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Department
Biology
Course
Biology 3592A
Professor
Milford Green
Semester
Fall

Description
What Services Do Ecosystems Provide?  Many benefits are irreplaceable or the technology necessary to replace them are very expensive ■ potable fresh water can be provided by desalinating seawater but only at a great cost  rapidly expanding human population has modified Earth's ecosystems to increase their ability to provide some of the goods and services it needs ■ these modifications have contributed to human well-being and economic development  short-term increases in some ecosystem goods have come at the cost of the long-term degradation of others ■ efforts to increase wood and fiber have decreased the ability for some ecosystems to provide clean water, regulate flooding and support biodiversity ■ the spread of agriculture into into marginal lands has increased soil degradation and reduced ability of ecosystems to provide clean water ■ pesticides reduces populations of pollinators ■ damage from tsunami of 2004 would have been less if the mangrove forests that protect the coasts had had not been cut down ■ Hurricane Katrina would not have caused as much flooding if the wetlands surrounding area had been left intact  Millennium Ecosystem Assessment – a project that involved more than a thousand scientists and managers worldwide to provide a global assessment of Earth's ecosystems, determine trends in the services they provide and assess their importance to human well-being ■ divided ecosystem services into 4 categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services, supporting services  most important driver of alterations in ecosystems has been changes in land use as natural ecosystems have been converted to other more intensi
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