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Nature's Goods & Services

The goods and services performed by natural ecosystems are essential to human survival. What is their overall value, and of what significance is it to measure this value? I need a very detailed list, explanations, and references.

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The goods and services performed by the natural ecosystems are essential to human survival. They range from the periodic rains, to the oxygen generated by the trees. Each goods and services, individually as well as severally serves the purpose of supporting human survival.
Natural ecosystems are collection of living things and the environment in which they live. For example, a prairie ecosystem includes coyotes, the rabbits on which they feed, and the grasses that feed the rabbits.
· Chemical substances move through ecosystems on the Earth in cycles also form the natural ecosystems.
· The source of energy for almost every ecosystem on Earth is the sun.
Natural ecosystems are a naturally occurring assemblage of organisms (plant, animal and other living organisms-also referred to as a biotic community or biocoenosis) living together with their environment (or biotope), functioning as a unit of sorts.Natural ecosystems are a dynamic and complex whole, interacting as an ecological unit. Some consider it is a basic unit in ecology, only a structured functional unit in equilibrium, characterized by energy and matter flows between the different elements that compose it. But others consider this vision or a self-standing unit with coherent and stable flows only to be a bit restrictive.A natural ecosystem may be of very different size. It may be a whole forest, as well as a small pond. Different ecosystems are often separated by geographical barriers, like deserts, mountains or oceans, or are isolated otherwise, like lakes or rivers. As these borders are never rigid, ecosystems tend to blend into each other. As a result, the whole earth can be seen as a single ecosystem, or a lake can be divided into several ecosystems, depending on the used scale.The organisms in an ecosystem are usually well balanced with each other and with their environment. Introduction of new environmental factors or new species can have disastrous results, eventually leading to the collapse of an ecosystem and the death of many of its native species. The abstract notion of ecological health attempts to measure the robustness and capacity for recovery of a natural ecosystem.

Human societies derive many essential goods from natural ecosystems, including seafood, game animals, fodder, fuel wood, timber and pharmaceutical products. These goods represent important and familiar parts of the economy. What has been less appreciated until recently is that natural ecosystems also perform fundamental life-support services without which human civilizations would cease to thrive. These include the purification of air and water, detoxification and decomposition of wastes, regulation of climate, regeneration of soil fertility, and production and maintenance of biodiversity, from which key ingredients of our agricultural, pharmaceutical, and industrial enterprises are derived. This array of services is generated by a complex interplay of natural cycles powered by solar energy and operating across a wide range of space and time scales. The ...

Solution Summary

A detailed list of good and services provided by the ecosystem is given.