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What are the Different Ecosystem Services?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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Built at the request of Dag Hammarskj√∂ld, the United Nations Headquarters has a meditation room dedicated to silence.   more...

October 1 ,  1890 :  Yosemite National Park was established.  more...

Ecosystem services refers to a collection of processes humans have created to deal with our impact on the natural world. These ecosystem services can include water treatment, waste treatment, land conservation, and agricultural management. Often, ecosystem services also refers to efforts to manage pests and monitor weather.

Water purification and waste treatment are important ecosystem services that protect water sources from contamination. Access to water is carefully monitored to prevent waste. Rivers, lakes, and oceans are protected against contamination that can affect both marine and land life. Waste produced by human and commercial processes is carefully managed to avoid damage to the environment.

Land conservation is also a vital ecosystem service that helps maintain a healthy environment for people and animals. The careful management of soil, trees, grasses, and forests helps protect air quality and food sources for people, as well as preserve habitats for animals and insects. Land management prevents deforestation and soil erosion.

Agricultural management is another ecosystem service that helps to maintain healthy soil conditions. Protecting soil rich in nutrients ensures that humans can benefit from plants and animals raised on this land. Crops are rotated from one area to another each year to allow nature to replenish minerals, while soil is treated with fertilizers to enhance crops. In addition, agricultural ecosystem services are carefully managed to make sure that animals are nourished and treated humanely while being raised for the purpose of becoming food for humans.

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Technology has made it possible to monitor weather patterns, which also is an important ecosystem service. When weather can be predicted, it is possible to make decisions about when to plant crops, when to harvest them, and when to help nature along with human intervention. In addition, weather monitoring can be used to watch for signs of trouble and give people the opportunity to protect their homes, animals, and land from the destruction caused by storms and droughts.

Pest control is perhaps one of the oldest ecosystem services. Hazardous pests such as insects, vermin, and poisonous creatures can be removed or destroyed before they spread illness or cause damage to property or food sources. It is important that pest control does not do further harm to the environment.

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