Ecosystem Services: Deforestation And Soil Erosion

2067 words - 8 pages

According to Mooney and Ehrlich (1997), the idea that human beings depend on natural systems traces back as far as Plato. Plato (c. 400 BC) realised that deforestation could lead to soil erosion and the drying of springs (Daily 2007; Gómez-Baggethun et al., 2009).
The first modern publication that addresses this concept is in the book Man and Nature written by George Perkins Marsh dated 1864. Marsh started to realize that the world’s resources were not infinite and that natural systems are important to water, soil, climate, the disposal of waste and pest control. He also suggested that Earth’s natural resources were limited by looking at the changes in Mediterranean soil fertility (Mooney and Ehrlich 1997). The 1940’s era brought new attention to Marsh’s observations, in books such as Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac (1949) and William Vogt’s Road to Survival (1948). These authors promoted the recognition that humans depend on the environment with the idea of ‘natural capital’. The first textbook built on the ecosystem concept, written by Eugene Odum, was published in 1953 (Odum 1953). Thus the ecosystem concept, “so central to understanding the nature of life on Earth, is actually a relatively new research and management approach” (MA 2005). An environmental science textbook (Ehrlich & Ehrlich, 1970) suggested that “the most subtle and dangerous threat to man’s existence… is the potential destruction, by man’s own activities, of those ecological systems upon which the very existence of the human species depends”.

In 1977, Westman wrote “The functions of an ecosystem, on the other hand, are characterized by the ways in which the components of the system interact. They are the dynamics of ecosystems-nature's free "services." These functions impart to society a variety of benefits”. In subsequent years, services were referred to as “public services” and “nature’s services”, and finally the term “ecosystem services” were used by Ehrlich and Ehrlich in 1981. The “mainstreaming of ecosystem services in the literature” (Gomez-Baggethun et al., 2009) followed in the 1990s. The controversial article by Costanza et al. (2007) titled “The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital”, was a milestone in the mainstreaming of ecosystem services (Daily 2007; Gomez-Baggethun et al., 2009). Their main approach has been to provide an economic valuation for ecosystem services over the entire planet. They estimated that the annual average value of 17 ecosystem services is US$33 trillion (Costanza et al., 2007). The amount of research projects and literature which addresses ecosystem services is rising exponentially since 2005. The publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA 2005) and the work of Costanza et al. (2007) is probably the main reason for this trend we have seen over the last 10 years (Fisher et al., 2009). One of the key results of the MA was the finding that globally 60% of the ecosystem services investigated are...

Find Another Essay On Ecosystem Services: Deforestation and Soil Erosion

Deforestation should be banned Essay

763 words - 3 pages possibilities of species of animals becoming endangered or even extinct around the world. Thirdly, Deforestation causes soil erosion. Deforestation contributes to erosion by exposing soils to wind and rain. When the ground surface is unprotected of vegetation, the upper soils are weak to both wind and water erosion. Soil is washed into rivers when it rains, and then out to sea. This destroys the facility for the land to redevelop because it has lost

Deforestation Essay

1794 words - 7 pages particles are detached from their original site, transported, and eventually deposited at a new location.” (WRI, p. 134) In the case of deforestation, erosion will occur faster than natural erosion. This is called “accelerated erosion”. “It is often 100 times as destructive as geologic erosion.” (WRI, p. 135) In the event of such erosion, the soil becomes useless. It loses many of its nutrients. And, the new deposition can even cause water pollution in

Mapping Ecosystem Services in Colombia’s Putumayo Region

2745 words - 11 pages Mapping Ecosystem Services in Colombia’s Putumayo Region to Inform a Compensation Scheme to Establish Silvopastoral Systems Key Message The rain and cloud forests of Colombia’s Upper Putumayo region are becoming increasingly exposed to agriculture, ranching, and infrastructure development. These activities can have adverse effects on water supply and quality, soil erosion, carbon capture and sequestration, and biodiversity. The additional

Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

1236 words - 5 pages is the relentless pursuit of oil, which does nothing but to destroy wildlife, and by drilling the land it exposes soil to sunlight which creates erosion. That example reminds me a phrase from the philosopher Machiavelli, in which he thinks that end justifies the means. His idea suggests that if the objective is good, then it doesn’t matter if the way we achieve it is bad, wrong, or evil. Why do people continue supporting deforestation? This

What Deforestation Can Do To Our Environment

914 words - 4 pages countries create infrastructure for a better transportation of goods or services in remote areas, is a factor. Road building is a factor that eliminates these remote areas of crops and pastures, to enhance trade. A limited amount of deforestation is caused by road building but is still deforestation. When doing so, this brings logging into play with the deforestation process. Logging is usually introduced following road expansion and once they

