Are ecosystems really self-contained? Explain why or why not?

Refer to Chapters 2&3 in the Essential Environment to answer the following questions.

  1. Explain what ecosystem services are, and give examples of ecosystem services (besides air and water) you might be routinely utilizing every day.

2. What is the difference between ecosystem services and what we consider to be an ecosystem? Are ecosystems really self-contained? Explain why or why not?

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3. What are the different kinds of nutrient cycles that move through our environment? Choose one of these cycles and explain in detail how it functions. What aspects of this nutrient cycle are linked to the hydrologic cycle?

4. What are the externalities associated with the nitrogen pollution in Chesapeake Bay? How many different externalities can you think of related to this particular case study? Describe them. (Hint: Think about what the actual costs are to the Bay ecosystem in addition to the water management costs.)

5. How does our understanding of evolution and biology help facilitate advances in modern medicine? Explain.

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