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Chapter 7 -- Synthesizing an Ecosystem Restoration Strategy (continued)

Step 2 -- Organize Ecosystem Information and Identify Options

This step is comprised of assorted interdependent tasks that overlap and feedback in a rather disorderly non-linear process that is never finished. Information gathering and analysis should bear in mind a variety of principles and inclinations (Table 38).


Table 38. Guidelines for organizing and analyzing ecosystem information:


Strive to view and understand the system as a whole, including relationships between ecosystem processes, controlling influences, effects of human activities, and production of species beneficial to humans.


Identify assumptions, data gaps, areas of uncertainty, and research needs. Challenge conventional wisdom.


Search for new ways of monitoring ecosystem processes. Discover signals that provide an early warning of ecosystem problems, such as additional indicator species. Look for points of vulnerability and potential causes of collapse in the ecosystem.


Improve access to, exchange of, and application of information and knowledge.


Provide a "paper trail" to explain the reasoning that leads from data to decisions.


Record all intuitive understandings even those that are tenuous.


Assemble relevant references and abstracts into a bibliography.


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