Ecology (1) - Ecological Processes: The Planet's Life...

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1 Ecological Processes: The Planet's Life Support System Environmental Sustainability Educational Resources prepared by Gregory A. Keoleian Associate Research Scientist, School of Natural Resources and Environment Co-Director , Center for Sustainable Systems University of Michigan
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2 Contents Percent of Species at Risk of Extinction [slide 3] Ecology Definition [slide 4] Ecosystem Definition [slide 5] Definition of the Precautionary Principle [slide 6] Ecosystem Services [slide 7-8] What are ecosystems worth [slide 9-14] Biosphere 2 [slide 15-16] Ecosystem threats [slide 17-18] Endangered Species [slide 19-20] Exotic Species [slide 21-26] Carrying Capacity, Population and Ecological Footprint [slide 27-30] Ecological Engineering [slide 31-32] Additional Resources [slide 33-34]
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3
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4 Ecology Definition “Ecology is the scientific discipline that is concerned with the relationships between organisms and their past, present, and future environments.” Source: Ecological Society of America
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5 Other Definitions Ecosystem any geographic area that includes all of the organisms and nonliving parts of their physical environment. Biodiversity Biological diversity, or biodiversity for short, refers to the variety of life forms at all levels of organization, from the molecular to the landscape level.
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6 *Definition of the Precautionary Principle Asserts there is a 'premium' on a cautious and conservative approach to human interventions in the natural environment where our understanding of the likely consequences is limited and there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to natural systems and processes. (As noted by Myers 1993 in Barbier, Burgess and Folke 1994, 172).
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7 Ecosystems Services (1 of 2 slides) moderate weather extremes and their impacts disperse seeds mitigate drought and floods protect people from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays cycle and move nutrients protect stream and river channels and coastal shores from erosion detoxify and decompose wastes
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8 Ecosystems Services (2 of 2 slides) control the vast majority of agricultural pests
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Ecology (1) - Ecological Processes: The Planet's Life...

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