As human populations grow, so do the resource demands imposed on ecosystems, and the impacts of anthropogenic use and abuse are becoming ever more apparent. This has led to the development of the concept of ecosystem services, which describes the beneficial functions provided by ecosystems for human society. Ecosystem services are limited and hence threatened by over-exploitation, and there is an urgent imperative to evaluate trade-offs between immediate and long-term human needs and to take action to protect biodiversity, which is a key factor in delivering ecosystem services. To help inform decision-makers, economic value is increasingly being associated with many ecosystem services and is often based on the replacement with anthropogenic alternatives.
The on-going challenges of maintaining sustainable ecosystems and prescribing economic value to nature is prompting multi-disciplinary shifts in how we recognise and manage the environment. This volume brings together emerging topics in environmental science, making an excellent source for policy makers and environmental consultants working in the field or related areas. Ecosystem Services also serves as a concise and referenced primer for advanced students and researchers in environmental science and management.
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