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What do ecologists mean by 'ecosystem services'? Please provide and example

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lro1979 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM via web

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What do ecologists mean by 'ecosystem services'? Please provide and example

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 28, 2013 at 10:51 PM (Answer #1)

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Ecosystem services are things that are done by nature that are tasks that we humans need to have done, and that we value. Some ecosystem services are rather obvious; examples would include the growth of crop plants, the natural replenishment of wild game and wild fish.

Other ecosystem services are more subtle; things such as pollination by wild bees and other pollinators, water filtering and cleansing, erosion control - but are equally important. While everyone agrees that these services are necessary and valuable to the human race, there is much controversy about whether - or even if - we should be trying to place a dollar value on ecosystem services.

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