Questions related to Ecological Processes
for my master thesis I am searching for contemporary Research Questions adressing sustainable design of companies and or municipalities.
Also I am searching for a supervisor with experience in this field, interested to accompany on this journey.
I am a frelance educator, currently teaching permaculture design and Social-Ecological Systems in an adult education centre in Northern Germany. I also do a master degree in Global Change Geography, have a background in anthropology. In another study programme I studied Design for Sustainability, applying Whole-Systems Design in creating community projects using holistic design tools (such as permaculture design, ecovillage design).
Below my idea and thought.
Happy to hear any suggestions, feedback.
One question that interests me is: 'Ecology in decision making: A cultural-ecology perspective in e.g.
* small and medium-sized companies in Germany/Switzerland
* municipal politicians
What is the level of understanding on ecology and ecosystem services (regulating, supporting) in municipal decision makers / small and medium-sized company leaders and to what extend do environmental aspects of regeneration and sustainability influence their decisions?
Decision makers are mainly grounded in law and economics. This one-sided education does not meet the necessary skills decision makers need, in times of ecological collapse and climate change. To properly address the environmental challenges (e.g. the planetary boundaries framework) more decision makers need a certain basic understanding of ecological processes and systems thinking, in order to a) better understand the complex ecological processes in landscapes and how human structures interfere with the health of ecosystems, and b) understand the far reching consequences of the interdependencies of the extractive economy and unsustainable development of munipalities on environmental processes.
Decisions that support a growth-economy and those continuing with the fragmentation of landscapes - as is the case of the federal road through the landscape reserve in the south of Hannover - show that local decisions are not made based on the scientific understanding of the severeness of a threatened biosphere integrity and its implications on climate change, water safety and other planetary boundaries.
It is known that, in terms of landscape and urban development, our society needs to make certain changes (e.g. green infrastructure, reduced fragmentation, soil protection and regeneration, protection of forests, etc.) in order to protect the biosphere integrity, which - according to Stefan et al. (2015) - is the foundation of all other 8 Planetary boundaries including climate change, and is highly at risk of collapse.
Through a questionnaire with decision makers, their understanding of regulating and supporting ecosystem services and systems thinking capacity will be acquired and one scenario concerning decisions of ecological importance will be played through.
Part of the participants will join a workshop communicating basic understandings of PBs and ecological design practices before going through a second scenario a few weeks after the education intervention.
Population growth is a very important parameter in ecological research and laboratory modeling. Even if you find the optimum conditions and nutrition media for an unidentified nematode species, the rate of growth (in pertdishes) is so variable, that you cannot construct the working prediction model. Now I work with nematodes, panagrolaims and didlogastrids from bark of deciduous trees, and I define the single generation cycle time and a fecundity rate (egg laying) per female. However, the futher calculations do not correspond the values which I obtained for the populations as a whole, in the same petridishes. Therefore it is not easy to use the formula for the real ecological processes in the detritus food web. Do you know some publications with right approach to obtain the population growth formula?
Lettuce, spinach and more leafy greens become more palatable to consumers because they increase their concentration in simple sugars, when exposed to cold temperature. I would like to better understand (if this is correct) the physiology and ecology of this process. Thank You.
I would like to know whether the leaf area index is the best method to assess effect of light on natural regeneration in tropical dry forest.
Here’s a convoluted question. First some back-ground.
Over the last 20+ years, we (Indiana TNC) have planted a 2,500+ acres of forest on ex-agricultural land across Indiana (USA). In all cases, these forest restorations were performed to restore ecological processes (primarily nutrient removal from surface water and to increase groundwater recharge rates) or to buffer biodiversity conservation areas (primarily by reducing edge to volume ratios in fragmented landscapes). I want to understand if carbon sequestration creates “added value” that can be used to further justify this rather expensive program.
Without investing in new data collection – I’m looking for approaches that will get me reasonable sequestration estimates for these projects.
How would you approach this?
Information that I have in hand includes precise acreages planted – date of planting, planting densities, species mixes and we can probably get soil type easily. I also have solid estimates of “standing biomass” for all forest types across the state (note that these do not include below-ground biomass estimates). From this data, I can get above-ground estimates for “mature” forest (~80 years old).
What I’m really missing is below ground biomass estimates and accumulation rates, and accumulation rates in general during the initial decades of forest establishment. And then, ideas on how to apply such info to my specific plantings….
I’m looking for your good ideas on how to approach this (in other words, if you’re just trying to impact your scores – stick a sock in it).
What kind of software do you employ for this purpose? Does anybody use software from HEC-RAS package? I focuse on flood plain scale in big river valleys and impact of river regime on the valleys' forests.
The question revolves around the concept of acidification of estuaries, as an ecological process which may be induced by human activities. In tropical conditions, high rainfall, heat and high primary production and specific geological settings may determine soil acidic conditions, which may control relatively low pH conditions in estuaries (i.e., in the lower tract of hydrogeographic basins). I am looking for the available literature and an overview/discussion on the state of art of this topic.
Surface runoff may response quickly to rainfall, evapotranspiration may be different from day to day, groundwater may change slowly, vegetation growth also changes slowly. Could I set a fixed time step value for different processes in a given region in an integrated ecohydrology model? How to do this and what do I need to limit these values?
The distribution of soils on the earth shows a highly heterogeneity. The depth of covered soils directly affects a series of hydrological and ecological processes. I would like to know the typical regions that covered by deep soil, especially deeper than 5 m. The Chinese Loess Plateau is a good example.