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March 26, 2018 at 6:51 am



Humanity’s entire life support system depends on the well-being of all the species living on earth. This is commonly referred to as the biosphere, a term coined by Vladimir Vernadsky, a Russian scientist in the 1920s. Biosphere refers to one global ecological system in which all living things are interdependent. Within the overall biosphere or ecosystem, there are smaller ecosystems like the rainforests, oceans, the desert and the tundra. An ecosystem is composed of living and non-living parts, whether it is terrestrial or aquatic, explains the book Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making available through The National Academy Press. The non-living parts are the soil, water, air, and nutrients, and living elements are plants, animals, micro-organisms, and humans. A healthy ecosystem has all the chemical elements and nutrients circulating in a cycle while supporting millions of species. The myriad of species all help in the process of cycling elements when they produce food, eat, go about their lives, and even through their deaths. In this process a variety of goods and services are created that are useful for humans.


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