Forested Ecosystems

  • Douglas J. SpielesEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)


Considering the resources that humans draw directly from ecosystems, it is easy to understand the desire for sustainability: lose the ecosystem, lose the resource. Naturally, ecosystem services are more obvious to us if they are tangible products that exist or occur at the scale of human perception. Processes that are too fast or slow, too big or small tend to be excluded from direct consideration in ecosystem-based transactions. Microbial metabolism, raindrop erosion, and ocean carbon sequestration are not commodities that we buy and sell every day. An economist might call them externalities. Nonetheless, we have increasingly become aware that the clarity of our water, the composition of our atmosphere, and the condition of our land are all critically dependent upon certain ecosystem functions. And so it makes perfect sense that much of our ecosystem conservation is based upon current and future harvest of a particular species or use of a particularly beneficial process. This is, after all, the definition of conservation – it is a philosophy of restrained use; of harvest, extraction, or exploitation in a manner that does not degrade or deplete the resource.


Fire Suppression Prescribe Fire White Cedar Fuel Reduction Peat Fire 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Denison UniversityGranvilleUSA

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