Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Subjective Selves, Moral Agents, and Legal Subjects
Both law and the moral/political philosophy on which it is built pre-suppose certain views in psychology. These are fundamental views about who we are as persons, as moral agents, and as legal subjects. Much of our political philosophy and our legal institutions depend on these views being true of us; indeed much that we value in ourselves seems indefensible without these views being true. Yet the rise of cognitive science in general, and neuroscience in particular, is commonly taken to undermine these views. We thus need to assess whether this is true, either now given the present state of neuroscience, or in the future given what foreseeably may be developed by that science. The aim of this paper is to lay the groundwork for such an assessment by isolating as clearly as possible both what in our legal/political institutions is challenged by neuroscience, and what in neuroscience is doing the challenging. In particular I shall seek to clarify the different challenges that arise from work in neuroscience, for only when such challenges are distinguished, one from the other, can one begin to assess whether they are true.
I shall begin by spelling out more completely the legal, moral, and psychological suppositions about persons that seem to be challenged by recent advances in the brain sciences. Then in the next section I shall lay out the challenges to this view presented by current neuroscience.
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