by , 01 September 2011
This week in Science, Shahid Naeem reviews two books (paywall) about modern, “novel” ecosystems, which humans have created by mixing together species that never evolved together. He wonders, are such systems Frankensteins?
Modern ecosystems that are haphazardly assembled from the remains of human development are unpredictable and fragile. With one billion people hungry, two billion poor and three billion in desperate need of water, the hopes of humanity rest on conserving, restoring and sustainably managing the services that nature provides. The bigger question is whether the unnatural nature that we have wrought, although familiar in form and function, will save us or prove to be monstrous.