Document Detail

Rapid recovery of damaged ecosystems.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19440329     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
BACKGROUND: Recent reports on the state of the global environment provide evidence that humankind is inflicting great damage to the very ecosystems that support human livelihoods. The reports further predict that ecosystems will take centuries to recover from damages if they recover at all. Accordingly, there is despair that we are passing on a legacy of irreparable damage to future generations which is entirely inconsistent with principles of sustainability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We tested the prediction of irreparable harm using a synthesis of recovery times compiled from 240 independent studies reported in the scientific literature. We provide startling evidence that most ecosystems globally can, given human will, recover from very major perturbations on timescales of decades to half-centuries. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS: Accordingly, we find much hope that humankind can transition to more sustainable use of ecosystems.
Holly P Jones; Oswald J Schmitz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2009-05-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  PLoS ONE     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2009  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-05-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS ONE     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e5653     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
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