Dear colleagues and friends!
Establishment of our journal is caused by the necessity to promote solution of problems concerning interactions of men and the Nature. Modern features of the said interactions consist in simultaneous implementation of diametrically opposite approaches:
– on the one hand, a triumph of the consumer approach with its quintessence being a notion of ecosystem services: the Nature is our servant??!!
– on the other hand, a mounting understanding of a harmful effect of men on the Nature on a global scale during the most part of the Holocene:
- an anthropogenic cause of changes of climate, hydrological regime and natural zonality;
- termination of heterogeneity of natural ecosystems and their substitution by homogeneous ecosystems, incapable of self-sustaining;
- catastrophic decline of species diversity and soil fertility;
- mass dissemination of fungal, viral and other lesions etc.
A long-term monitoring even of protected territories shows that introduction of the reserve status in many of them is unable to prevent further species and structural diversity losses.
Recognition of a need for revision in principle of nature management and preservation methods is taking place in an extremely complicated period of natural sciences development.
The modern stage is characterized by a more profound learning of structural and functional organization of life at the molecular and genetic level in combination with an acute lack of system-forming conceptions at higher hierarchical levels. Of greatest concern is the ecosystem level, displaying no significant advancement in understanding and reconstruction of the natural structural and functional organization of ecosystems and their complexes. At the same time, it appears to be a necessary basis for evaluation of opportunities of modern anthropogenically modified ecosystems to perform ecosystem functions of the biosphere, i.e. to provide stable existence of civilizations.
A complex nature of cognition of ecosystem objects development and functioning laws is stipulated by a great difficulty of cognition in general, as well as by an incomplete process of paradigm shift in natural sciences in principle. Theoretical conceptions about a monovariant, precisely organized and strictly determined world of living creatures (the organismism paradigm), realized in the form of systems of methods, were substituted already in the XX century by conceptions about a polyvariant, hierarchically organized, infinitely dynamic and probabilistic world (the living cover continuity paradigm, the system paradigm, the population paradigm). Due to the said methods, the ones developed previously are incapable of solving modern problems.
As for the problems of interaction of men and the Nature, the following conclusion, obtained following the above mentioned paradigms, appears to be the most significant: the ecosystem Biota (and Biospheres in general) without any anthropogenic disturbances and natural disasters acts as an active transformer of climate, hydrological regime, as a creator of soil fertility and full implementation of other ecosystem functions of the biosphere. However, the absolutely new cognition approaches and methods are quite far from being perfect, as well as they are used not extensively enough. This fact to a great extent determines imperfection of cognition depth of objects of the ecosystem level.
There is another fundamental circumstance interfering with solution of the problem of interaction between men and the Nature: a lack of coordinated research of the modern biota and abiotic components simultaneously with paleontological, archeological, historical-archival research of the same territory. Such type of system research with one or another probability will enable to reconstruct the history of biota transformation at various stages of the Anthropogene and to evaluate the level of natural biota preservation and losses.
It is this type of research that will allow to estimate opportunities of the modern biota (at local, regional and global levels) to realize main ecosystem functions of the biosphere and to develop means of restoration thereof.
Through the establishment of our journal we hope to draw attention of researchers to solution of the above-mentioned problem. We invite those who desire to share research experience, to discuss and to jointly solve urgent problems. We are to actively promote various approaches and methods of researching ecosystems and modeling of their natural conditions, methods of restoration of main ecosystem functions.
The webpage of our journal will include informative and educational materials for pupils, students, graduate students and for everyone interested, as well as results of experiments in natural diversity restoration.