Global Ecological Problems

Global-scale environmental problems are rarely regarded as amenable to traditional scientific experiment. We argue here that small-scale experiments using ‘model organisms’ in microcosms or mesocosms can be a useful approach for apparently intractable global problems, such as ecosystem responses to climate change or managing biodiversity through the design of nature reserves. An experimental, small-scale research programme can easily be coupled with the development of theory and act as a stimulus to further research, thereby hastening both understanding of the issues and development of practical solutions. This process – from microcosm experiment to the development of practical application – has previously been influential but also has a long time lag. We suggest short-cuts in an attempt to stimulate the use of small-scale experiments to address globally urgent issues with meaningful policy implications.

Global Environmental Problems

Current Ecological Problems

Ecological Problems