Both frequency and intensity of disturbances in many ecosystems have been greatly enhanced by increasing human activities. As a consequence, the short-lived plant species including many exotics might have been dramatically increased in term of both richness and abundance on our planet while many long-lived species might have been lost. Such conclusions can be drawn from broadly observed successional cycles in both theoretical and empirical studies. This article discusses two major issues that have been largely overlooked in current ecosystem management policies and conservation efforts, i.e., life history constraints and future global warming trends. It also addresses the importance of these two factors in balancing disturbance frequency and intensity for optimal biodiversity maintenance and ecosystem management.
Additional Publication Details
Disturbance, life history, and optimal management for biodiversity