1. What are the three categories of services that humans receive from healthy, biodiverse ecosystems? Provide an example for each category.
2. Consider the following statement, “Food, shelter, and energy are all examples of indirect services provided by ecosystems.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain why in 2-3 sentences.
3. Are coastal mangrove forests and commercial shrimp farms equal in their economic value to humans? Explain your answer in 2-3 sentences.
aesthetic: related to beauty and emotional responses; as applied to services provided by ecosystems, refers to an individual’s or society’s response to the beauty, sense of emotional well-being, and intergenerational value provided by biodiversity and healthy ecosystems; frequently linked with ethical aspects of ecosystems
biodiversity: the variety of life on Earth or some other specified geographic region of the planet; the diversity of life occurs at the genetic level, at the species level, at the ecosystem level, and in evolutionary lineages
direct services: products such as food, clothing, shelter, and medicine that are derived directly from the biodiversity within an ecosystem
economic value: the monetary value of something
ecosystem services: the ways in which intact ecosystems benefit humans; these services can be direct, indirect or related to aesthetic and ethical values
endemic: a term used to describe a species that occurs in only one specific, restricted geographic area; all endemic species are also native to their area, but not all native species qualify as endemic (see definition below for native)
ethical: related to right and wrong, or morality; as applied to services provided by ecosystems, refers to an individual’s or society’s response to the beauty, sense of emotional well-being, and responsibility of present generations to preserve biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for future generations; frequently linked with aesthetic aspects of ecosystems
genetic diversity: a measure of how much difference there is in the DNA of the members of a population or species
hybrid: an organism that is the offspring of two different species, breeds or varieties
indirect services: processes carried out by healthy, biodiverse ecosystems that are part of their normal functioning and are of benefit to humans; examples include mangrove trees protecting against storm surges and coastal erosion or wetlands cleaning water as it passes through the ecosystem
mangrove: a general term that refers to a variety of salt-tolerant trees and bushes that grow along many coasts in the tropics and subtropics; a mangrove ecosystem is called a mangrove swamp or mangrove forest, a single tree is a mangrove tree; healthy mangrove forests provide many ecological services
native: a term used to describe a species that occurs naturally in an area; in other words it has not been brought to the area by humans; also called indigenous; native species can have a very broad distribution compared to endemic species that occur in a very restricted area; all endemic species are native to their area, but not all native species qualify as endemic
source water: the original location or source of the drinking water used by people; rivers, lakes and underground aquifers are examples of source water
steward: someone who takes care of something
wetlands: a type of ecosystem that is saturated permanently or seasonally with fresh water or salt water; swamps, marshes and bogs are examples of wetlands; healthy wetlands have a lot of biodiversity and provide many ecological services