This volume had its origins just after we published our joint paper on pattern-based policy (Belgrano and Fowler 2008). We were approached by Cambridge University Press with the proposal to publish a book on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management in marine systems. In agreeing to do so, the title we proposed was: “Ecosystem-based Management for Fisheries: Linking Patterns to Policy.” To achieve holism, the mission of being interdisciplinary has been stressed throughout a growing body of literature that presents tenets, pillars, or commandments to which management should adhere. We both had an abiding interest in macroecology. It seemed time to weave macroecology into the folds of management in what we referred to as “pattern-based” management, or systemic management, wherein deviations or abnormality observed in macroecological patterns serves as the basis for restorative action, or standards for sustainable human interactions with the non-human. Management involves maintaining such sustainability. With this in mind, our plan was to produce an edited volume that would add macroecology to the other disciplines that were already being seriously considered. We circulated our proposal to prospective authors, stressing the objective of making use of macroecological patterns. We hoped to have chapters broadly representative – geographically, scientifically, and across the spectrum of academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations and authorship.
The chapters that materialized accomplished many of these objectives. We fell short, however, in the objective of having a book in which most, or all, chapters dealt directly with macroecological patterns – particularly as they can be used in management.