Ecology has emerged from being a predominantly descriptive subject to one with a substantial theoretical framework underpinned by evidence from experiments. In this advance, improved technology has undoubtedly played a significant role - few ecologists could operate without a computer to hand and many branches of the subject require very sophisticated instrumentation. This period has also seen much greater precision in the formation of hypotheses, a more general search for mechanisms increasing integration with other disciplines and increasing demands for applications of the lessons learned. In light of the progress made in ecology, and widening public recognition of the problems to be solved, the future looks very promising. This volume considers the most fruitful current approaches and technologies, determining the major obstacles and reviewing the most likely profitable lines of advance.
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