Seminar: Ecosystem-based Conservation Planning with Herb Hammond

April 8, 2009 - 3:00pm

Ecosystem-based Conservation Planning to maintain ecological integrity in the boreal forest

Presented by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Environmental Research & Studies Centre


Maintaining ecological integrity requires maintaining the natural assemblages of species and ecological processes across the range of spatial and temporal scales. Natural reflects pre-industrial ecological conditions, and includes Indigenous management systems. Ecosystem-based conservation planning defines ecological limits, which are a practical application of the precautionary principle. Ecological limits constitute thresholds past which perturbations from human activities are outside of the range of natural variability. Exceeding ecological limits results in fundamental change to ecosystems, not fluctuations within ecosystem composition, structure, and function as those caused by natural disturbances. Ecological limits are defined for both physical and biological parameters.

Designation of networks of ecological reserves at multiple spatial scales is the technique used to maintain ecological integrity across spatial scales. Ecological reserves at the subregion/territory—large landscape scale provide core reserves that are large enough to withstand large natural disturbances, while retaining sufficient pre-disturbance composition, structure, and function to re-establish natural conditions through successional pathways following the disturbance. Core reserves and additional reserves at finer planning scales, along with plans that span ecological time frames, are important ways that ecosystem-based conservation planning maintains ecological integrity across temporal scales.

Designation of human use areas that balance both human and non-human use of ecosystems is the basis for diverse, sustainable economies.

For more information contact CPAWS at 780-432-0967.


M-137, Biological Sciences Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton , AB