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Global Networking for Science and Conservation

Ecological observations across multiple continents can give us insights into patterns and mechanisms that may allow for broad generalizations in ecology. In the book, Rafe and I discuss how data can come from everywhere and how networks of observers can really push the limits of ecology by using very simple observational protocols across multiple temporal and spatial scales. International networking can also help us to face the many challenges of global change using local information in a global context. I think one successful example of these broad global approaches has been the Mountain Invasion Research Network (MIREN). MIREN was founded in 2005 as a group of researchers, including me, interested in basic and applied questions on plant invasion in mountains. Seven years later, MIREN has become an interesting example of international networking in ecology. It includes 11 regions and 38 researchers (see the map). Using simple observational and experimental approaches, MIREN has published several papers in internationally recognized journals (e.g. (Pauchard et al. 2009, Alexander et al. 2011, Seipel et al. 2012)and several book chapters. The network has also informed managers in several countries and has promoted preventive management in mountains globally (McDougall et al. 2011). Read more at Observation and Ecology