Integrating Ecology and Environmental Ethics: Earth Stewardship in the Southern End of the Americas

Articles

Integrating Ecology and
Environmental Ethics: Earth
Stewardship in the Southern End
of the Americas
RICARDO ROZZI, JUAN J. ARMESTO, JULIO R. GUTIERREZ, FRANCISCA MASSARDO, GENE E. LIKENS,
CHRISTOPHER B. ANDERSON, ALEXANDRIA POOLE, KELLI P MOSES, EUGENE HARGROVE, ANDRES O. MANSILLA,
JAMES H. KENNEDY, MARY WILLSON, KURT JAX, CLIVE G. JONES, J. BAIRD CALLICOTT, AND MARY T. K. ARROYO
The South American temperate and sub-Antarctic forests cover the longest latitudinal range in the Southern Hemisphere and include the
world's southernmost forests. However, until now, this unique biome has been absent from global ecosystem research and monitoring networks.
Moreover, the latitudinal range of between 40 degrees (o) south (S) and 60 S constitutes a conspicuous gap in the International Long-Term
Ecological Research (ILTER) and other international networks. We first identify 10 globally salient attributes of biological and cultural diver-
sity in southwestern South America. We then present the nascent Chilean Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) network, which
will incorporate a new biome into ILTER. Finally, we introduce the field environmental philosophy methodology, developed by the Chilean
LTSER network to integrate ecological sciences and environmental ethics into graduate education and biocultural conservation. This approach
broadens the prevailing economic spectrum of social dimensions considered by LTSER programs and helps foster bioculturally diverse forms
of Earth stewardship.
Keywords: conservation, temperate forests, sub-Antarctic ecoregion, long-term ecological research, field stations

At the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first
century, the Ecological Society of America has proposed
a framework for Earth stewardship as a means of engaging
science and society in rapidly reducing the rates of anthro-
pogenic damage to the biosphere (Power and Chapin 2009,
Chapin et al. 2011). This call for action presents two major
challenges for ecologists.
First, linking global phenomena with regional biocul-
tural heterogeneity requires that researchers adopt inter-
disciplinary and international approaches and that they
make use of ecological observatories and field stations to
conduct long-term research in diverse regions of the planet
(Palmer et al. 2005, Porter JH et al. 2009). However, such
global monitoring efforts are still constrained by major
geographical gaps: Ecological studies and environmental
observatories have until now overlooked some regions of
the Earth that have ecological attributes that are essential
to the functioning of the biosphere as a whole (Lawler
et al. 2006), and that are inhabited by cultures with unique
forms of ecological knowledge and sustainable lifestyles
(Callicott 1994).

Second, according to Power and Chapin (2009), in order
to be stewards, "ecologists are obliged to be among the
leaders who will define society's path to planetary steward-
ship" (p. 399). This calls for scientists to integrate social
and cultural dimensions into their research. However, to
achieve such integration, ecologists must bridge a major
conceptual gap: Long-term socioecological research pro-
grams have mostly emphasized economic values while the
broader dimensions of ethics have been overlooked (Rozzi
et al. 2010a).
In this article, we address the geographical and conceptual
gaps by (a) introducing the recently created Long-Term
Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) network in Chile
and linking it to the International Long-Term Ecological
Research (ILTER) network, thus adding a new biome to this
planetary network-the South American temperate forests;
(b) introducing the methodology of field environmental
philosophy (FEP), which integrates ecological sciences and
environmental ethics into biocultural conservation, thus
offering an innovative methodology that contributes to the
implementation of Earth stewardship.

BioScience 62: 226-236. ISSN 0006-3568, electronic ISSN 1525-3244. 2012 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request
permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/
reprintinfo.asp. doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.3.4

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Rozzi, Ricardo, 1960-; Armesto, Juan J., 1953-; Gutiérrez, Julio R., 1953-; Massardo, Francisca; Likens, Gene E., 1935-; Anderson, Christopher B. et al. Integrating Ecology and Environmental Ethics: Earth Stewardship in the Southern End of the Americas. [Reston, Virginia]. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130199/. Accessed July 29, 2014.