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Ecological service refers to the benefits derived from healthy ecosystem by mankind and plants. These benefits arise from the resources supplied by natural ecosystems, which mankind extracts them to contribute positively in the lives of living things. These services include services like clean air, Fresh water, forage, biomass fuel among others. However, no single accepted definition of the term because of various, divergent views. These divergent views are mostly resulting from the problem of quantifying or measuring some of the benefits resulting from the
Ecological services comprise of four categories. First, are the provisioning services, which refer to products that originate from the ecosystem such as fresh water and other products. The second category is the regulating services. These benefits accrue because of regulation of ecosystem services due to human activities. The control of human diseases, improvement of climate and water rank among regulating services. Cultural services are the third category, which entails the nonphysical benefits that people derive as a result, enriching their lives. For instance, the ecosystems such as the creation of recreational parks have the benefits of improving social interaction. Finally, the supportive services are the final category of ecological services. These categories entail the ecosystem that is capable of rejuvenating other ecosystem such as the water cycling, biomass production, and oxygen.
Ecological services suffer serious threats to human population growth. Population growth has led to increased reliance of the natural resources. This has led human being to invent modern methods of natural resources extraction leading overexploitation of these resources. Therefore, the human activities play a significant role in the determination of the benefits derived from the natural resources. The quality of environment in-terms of the clean air and clean water is compromised because of adverse activities of mankind to the ecosystem. For example, deforestation affects negatively the natural resources. Increase in deforestation leads to increased erosion leading to excessive deposition of sands in the sea. Deforestation degrades the production capability of affected lands leading to low production of farm produce. Deforestation especial at water catchment area may lead to drying of rivers which in the end may result in drought. Another threat posed by population growth to the natural environment is the increased industrialization aimed at keeping the pace of ever-growing population. Increased industrialization has led to increased production of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, which is a serious threat to the environment. For example, the production of these gases from industries has led to increased global warming.
Rivers provide various ecological services to mankind and plants. First, the most significant service is the nourishment and renew of wetland. This is essential because it facilitates the productivity of land by allowing growth of crops even in dry periods. This may also help to sustain the ever-growing population, which reduces chances of further exploitation of natural resources. The second best ecological service of a river is delivering of nutrients to the sea to sustain the coastal fisheries. This is vital to countries or economies that depend on fishing as sole economic activity. As a result, river services become particularly essential in sustaining these economies.
Provision of habitats for wildlife is one of the services that are subject to human activity. For example, increase river pollution will render the river environment undesirable for the animals living in water. Therefore, the human activity in the case of pollution of water may lead to death or migration of these animals. Ecological services of a river to purify water depend on the human activities. For example, Outlet River cleans dirty water from in Let River on condition that human being do not deposit more waste in the ocean.