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Ecological Capacity

Ecological capacity -The overall ability of an ecosystem to maintain its natural, original, or current condition and to produce goods and services. This includes: (1) both the current stock and the ability of an ecosystem to produce more of a specific resource; (2) surface and subsurface renewable resources; (3) both land and ocean ecosystems.

Ecological Capacity Categories:

1. Air Capacity -The ability water resources to maintain the ecosystem in its natural, original, or current state. This includes: (1) the capacity of the water to provide oxygen and water to the biotaand carry off Carbon Dioxide from the biota in the ecosystem; (2) both man-made and naturally occurring substances found in air that interact with water and soil, each other, and biota to produce adverse or undesirable affects. This does not include waste products managed by man, which fall under Man-made Capital.

2. Biodiversity Capacity -The ability of an ecosystem to naturally maintain a mix of biota (flora and fauna). This includes the variety of ecosystems, the species within an ecosystem, and the genetic variations within an ecosystem. This applies to all land and ocean ecosystems.

3. Contribution to Global System: The ability of an ecosystem to affect the behavior of global subsystems, specifically, the global atmosphere (weather and climate) and oceans.

4. Cultural and Spiritual Capacity: The ability of ecosystems to provide for the spiritual and cultural needs of society.

5. Human Habitat Capacity: The ability of an ecosystem to provide space and resources to support human habitations. Habitations include buildings, structures, roads, dams, power lines, and other such human-made capital.

6. Productive Capacity -The ability of an ecosystem to produce the raw materials necessary for economic activities. This includes: (1) all renewable resources, such as agricultural products, fibers, foodstuffs, timber, water, etc.; (2) all renewable resources found both on and below the surface of the Ecosystem.

7. Soil Capacity: The ability of the local soil resources to maintain the ecosystem in its natural, original, or current state. This includes: (1) the capacity of the soil to provide nutrients and minerals to the biota in the ecosystem; (2) the amount of soil available for use by an ecosystem. (3) both man-made and naturally occurring substances found in soil that interact with water and air, each other, and biota to produce adverse or undesirable affects. This does not include waste products managed by man, which fall under Man-made Capital.

8. Water Capacity: The ability water resources to maintain the ecosystem in its natural, original, or current state. This includes: (1) the capacity of the water to provide nutrients and minerals to the biota in the ecosystem; (2) the amount of water available for use by the ecosystem; (3) both man-made and naturally occurring substances found in water that interact with soil and air, each other, and biota to produce adverse or undesirable affects. This does not include waste products managed by man, which fall under Man-made Capital.


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 294


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Species Identity, Functional traits, and Resource-Use | Ecological Footprint
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