The ecosystem approach, because of its focus on the hierarchical level of organization above the population and the community, tends to emphasize macro-level processes such as trophic exchanges, nutrient cycling, and system maintenance. As a consequence past studies using an ecosystem perspective seemed to have a strong functionalist bent that overlooked historical and evolutionary considerations; witness the debate between “functionalists” and proponents of historical/evolutionary models (cf. Rappaport 1977; Diener et al. 1980). What fuels this debate is the underlying basis for their differences—the differing specificity of their levels of analysis disguised under the cover of “the ecosystem” as the unit of analysis.