Introduction: Ecological Knowledge, Theory and Information in Space and Time

  • Samuel A. Cushman
  • Falk Huettmann


A central theme of this book is that there is a strong mutual dependence between explanatory theory, available data and analytical method in determining the lurching progress of ecological knowledge (Fig. 1.1). The two central arguments are first that limits in each of theory, data and method have continuously constrained advances in understanding ecological systems and second that recent revolutionary advances in data and method are enabling unprecedented expansion of ecological investigation into areas of inquiry previously unapproachable due to lack of fine-detail, broad scale data on environmental conditions, the distribution and performance of organisms, the lack of sufficient computational power to process and analyze such voluminous data sets, and inadequate analytical tools to investigate pattern—process relationships among many interacting entities over large, spatially complex landscapes.


Global Position System Global Sustainability Process Relationship International Polar Year Biodiversity Informatics 
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