This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  



Self-design is probably the most important ‘design concept’ incorporated into ecological engineering. It acknowledges that nature, through seed dispersal, bird migration, sediment dispersal, etc., is the chief contractor. Humans simply create a system that will allow nature to manifest itself. The following quotation from Mitsch and Jorgensen in 2003 illustrates these points:

Self-design and the related concept of self-organization must be understood as important properties of ecosystems in the context of their creation and restoration. Self-organization is the property of systems in general to reorganize themselves, given an environment that is inherently unstable and non-homogeneous. Self-organization manifests itself in microcosms and newly created ecosystems ‘showing that after the first period of competitive colonization, the species prevailing are those that reinforce other species through nutrient cycles, ...

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