Ecosystem Services 2011 - Biosphere 2 Ecosystem services...

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1 Ecosystem services and the value of the natural world Biosphere 2 7 different habitat types $200 million startup $1 million/year $143,000/month/person Sept 26, 1991 8 crew members 2-year period No contact with outside world System collapsed 1.5 yrs later • Hi nitrogen in water • Algal blooms killed fish • All pollinators died • Most other animals died • Crew turned to food stockpiles Atmospheric problems CO 2 levels rose dangerously O 2 fell from 21% to 14% Crew became fatigued and hungry
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2 Video 1: Jane Poynter Life inside Biosphere 2 Experiment demonstrated: • Not yet possible to sustain human life in engineered system • Ecosystems are complex and unpredictable • Humans are phenomenally dependent on ecosystem services Ecosystem services • Benefits provided by natural systems ‘free of charge’ • Increases incentive to preserve intact ecosystems Ecosystem services Supporting services Regulating services Provisioning services Cultural services
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3 NYC Municipal Watershed • Provided water to NYC – no filtration necessary for decades • 1990’s: water quality declined • EPA required either (1) build filtration plant ($6-8 billion + $300 million/yr, OR (2) restore the watershed = $1-1.5 billion NYC protected Catskills from development and farming NYC bought development rights to > 100,000 acres • Paid farmers not to farm/graze cattle near streams • Actions prevented need for costly filtration • One of 5 major US cities with no filtration plant 1. More water 2. Cleaner water Coweeta, GA Hydrologic Station Diverse forested
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This note was uploaded on 10/04/2011 for the course ECOL 1000 taught by Professor Altizer during the Fall '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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Ecosystem Services 2011 - Biosphere 2 Ecosystem services...

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