The USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program seeks to assess the condition and trend of the
forests of the U.S. FIA recently assumed responsibility for all former Forest Health Monitoring program
(FHM) plot work on a national level, and is currently active in 32 states. Lichen community monitoring
was included in FIA in order to address key assessment issues such as the impact of air pollution on forest
resources, spatial and temporal trends in biodiversity, and the sustainability of timber harvesting.
This book is an introduction to the exciting new
field of ecological genomics, for use in MSc courses
and by those beginning their PhD studies.
When we became involved in a national research
programme on ecological genomics, or ecogenomics
as it became known, we realized that information
on this newly emerging subject needed to be
brought together. In order to start up a research
programme in such a new discipline, not only the
students, but also we as teachers, had to get to grips
with the subject.
For much of history, few things have mattered more to humans than their
relations with soil. This is evidenced by a rich historical literature on aspects
of soil management and soil fertility, dating back to texts of ancient
civilizations of the Middle East, the Mediterranean, China, and India
(see McNeill and Winiwarter 2004).
Late in the year 1970, a major turning point occurred in my scientific career: I joined
the staff of a federal fisheries research center at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. One of
the principal programs of that center was to examine the effects of coastal pollution
on productive systems of the oceans, especially effects on fish and shellfish resources.