This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.
An ecosystem is an organized system of land, water, mineral cycles, living organisms and their programmatic behavioural control mechanisms. It includes all the organisms living in a community as well as the abiotic factors with which they interact. Forests, lakes, estuaries, tundra, coral reefs are all different types of ecosystems. Ecosystems have been studied in terms of trophic (feeding) relationships, energy flow, and cycling of chemical elements. Human impacts are often described at the ecosystem level. Trophic or feeding relationships include consideration of primary production which occurs by green plants, algae, and some species of bacteria, consumption by animals and other consumers, and decomposition
[Page 23]by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. These trophic relationships have a strong impact on energy flow and chemical cycling in ...