Back to Odum: Using Ecosystem Functional Measures in Stream Ecosystem Management
Ecosystem management, fast developing as a conceptual framework for modern resource management, presents an opportunity to develop and implement new tools to measure resource condition. Stream ecosystem ecologists have developed a number of techniques for measuring ecosystem function that can be adapted for use by resource managers. Among these are food web analysis, leaf decomposition, nutrient cycling, ecosystem metabolism, and stormwater response. This paper discusses these functional measures and how they can be used in Georgia to a) provide more information on stream condition, b) serve as robust indicators for rehabilitation success, and c) improve public interest in water quality. A simple cost analysis indicates that the price of some ecosystem functional measures is commensurate with current techniques.