Ecosystem functioning and services

Mike Exton
Mind Map by Mike Exton, updated more than 1 year ago
Mike Exton
Created by Mike Exton over 6 years ago


Lecture 1 of Martin Skov Ecosytem functioning and services Contains material about functioning and why an ecosystem may fail and consequently thee results. Talks about what are systems and ecosystem functions etc.

Resource summary

Ecosystem functioning and services
  1. Ecosystem and services
    1. Ecosystems are dynamic interrelated collections of living and non-living components organised in self-regulating units
      1. Ecosystem by scale
        1. Microbial to global
          1. Biotically defined
            1. Foundation species
              1. Ecological unit
              2. Abiotically defined
                1. Nature of physical environment
            2. Systems
              1. Systems are built on connectivity, within ecosystems or between ecosystems.
                1. Systems by connectivity
                  1. E.g. fish moving between geographical regions
                    1. A system defined by connectivity: subcomponents of system cannot be treated in isolation
                    2. Members of the system
                      1. Spatial relationship
                        1. e.g. Ecosystems are usually biotically or abiotically defined
                        2. Connectivity of processes relationship
                          1. E.g. Food-web, Nutrients etc
                            1. Network of ecosystems
                        3. Ecosystem function
                          1. What ecosystems do: it is an old concept
                            1. Nutrient uptake
                              1. Bioturbation
                                1. Biomass production
                                2. Functions at different scales
                                  1. Microbial scale
                                    1. Plankton ecosystem
                                      1. Primary production etc
                                    2. Big scale
                                      1. Plankton ecosystem
                                        1. Regulation of fisheries and food webs etc
                                      2. Global ecosystem
                                        1. Climate regulation
                                      3. 'Functioning'
                                        1. Operating of and/ or performances of:
                                          1. Selected processes and properties of the system. E.g. oxygen uptake, bioturbation.
                                            1. The system as a whole. E.g. How the systems life-persistence mechanisms work.
                                            2. The roles played in the workings of the system. E.g. role played by predator, prey etc. NTR: Same role can performed by different actors.
                                              1. Providing benefit to people. ECOSYSTEM SERVICES. Noticable difference is the benefit a system provides.
                                            3. Ecosystem services
                                              1. Ecosystem provide goods and services to people. This distunguishes itself from "functions".
                                                1. "Services by natural environments that benefit people"
                                                2. Four classes of services. (PRSC).
                                                  1. Provisioning service. E.g. food, water etc
                                                    1. Regulation service. E.g. Carbon sequestration, Coastal proctection
                                                      1. Supporting services. e.g. Nutrient cycling, primary production
                                                        1. Cultural services
                                                        2. Constanza et al. 1997. 33 trillion dollars for global ecosystem services per annum
                                                          1. Cost benefit analysis: cost of maintaining/ cost of losing
                                                        3. Failing functions and services
                                                          1. Will occur when services or expected function change or fail.
                                                            1. E.g. natural coastal protection loss leads to terrestrial land erosion
                                                              1. E.g Poor water quality for fish leads to mortality
                                                              2. Why do ecosystems fail?
                                                                1. There are key cornerstones that must be met
                                                                  1. Intrinsic abiotic and biotic properties
                                                                    1. Species compostion
                                                                      1. Chemical and physical gradients
                                                                      2. Extrinsic forcing agents and links
                                                                        1. Drivers such as climate weather tc.
                                                                          1. Factors associated with biotic and abiotic connectivity.
                                                                        2. Thresholds
                                                                          1. Tolerance and gradient ranges
                                                                            1. Systems exist within their tolerance range along gradients in abiotic and biotic factors.
                                                                              1. Systems lie along multiple interacting gradients.
                                                                          2. Functional regime
                                                                            1. Made up of the intrinsic biotic and abiotic properties
                                                                              1. Extrinsic forcing agents and links
                                                                            2. Conclusion
                                                                              1. Function will depend on where, along the gradients of interacting intrinsic and extrinsic regimes the system is positioned.
                                                                                1. Shift a gradient and it will affect the system and the whole functional regime.
                                                                                  1. Systems might collapse if the nature of inherent and external properties shift too far from system tolerance ranges.
                                                                                    1. Regime shift
                                                                                      1. Shift in general characteristics of biotic/ abiotic factors
                                                                                        1. Extremes can also result in regime shifts. But are determined by value and duration
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