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Life itself as well as the entire human economy depends on goods and services provided by earth's natural systems. The processes of cleansing, recycling, and renewal, along with goods such as seafood, forage, and timber, are worth many trillions of dollars annually, and nothing could live without them. Yet growing human impacts on the environment are profoundly disrupting the functioning of natural systems and imperiling the delivery of these services.
Nature's Services brings together world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines to examine the character and value of ecosystem services, the damage that has been done to them, and the consequent implications for human society. Contributors including Paul R. Ehrlich, Donald Kennedy, Pamela A. Matson, Robert Costanza, Gary Paul Nabhan, Jane Lubchenco, Sandra Postel, and Norman Myers present a detailed synthesis of our current understanding of a suite of ecosystem services and a preliminary assessment of their economic value. Chapters consider:
"...the authors define ecosystem services, summarize historical perspectives, offer means of monetary valuation, and present some specific categories of damage.... [This] volume performs a highly valuable service, alerting readers in economic terms of the ultimately genocidal shortsightedness of abusing global biosphere."
Chapter 1. Perspectives on Nature's Services
Chapter 2. Ecosystem Services: A Fragmentary History
PART I. Economic Issues of Valuation
Chapter 3. Valuing Ecosystem Services: Philosophical Bases and Empirical Methods
Chapter 4. Valuing Ecosystem Services With Efficiency, Fairness, and Sustainability as Goals
PART II. Overarching Services
Chapter 5. The Interaction of Climate And Life
Chapter 6. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning
Chapter 7. Ecosystem Services Supplied by Soil
Chapter 8. Services Provided by Pollinators
Chapter 9. Natural Pest Control Services and Agriculture
PART III. Services Supplied by Major Biomes
Chapter 10. Marine Ecosystem Services
Chapter 11. Freshwater Ecosystem Services
Chapter 12. The World's Forests and Their Ecosystem Services
Chapter 13. Ecosystem Services in Grasslands
PART IV. Case Studies
Chapter 14. Biodiversity's Genetic Library
Chapter 15. Impacts of Marine Resource Extraction on Ecosystem Services and Sustainability
Chapter 16. Ecosystem Services in Subsistence Economies and Conservation of Biodiversity
Chapter 17. Ecosystem Services in a Modern Economy: Gunnison County, Colorado
Chapter 18. Water Quality Improvement by Wetlands
Chapter 19. Services Supplied by South African Fynbos Ecosystems
PART V. Conclusion
Chapter 20. Valuing and Safeguarding Earth's Life-Support Systems
Pioneers in illuminating and quantifying the economic value of our natural environment. Conservation Biologist Gretchen C. Daily, and Environmental Economist Pavan Sukhdev. Each has trailblazed the valuing of natural capital – in rigorous scientific and economic terms – recognizing nature’s vital role in supporting human wellbeing.
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