Focuses on five critical ecosystems that have been shaped by the interaction of physical environment, biological conditions, and human intervention: croplands, forests, coastal zones, freshwater systems, and grasslands. These ecosystems produce a wide variety of goods and services, some of which have not been recognized or valued but all of which sustain human life. The report provides examples of goods and services, such as water purification or pollination, which occur naturally in a healthy ecosystem, but have to be replicated or supplemented if the natural capacity declines. Through five detailed case studies and many additional examples, the report demonstrates that people in all parts of the world, rich and poor, have the capacity to improve the way they manage ecosystems.
(M. Schwartz, University of California, Davis, CA, USA) I really like the book...I intend to make heavy use of it for my Environmental Studies course. Lecturer quote (S. Krupa, University of Minnesota) This is an excellent book for students in environmental sciences with emphasis on agriculture or natural resources. Most importantly it provides the critical global perspective...Extremely valuable resource for understanding sustainability of our resources. Lecturer quote (W.J. Manning, University of Massachusetts at Amherst) The information is nicely packaged - good summary tables and diagrams and the text is easy to read...A comprehensive and usable reference for the nature and function of the world's ecosystems. Lecturer quote (D. Coventry, Department of Agronomy and Farming Systems, Adelaide University) It is a joy to find a book with so many useful applications...a vast amount of useful data are given. The presentation and structure of the book is such that the reader can either spend time absorbing information in detail, or skipping through sections quickly, and not lose touch with the primary focus of the book...The book is an excellent text on approaches for studying global ecosystems, and the use of a systematic survey approach as the basis for such a study. The scope of this book is enormous...This book is a most valuable resource for a wide audience... Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Vol. 86, No. 1 This 'millennial edition'...offers a snapshot of the current condition of world ecosystems, the pressures they face and ways forward in protecting the little we have left...a cornucopia of detailed information on the state of the world's major ecosystems. Bulletin of the British Ecological Society (J. Gagneur, Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France) Presentations and illustrations are of very good quality. The book is easy to read and the information sends some shivers down one's spine like a good thriller...This kind of report brings a lot of information useful to all who are dealing with functioning and conservation of ecosystems, with education while supplying with updated and accurate data sets, without speaking of economists and politologs. But one could wish this book could be read by everyone. Ann. Limnol. 37 (3)
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