Ecosystem Management- An Ecological Approach To Natural Resource Management To Assure Productive, Healthy Ecosystems By Blending Social, Economic, Physical, And Biological Needs And Values

Ecosystem Management- An ecological approach to natural resource management to assure productive, healthy ecosystems by blending social, economic, physical, and biological needs and values

Why manage ecosystems?

Because of the goods and processes they provide.

Ecosystem processes include:

Hydrologic flux (evaporation and runoff) and storage

Biological productivity

Biogeochemical cycling and storage


Maintenance of biological diversity

Ecosystem "goods" include:


Construction materials

Medicinal plants

Wild genes for domestic plants and animals

Tourism and recreation

Ecosystem "services" include:

Maintaining hydrological cycles

Regulating climate

Cleansing water and air

Maintaining the gaseous composition of the atmosphere

Pollinating crops and other important plants

Generating and maintaining soils

Storing and cycling essential nutrients

Absorbing and detoxifying pollutants

Providing beauty, inspiration, and research

Ecosystem Management must include the following:

long-term sustainability as fundamental value,

clear, operational goals,

sound ecological models and understanding,

understanding complexity and interconnectedness,

recognition of the dynamic character of ecosystems,

attention to context and scale,

acknowledgment of humans as ecosystem components, and

commitment to adaptability and accountability.

Why is determining the scale of organization important in ecosystem management?

Ecosystem Function- Structure, Diversity, and Integrity

Complexity is critical to sustainability- Therefore, biological diversity is integral to ecosystem management

Biological diversity includes-

variety of life and processes,

genetic diversity,

habitat variety, including:

elevational changes,


soil variability

moisture variability

rocks, logs, corals

Connections between population dynamics and ecosystem processes is essential