Skip to Main Content
A conceptual framework for the study of human ecosystems in urban areasAuthor(s): Steward T.A. Pickett; William R. Burch; Shawn E. Dalton; Timothy W. Foresman; J. Morgan Grove; Rowan Rowntree
Source: Urban Ecosystems. 1: 185-199.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (430.42 KB)
DescriptionThe need for integrated concepts, capable of satisfying natural and social scientists and supporting integrated research, motivates a conceptual framework for understanding the role of humans in ecosystems. The question is how to add humans to the ecological models used to understand urban ecosystems. The ecosystem concept can serve as the basis, but specific social attributes of humans and their institutions must be added. Learning and feedback between the human and natural components of urban ecosystems are key attributes of the integrated model. Parallels with familiar ecological approaches can help in understanding the ecology of urban ecosystems. These include the role of spatial heterogeneity and organizational hierarchies in both the social and natural components of urban ecosystems. Although urban watersheds are commonly highly altered, the watershed approach can serve as a spatial basis for organizing comparative studies of ecosystems exhibiting differing degrees of urbanization. The watershed concept can also spatially organize the hierarchically scaled linkages by which the integrated human ecosystem model can be applied. The study of urban ecosystems is a relatively new field, and the questions suggested by the integrated framework can be used to frame ecosystem research in and associated with urban and metropolitan areas.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPickett, Steward T.A.; Burch, William R., Jr.; Dalton, Shawn E.; Foresman, Timothy W.; Grove, J. Morgan; Rowntree, Rowan. 1997. A conceptual framework for the study of human ecosystems in urban areas. Urban Ecosystems. 1: 185-199.
Keywordsurban ecosystems, human ecology, human ecosystem, patch dynamics, gradient analysis
- Exploring connections between trees and human health
- Humans in changing shrubland ecosystems
- Grizzly bears as a filter for human use management in Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks
XML: View XML