Stop The Deforestation To Save Our self

4037 words - 16 pages article contributed by Robert K. Innes who analyzed the ill effects of deforestation in the world from three ways: environment, local society and global society. The effects include 1. Desiccation of previously moist forest soil, 2. Dramatic Increase in Temperature Extremes , 3. Moist Humid Region Changes to Desert ,4. No Recycling of Water, 5. Less Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Exchange, 6. More Desertification, 7. Soil Erosion, and others. The


771 words - 4 pages , including the value of ecosystem services lost due to deforestation, as well as damages caused by reduced watershed protection and soil conservation services. It is clear to see that the market price of the timber removed from the forest didn’t outweigh the external costs caused by its mass removal, not only putting a huge strain on the environment but also on the country’s economy. 100’s of cubic meters affected for as little as $55. Figure

Save the Rainforest!

1049 words - 4 pages vegetation and crops, fertilize the soil, protect the coast from erosion, stabilize the climate, detoxify waste and move or scatter nutrients and seeds from one place to another. Without a healthy ecosystem we have more lung diseases from breathing in toxic air, fewer food choices and a host of other problems. Industrialization is one of the main causes of the ecosystem breaking down, because we are constantly cutting down trees to build things

Contribution of Deforestation and Degradation to Climate Change

703 words - 3 pages institutions. Degradation is a major threat to biodiversity, ecosystem stability, an society’s ability to function. Because of the interconnectivity between ecosystems across scales, degradation triggers destructive processes that can have cascading effects across the entire biosphere. Loss of biomass through vegetation clearance and increased soil erosion produces greenhouse gases that contribute global warming and climate change. The impacts of degradation therefore extend far beyond local or regional scales.

Deforestation in Canada

2270 words - 9 pages per year are now in South America (1.3%) and Asia (0.9%). Over the last two decades the world became interested in the loss of tropical forests as a result of expanding agriculture, ranching and grazing, fuelwood collection and timber exportation. The consequences are increased soil erosion, irregular stream flow, climate change and loss of biodiversity. Deforestation is second only to the burning of fossil fuels as a human source of

Deforestation and the Amazon Rainforest

2487 words - 10 pages drought conditions" (Bagley et al. 2014). Also, "land cover change is capable of reducing precipitation and increasing the amplitude of droughts in the regions" (Bagley et al. 2014). Another negative side effect of deforestation is erosion. Erosion in the rainforest is becoming more apparent because when trees are removed, there is nothing that keeps the soil from moving when it rains. This could potentially cause landslides if it is not stopped

Similar Essays

Soil Erosion And It's Effect On The Great Mississippi

2993 words - 12 pages Soil erosion is not one of the most sought after conservation movements today. Today's main focus is energy and environmental concerns. Soil erosion is significant, however, for various reasons. Currently, the Mississippi River is altering it natural course due to soil deposits from the northern portion. Additionally, soil erosion affects farming and pollution. Soil erosion can occur from winds, water and improper farming techniques. People are

Question Ecosystem, Clouds, Precipitation, Glaciers/Landscape, And Soil Development.

1375 words - 6 pages How does energy flow through ecosystems?In order to understand and comprehend how energy flows through ecosystems one must first be familiar with its definition. The term ecosystem is derived from the phrase ecological system, which includes the organisms in a given area. It encompasses the interactions among the organisms, between the organisms, and the nonliving portion of the environment in a specific area under consideration. An ecosystem is

The Mississippi Delta And Oil: Ecosystem Services And Human Health

1382 words - 6 pages Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay, I was bombarded with guest speakers since elementary school about protecting the environment. I knew what an ecosystem was by fifth grade, and in seventh grade our class went on a class trip to Smith Island and Port Isabel in the Chesapeake Bay for more intensive education about how humans are connected to ecosystems. Water and ecosystems are important to public health all over the globe, as water touches

The Strength And The Weaknesses Of Pay For Ecosystem Services (Pes)

2375 words - 10 pages . and Porras, I. (2002). ‘Silver Bullet or Fools’ Gold? A global review of markets for forest environmental services and their impact on the poor’, International Institute for Environment and Development. London Peskett, l. et al. (2007). Can payments for avoided deforestation to tackle climate change also benefit the poor? ODI Forestry Briefing Paper 12. Scherr, S. et al. (2006). ‘Developing Future Ecosystem Service Payments in China: lessons