Biodiversity | California Academy of Sciences
- Ecosystem services
- Test your knowledge: biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Exploration questions: biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Activities: biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Glossary: biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Selected references: biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Answers to the exploration questions: biodiversity and ecosystem services
If you are wondering where the suggested answers came from, you can review the video for ecosystem services.
- What are the three categories of services that humans receive from healthy, biodiverse ecosystems? Provide an example for each category.
Answer: A complete explanation would list direct, indirect, and aesthetic/ethical ecosystem services. Examples of direct services include products like food, clothing, housing, energy, and medicine that are derived directly from species in an ecosystem. Examples of indirect services include the storm protection that mangrove forests provide to coastlines or the ability of wetlands to filter and clean water. Aesthetic/ethical services include the peace and other good feelings humans experience when they spend time in nature as well as the value of leaving intact, healthy ecosystems for future generations.
2. Consider the following statement, “Food, shelter, and energy are all examples of indirect services provided by ecosystems.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain why in 2-3 sentences.
Answer: Disagree. A complete explanation would mention that these are all examples of direct ecosystems services because these are items or materials that are directly derived from ecosystems. An example of an indirect ecosystem service is the storm protection mangrove forests provide coastlines.
3. Are coastal mangrove forests and commercial shrimp farms equal in their economic value to humans? Explain your answer in 2-3 sentences.
Answer: They are not equal. A complete explanation would mention that while shrimp farms do produce commercially valuable products, the services provided by mangrove forests, in terms of protecting coastlines from erosion, reducing the cost of recovery from tropical storms, and acting as nurseries for commercially valuable fish, have a greater economic value.