Document Detail


The importance of human ecology at the threshold of the next millennium: how can population growth be stopped?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10501689     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Ecology is defined as the set of complex interactions between the biotic and abiotic environments. Human ecology concerns principally the population ecology "only" of Homo sapiens, but it also includes all aspects of global ecology because humans are the most important species. Human demography is characterized by a recent decline in mortality and fertility rates. These demographic transitions have largely been completed in industrialized countries, but not in the 140 developing countries. Approximately 100 countries are following the same demographic pattern as industrialized countries, however with a time delay of several generations. China has effectively reduced its population increase by means that would be unacceptable in Western democracies. Some 44 developing countries still show increasing population growth and no detectable demographic transition in birth rate. Thus one part of the world shows limited (and, in the long run, shrinking) population growth, and another continues with a strong increase. All populations are limited in their development by their sustainability by their environment, for example, food and energy resources, and the extent of pollution which the use of these resources produces. It is argued that in the case of human population the limits of sustainability have already been reached with the 6 billion humans alive today, since at least 20% of these suffer from hunger, natural resources are overexploited, and biodiversity is threatened. In the coming 200 years it is more likely that the total population will substantially oscillate rather than approach the predicted 12 billion. The most important goal of human ecology should therefore be to slow population growth as far as possible.
Authors:
W Nentwig
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Die Naturwissenschaften     Volume:  86     ISSN:  0028-1042     ISO Abbreviation:  Naturwissenschaften     Publication Date:  1999 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-11-17     Completed Date:  1999-11-17     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400767     Medline TA:  Naturwissenschaften     Country:  GERMANY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  411-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Zoological Institute, University of Berne, Baltzerstrasse 3, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland. wolfgang.nentwig@zos.unibe.ch
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Demography
Ecology
Ecosystem*
Humans
Population Control / methods,  trends*
Population Growth*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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