The major research theme of the EECRG is to study ecological and environmental change over a range of temporal (10-10000 years) and spatial scales (small areas to continents). It attempts to set contemporary ecological and environmental patterns and processes in the context of longer time-scale variability. Its primary goal is 'to reconstruct the past, study the present, and model the future' and to study, quantify, and understand the natural variability of ecosystems and the environment and the multi-layered and ever-increasing impact of human activity on ecosystems. There are strong quantitative and qualitative components, close interactions between modern ecological research, cultural landscape ecology, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatological studies, and predictive modelling and spatial approaches, and major links between 'pure' and 'applied' science and societal and nature conservation concerns.

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