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Ecosystems

  • By: Marco Bagliani & Antonella Pietta
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term ecosystem is defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity as a dynamic complex of plant, animal, and microorganism communities and their nonliving environment interacting as a functional unit. As further detailed by the convention, this definition does not specify any particular spatial unit or scale. Thus, the term ecosystem does not, necessarily, correspond to the terms biome or ecological zone but can refer to any functioning unit at any scale. The scale of analysis and action should be determined by the different functions, properties, spatial levels involved and by the issues highlighted in this entry.

Ecosystems: From Passive Support to Active Component

Many studies made in the fields of biology and ecology during the past few decades have progressively shown the inadequacy of a traditional ...

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