Vernal pools are far more important for providing ecosystem services than one would predict based on their small size. However, prevailing resource-management strategies are not effectively conserving pools and other small natural features on private lands. Solutions are complicated by tensions between private property and societal rights, uncertainties over resource location and function, diverse stakeholders, and fragmented regulatory authority. The development and testing of new conservation approaches that link scientific knowledge, stakeholder decision-making, and conservation outcomes are important responses to this conservation dilemma. Drawing from a 15-y history of vernal pool conservation efforts in Maine, we describe the co-evolution of pool conservation and research approaches, focusing on how research-based knowledge was produced and used in support of management decisions.
To read full article see: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/02/1323606111