CHAPTER 12 - CHAPTER 12 ECOSYSTEMS AS RESOURCES I Why Do We...

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CHAPTER 12 ECOSYSTEMS AS RESOURCES I. Why Do We Want to Use Resources Sustainably? A. Resources provided by ecosystems sustain life. B. There are a limited number of resources in an ecosystem. C. Ecosystems are limited in their ability to cycle resources. II. Ecosystems and Their Goods and Services A. The Goods (Resources) a. Wood: buildings, paper, furniture b. Food: meat, grains, vegetables, fruits, oils c. Minerals: phosphorus and nitrogen (for farming), copper (electrical wire), aluminum (cans, cars), iron, silver, gold, platinum, titanium d. Fuel: wood, petroleum, dung, alcohol e. Clothing: cotton, rayon, nylon, polyester, fur, leather f. Plastics: petroleum, trees (rayon) B. The Services 1. Maintenance of Hydrologic Cycle: water infiltrates soil and is absorbed by plants. Water evaporates from soil or evapotranspires from plants. Evaporated water condenses in the atmosphere and falls to the earth as precipitation. Flooding is prevented by the functioning of dynamic ecosystems because precipitation is absorbed by the ecosystem and slowly released. 2. Modification of Climate: Water absorbs a considerable amount of energy from the sun as it evaporates. This energy is released when the water condenses.
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Heat is moved around the planet in water. 3. Erosion Control and Soil Building: Plant and detritus control erosion by absorbing the impact of precipitation, and make a greater surface area available for the absorption of water. Plants, animals, and microorganisms found in terrestrial ecosystems create soil. 4. Maintenance of Oxygen and Nitrogen Cycles: Photosynthesis releases oxygen. Nitrogen fixing microorganisms in the soil maintain soil fertility. 5. Waste Treatment: Water is a universal solvent. Many water-soluble pollutants (sediments, excess nutrients) are removed from the water in wetlands. 6. Transformation of Toxic Chemicals:
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course ENVIRONMEN 201 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at North South University.

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CHAPTER 12 - CHAPTER 12 ECOSYSTEMS AS RESOURCES I Why Do We...

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