Rivers, streams and groundwater systems – replenished by rainfall – produce water that sustains all living things. Pollination allows fruit trees to produce fruit and other agricultural crops to grow. Forests sequester carbon, provide timber for wood products, and serve as home for wildlife. Fisheries are a source of food for humans and other species, and estuaries serve as nurseries for fish, shell fish and other marine life. All living creatures depend on such “ecosystem services” or the regular functioning of natural systems that contribute separate but connected strands in the web of life. Diverse and healthy ecosystems and the services they provide are key to sustaining life on Earth.
Humans began to cultivate food crops about 10,000 years ago. Prior to that time, hunter-gatherers secured their food as they traveled in the nearby environment. When they...
Dollar Value of Ecosystem ServicesLast Updated on 2013-05-20 at 05:42
The value of ecosystem services typically goes unaccounted for in business and policy decisions and in market prices. For commercial purposes, if ecosystem services are... More »
Review: Forest restorationLast Updated on 2012-10-16 at 15:14
This Review, written by Raf Aerts and Olivier Honnay*, appeared first in BioMed Central Ecology—a peer-reviewed, open access journal. This review article is part of the... More »