PerspectiveEcology

The Heartbeat of Ecosystems

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6087, pp. 1393-1394
DOI: 10.1126/science.1223250

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

People generally equate health with a long and active life, but when it comes to ecosystems there is no agreement on what it means to be healthy. On page 1438 of this issue, Woodward et al. (1) show that different conclusions on the health of stream ecosystems can be reached depending on which combinations of metrics are used to assess them. The work points to an urgent need for a general framework for assessing ecosystem health.