External threats to ecosystems of US national parks
Department of Biological Sciences
Activities beyond national park boundaries are now the principal source of threats to park natural resource integrity. Assessing the full impact of major threats as air and water pollution requires a long-term ecosystem-level approach in research design and execution, and park management. Failure to take such an approach renders most existing park data bases useless in the documentation of external threats. While the concept of managing national parks as ecosystems is not new, Park Service research and its organization have not provided the information necessary for such a basis of management. Quantifying the impacts on park resources due to external hydrologic regulation and air pollution is a good example of the need to employ an ecosystem approach in research. However, implementing such a program will require a fundamental change in research administration, priority setting, and conceptual approach.
External threats to ecosystems of US national parks.
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