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.  

Ecological Integrity

Ecological integrity

As ecosystems worldwide are put increasingly under stress, the need to preserve the ecological processes, on which all life depends, has been widely recognized. The United Nation's World Commission on Environment and Economy recognized that human society was dependent on uses of the biosphere that were sustainable. Human values are an integral part of decisions to protect or rehabilitate, but the goals and objectives for such actions are often implicit or unclear; ecosystems are often valued because of certain features they contain or functions they serve.

There are several published definitions of ecosystem integrity in the literature, most of them subjective, general approaches, and with ethical basis for understanding integrity. More quantitatively terms and including a quantitative index of biological integrity, as well as ...

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