An international research programme conducted approximately from 1966 to 1975 with the aim of understanding the dynamics of whole ecosystems from a range of world environments, e.g. desert and tropical rain forest. Objectives included the development of predictive mathematical models for ecosystem structure and function to help assess the effects of as yet unexperienced environmental impacts, as well as aiding the understanding of changes associated with past disruptions. Although not all the projects were equally successful and a complete reference set of models has not been produced and accepted, the models that do exist provide a rational basis for evaluating the likely consequences of proposed human interventions, for remedying the effects of previous human use of an area, and for adapting management systems to improve productivity and environmental quality.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.