Global-scale coordinated networks as a tool for exploring the functioning of stream ecosystems

Boyero, Luz, and Pearson, Richard (2017) Global-scale coordinated networks as a tool for exploring the functioning of stream ecosystems. Limnetica, 36 (2). pp. 557-565.

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Individual ecological studies, although suitable for testing hypotheses and developing theory, provide site-or region-specific information that is difficult to extrapolate to provide broad generalizations. Today, emerging globally relevant questions (e.g., climate change, biodiversity loss, invasive species or habitat degradation) require a reconsideration of what approaches would be best for understanding large-scale ecological patterns and processes. A technique commonly used for this purpose is metaanalysis, a quantitative approach to reviewing, integrating, and summarizing large numbers of independent studies. However, the robustness of a meta-Analysis relies on the individual studies selected for inclusion, and issues of scale and methodology cannot be controlled retrospectively. An emerging, alternative approach is global-scale coordinated experiments, run in parallel by several research groups in multiple locations around the globe. These experiments have the advantage of addressing global problems and exploring general ecological theory, while offering the precision of controlled experiments. Here we review the existing global-scale experiments conducted by stream ecologists and discuss the potential of this type of study for developing ecological theory and advancing our understanding of stream ecosystem functioning.

Item ID: 54051
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0213-8409
Keywords: experimental manipulations; international collaboration; observational studies; spatial scale
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 04:13
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410403 Environmental education and extension @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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