Ecosystem health towards sustainability

Lu, Yonglong; Wang, Ruoshi; Zhang, Yueqing; Su, Hongqiao; Wang, Pei; Jenkins, Alan; Ferrier, Robert C.; Bailey, Mark; Squire, Geoff. 2015 Ecosystem health towards sustainability. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 1 (1), 2.

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Ecosystems are becoming damaged or degraded as a result of stresses especially associated with human activities. A healthy ecosystem is essential to provide the services that humans and the natural environment require and has tremendous social and economic value. Exploration of the definition of ecosystem health includes what constitutes health and what it means to be healthy. To evaluate ecosystem health, it is necessary to quantify ecosystem conditions using a variety of indicators. In this paper, the main principles and criteria for indicator selection, classification of indicators for different kinds of ecosystems, the most appropriate indicators for measuring ecosystem sustainability, and various methods and models for the assessment of ecosystem health are presented. Drivers, sustainability, and resilience are considered to be critical factors for ecosystem health and its assessment. Effective integration of ecological understanding with socioeconomic, biophysical, biogeochemical, and public-policy dimensions is still the primary challenge in this field, and devising workable strategies to achieve and maintain ecosystem health is a key future challenge.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Directors, SCs
ISSN: 2332-8878
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link
Additional Keywords: assessment methodology, ecological indicator, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem health, ecosystem sustainability, resilience
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 Mar 2015 12:07 +0 (UTC)

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