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Designed ecosystem services: application of ecological principles in wastewater treatment engineering

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Graham


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Wastewater treatment engineering and ecology have complementary goals and need to interact much more closely. Wastewater engineers and ecologists share strong interests in the structure and function of biological communities, and yet they have not often engaged in extensive interdisciplinary dialog. Wastewater (bioprocess) engineers are focused upon the solution of practical environmental problems, and typically do not work forward from ecological principles in order to test specific theories. Ecologists, in contrast, historically have focused primarily on the collection and analysis of data in order to test explicit scientific hypotheses; it is only recently that their efforts have emphasized ecological applications as well. We encourage wastewater engineers to use the fundamentals of ecological theory to help guide future system design, and we urge ecologists to view engineered biosystems as valuable new platforms for ecological research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Graham DW, Smith VH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Year: 2004

Volume: 2

Issue: 4

Pages: 199-206

Print publication date: 01/05/2004

ISSN (print): 1540-9295

ISSN (electronic): 1540-9309

Publisher: Ecological Society of America


DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0199:DESAOE]2.0.CO;2


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