F. Herbert Bormann (1922–2012)

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Science  03 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6094, pp. 534
DOI: 10.1126/science.1226088

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F. Herbert Bormann was a leading architect of our modern view of land ecosystems. At a time when ecology was largely concerned with individual species in local environments, Bormann and his collaborators proposed that nature can be rigorously understood as an integrated whole by measuring how entire ecosystems of interacting species cycle nutrients and minerals at the scale of forested watersheds. The result—the small watershed ecosystem approach—has since grown into a leading tool for understanding how complex land ecosystems function in the biosphere and how these systems are affected by stresses such as air pollution or climate change.