Ecosystems and Economics

Topics: Ecosystem, Ecology, Biodiversity Pages: 3 (712 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Ecosystems and Economics
Megan Wells
April 29, 2013
Kalista Andropolis

Ecosystems and Economics
Human society has placed an imprint on ecosystems throughout the planet. Because of this imprint ecosystems have degraded dramatically and have experienced loss. Human activity has affected plants, animals, and ecosystem dynamics in many ways. The purpose of this paper is to explore the causes of human society’s impact on ecosystems and the cost and benefits of human enterprises. In addition, conservation and exploitation of species related to human imprinting and the economic decisions that have been made will be discussed; this includes the cost and benefits included in human enterprising of ecosystems. Ecosystem Degradation and Loss

“Ecosystem degradation occurs when alterations to an ecosystem degrade or destroy habitat for many of the species that constitute the ecosystem” (Hunter & Gibbs, 2007, ch. 8, para. 4). An example of ecosystem degradation is deforestation for use as timber for humans that eliminates a natural habitat for a specific creature in that biota. Human society’s growth patterns require land area to be cleared or altered to meet societal needs, which can result in an ecosystem loss. The addition of a factory that puts off chemical waste into a natural ecosystem can serve as an additional example to ecosystem degradation. The chemical change that may occur in ground water or rivers and lakes can affect the natural species in that habitat. Plants, Animals, and Ecosystem Dynamics

Disturbances within an ecosystem can be caused by many things, however human activity is a large contributor to dynamic changes within a given ecosystem that can affect plants, animals, or the ecosystem as a whole. In the example of plant life, human activities such as clear-cutting in the rainforests remove natural habitats and can remove specific plant life from the region. The pollution of rivers and streams can affect the marine...

References: Environment News Service. (2002, August 9). Humanity loses $250 billion a year in wild habitat. Retrieved from
Hunter, M. L., & Gibbs, J. P. (2007). Fundamentals of conservation biology (3rd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell/Wiley.
Net Industries. (2013). Ecological disturbance. Retrieved from Ecological Disturbance
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