Linking ecosystem

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  • The late Neogene (the period between − 14 and − 2.4 Ma) is one of the most interesting phases in understand the present conWguration of terrestrial ecosystems. It was during this time that the change took place from the middle Miocene dominant subtropical forests that stretched across southern Europe and western Asia to a more open but still wooded biotope that now prevails in warm–temperate areas. This change in vegetation, which strongly aVected the composition of mammalian faunas, seems to be linked to the rapid spread of grasses around 8–10 Ma ago....

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  • Dualism is a dominant theory of life that considers reality to be a balance between two independent and fundamental principles: good and evil, mind and matter, nature and nurture. In the same manner we see the thread of dualism run through the ecology of parasitism: they can generate diversity but cause extinction, they may castrate a host but increase its growth rate, and they can stimulate an immune response but at the same time encourage a secondary chronic infection.

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  • The growth of Aquaculture and its future role as a food supplier to human society has environmental, social and economic limitations, affecting marine ecosystems and socio-economic scales from local to global. These are close links with human health requirements and societal needs for various goods and services provided by marine ecosystems. This book shows this broad spectrum of dependencies of the future growth of aquaculture and highlights both relevant problems and expectations.

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  • Freshwater sources and oceans have an amazing natural ability to break down some waste materials, but not in the quantities discarded by today' s society. The overload that results eventually puts the ecosystem out of balance. Sometimes nature itself can create these imbalances. But most often our waterways are being polluted by municipal, agricultural and industrial wastes, including many toxic synthetic chemicals which cannot be broken down at all by natural processes.

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  • Since the first production of tools at the beginning of human presence on Earth, human evolution is linked to the invention of new tools, usually combined with new environmental adaptations. The symbiosis of man with tools and environments represents one of the main factors in human evolutionary processes. It is evident how this coupling is based on the biophysics of our bodies and the development of the social memory system called culture.

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  • The foundation of human health rests on healthy, stable ecosystems. Our biotic environment provides us with the fundamentals necessary for healthy lives—food, water, oxygen, warmth, light, and fuel. Earth's ecosystems also supply the raw materials for our health-care services. The global fraying of ecosystems has grave implications for our health and our ability to treat illnesses, now and in the future.

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  • Soil is a biogeochemically dynamic natural resource that supports all critical components that comprise terrestrial ecosystems. It has been called Earth’s living skin. On its June 11, 2004, cover, Science declared soils to be “the final frontier.” The growing awareness that soil provides a variety of ecosystem services beyond food production has attracted interest in soil from nonsoil scientists.

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  • The consideration of an ecosystem approach recognizes the important link between fish community structure and its habitat has been further emphasized in the Strategic Vision Great Lakes Fishery Commission first decade of the new millennium (GLFC 2001).

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  • Therefore, one of the research challenges on sustainability resides in the link between the form of functioning of the ecosystems towards the structures and the functionality of the associated social system. This iswhy the information theory based indicators can grasp the human nature and the elements of the system and make sense.

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  • A decision support system (DSS) will be developed, using the results of the MRB model system and other existing watershed DSSs to enable decision-making about investments in watershed management, aquatic ecosystem restoration, water quality, water quantity, and groundwater management measures in the MRB. The DSS will be explicitly designed to meet sponsor needs. The DSS will be linked to the Basin GIS to enable visualization of the spatial arrangement of management measures.

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  • 31 Descriptive Approaches for Assessing Ecosystem Responses to Contaminants 31.1 INTRODUCTION Now that we have an appreciation of the important processes that characterize ecosystems and the general approaches used to quantify these processes, we will turn our attention to the primary objective of this section. As with community-level assessments, ecotoxicologists interested in ecosystem responses to anthropogenic stressors employ descriptive, quasi-experimental, and experimental approaches.

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  • The ARIES methodology is based on explicit conceptualizations (ontologies: Villa, Athanasiadis et al. 2009) that lay out first of all a novel vision of ES, based on the breakdown into individual benefits, each of which is modeled independently, then linked to the others. Domain ontologies in ARIES result from a large-scale expert consensus. Artificial intelligence techniques (machine reasoning, pattern recognition) examine source data and extract from the ontologies models that best represent the situation at hand.

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  • Critical loads, and other approaches that use models or empirical observations to link deposition with effects, provide tools that enable resource managers and policymakers to evaluate tradeoffs between the costs of more stringent emissions controls and the benefits of ecosystem services provided by healthy ecosystems. A critical loads approach can be used to synthesize scientific knowledge about air pollution thresholds that cause adverse impacts or ecosystem change.

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  • Yet recent authors have noted that the MA ecosystem services classification does not lend itself well to economic decision-making (Hein and van Ierland 2006; Boyd and Banzhaf 2007; Wallace 2007). This is because the MA categories do not explicitly link specific benefits to specific human beneficiaries of ecosystem services.

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  • By explicitly demonstrating spatial links from ecosystems to people and the strength of the flow of ecosystem services, we can better demonstrate how people gain value from ecosystem services. Beyond demonstrating the value of ecosystem services to individuals, improved maps of provision, use, and benefit flows can help guide various policy applications for ecosystem services. This can lead to both fuller appreciation of value by the groups that benefit most from nature’s services, and a better body of knowledge to enable sound decision making by society....

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  • Understanding the flow pattern of benefits from ecosystems to people is a problem that has eluded past work in ecosystem services. For many authors, the flow problem has been expressed as a “spatial mismatch” between ecosystem service provision and use (Hein et al. 2006, Costanza 2008). By explicitly demonstrating spatial links from ecosystems to people and the strength of the flow of ecosystem services, we can better demonstrate how specific beneficiary groups gain value from ecosystem services.

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  • Stresses on the climate system are already causing impacts on Earth’s surface. These include not only rising surface temperatures, but also increasingly frequent floods and droughts, and changes in natural ecosystems, such as earlier flower- ing of plants, and poleward shifts in the distribution of several species. All of these changes are inextricably linked to the health of human societies.

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