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Predating definition of integrity

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The concept of ecological integrity is increasingly being used to guide monitoring efforts across North American public land agencies. We provide a history of this concept and outline its primary components on the basis of the scholarly literature. We then examine established structures Predating definition of integrity processes that incorporate the best available science, spatial and temporal concerns, and management relevance into frameworks for measuring and reporting on ecological integrity.

To understand how this is applied in practice, we provide examples from two land-management Predating definition of integrity in North America that have used ecological integrity as a concept to organize their monitoring programs. Laws, agency guidance, organizational structure, and collaborative processes strongly influence the outcomes of ecological integrity—monitoring programs. Further research in this area would be valuable to better understand how different types of land-management agencies can effectively monitor ecological integrity across various spatial and temporal scales and in the context of climate change.

Effectively monitoring and reporting on ecological conditions is a crucial component of natural-resource management. Tracking progress toward management goals requires a consistent monitoring program and the development of benchmarks and thresholds for assessing management actions on a continual basis Harwell et al.

For Predating definition of integrity, scholars have noted that ecosystem restoration, a current management priority in forested ecosystems in the United States and other parts of the world, requires rigorous monitoring of both short-term impacts and long-term effects Deluca et al.

A well-designed monitoring program can also help to detect trends in resource conditions, threats to resources, and the effectiveness of mitigation or adaptation strategies, both of which are important as resources are affected by climate change SpellerbergLarson et al. Increasingly, land-management agencies, often in response to new legal requirements, are employing the concept of ecological integrity to facilitate and structure their monitoring efforts. Internationally, the concept has been promoted and used as a guiding framework for restoration and monitoring efforts in protected areas Timko and InnisKeenleyside et al.

In North America, ecological integrity increasingly is being recognized as an appropriate framework for measuring and communicating progress toward conservation and restoration goals BarbourParrish et al. For instance, the US Forest Service uses ecological integrity as a concept to guide its assessment, land-use planning, and monitoring of forest ecosystems. It is important for managers and stakeholders to understand the scientific foundations of ecological integrity and to operationalize it in a way that captures the complexity of the concept and also is measurable, of relevance to managers, and can be understood and supported by stakeholders and the public.

Currently, literature on this topic is sparse, and managers are often left Predating definition of integrity their Predating definition of integrity devices for how to interpret and apply policies.

To support improved practice in light of new policy requirements, we conducted a review of the scientific literature defining ecological integrity and looked at strategies for identifying and prioritizing Predating definition of integrity objectives for ecological integrity and communicating outcomes. In particular, we describe the structures and processes that incorporate the best available science, spatial and temporal concerns, and social and managerial priorities into an operational framework for measuring and reporting on ecological integrity.

We also look at how the concept has been applied in practice by two land-management agencies in order to highlight the practical applications and tradeoffs that occur when organizations use different strategies for monitoring ecological integrity at multiple scales.