Implementing ecosystem management: Using multiple boundaries for organizing information
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Implementing ecosystem management requires learning to work with multiple factors, at multiple scales, using multiple boundaries and borders for organizing information. Traditional approaches often oversimplified information collection and analyses by relying on a limited set of classifications and information constructs. Experience has consistently shown that attempting to constrain analyses and assessments to one or a few organizing systems and related boundaries results in less than satisfactory information to support an ecological approach. Debates over which boundaries or borders are best and should therefore be the organizing device for ecosystem management are not useful or constructive. A more useful question is which set ecological approaches and their related boundaries provide the best information to address the resource issues at a particular time and place. Multiple boundaries, scales and factors increase the complexity of ecosystem management, but also represent an essential component for improved understanding of the sustainable management of lands and resources.