CURRENT ISSUES OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH
Ecosystems are increasingly impacted by human activities to a point that some boundaries for the sustainability of ecosystem services are or will be transgressed. Nine boundaries have been identified (Rockström et al. Nature 461, 472-475, 2009) : climate change, land use change, loss of biological diversity, biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and phosphorus cycles, global fresh water use, chemical pollution, atmospheric aerosol loading, ocean acidification and stratospheric ozone. It is estimated that humanity has already transgressed three of these planetary boundaries : for climate change, rate of biodiversity loss, and changes to the global nitrogen cycle.
It is then urgent to develop a thorough understanding of the mechanisms behind ecosystem services and their controls in order to better predict rates of future changes and to develop mitigation or adaptation scenarios. However, the research community on terrestrial ecosystems is currently very fragmented due to difficulties inherent to the ecosystem and environment sciences, which are :