (the sum of all disturbances at a given site) can help reduce future impacts. Wise stewardship of ecosystems includes conservation of natural areas and efficient restoration of ecosystems following a disturbance. It also includes managing the disturbance regime to maximize not just biodiversity or ecosystem services, but the particular use of a chosen parcel of land. This chapter first addresses historical management of disturbance through agriculture and aquaculture, then examines the goals and approaches of conservation and restoration.
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