Balkanized Research in Ecological Engineering Revealed by a Bibliometric Analysis of Earthworms and Ecosystem ServicesReport as inadecuate




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1 Bioemco - Biogéochimie et écologie des milieux continentaux 2 ECOBIO - Ecosystèmes, biodiversité, évolution Rennes 3 UR EMGR - Ecosystèmes montagnards

Abstract : Energy crisis, climate changes, and biodiversity losses have reinforced the drive for more ecologically based approaches for environmental management. Such approaches are characterized by the use of organisms rather than energy-consuming technologies. Although earthworms are believed to be potentially useful organisms for managing ecosystem services, there is actually no quantification of such a trend in literature. This bibliometric analysis aimed to measure the evolution of the association of -earthworms- and other terms such as ecosystem services primary production, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil structure, and pollution remediation -ecological engineering- or -biodiversity,- to assess their convergence or divergence through time. In this aim, we calculated the similarity index, an indicator of the paradigmatic proximity defined in applied epistemology, for each year between 1900 and 2009. We documented the scientific fields and the geographical origins of the studies, as well as the land uses, and compare these characteristics with a 25 years old review on earthworm management. The association of earthworm related keywords with ecosystem services related keywords was increasing with time, reflecting the growing interest in earthworm use in biodiversity and ecosystem services management. Conversely, no significant increase in the association between earthworms and disciplines such as ecological engineering or restoration ecology was observed. This demonstrated that general ecologically-based approaches have yet to emerge and that there is little exchange of knowledge, methods or concepts among balkanized application realms. Nevertheless, there is a strong need for crossing the frontiers between fields of application and for developing an umbrella discipline to provide a framework for the use of organisms to manage ecosystem services.

Keywords : Bibliometric analysis Biodiversity Earthworms Ecological engineering Ecosystem services Similarity index





Author: Manuel Blouin - Nicolas Sery - Daniel Cluzeau - Jean-Jacques Brun - Alain Bédécarrats -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/



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