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Saturday, June 24, 2017
   
 

Ecosystem Assessment Concepts
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Ecosystems and Habitats
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In the UK and much of Europe the classification of ecosystems can be considered as significantly overlapping with that of habitats. A definition of a habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular animal or plant species. In Europe Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive lists 231 European natural habitat types, including 71 priority types (i.e. habitat types in danger of disappearance and whose natural range mainly falls within the territory of the European Union).

However, whilst the classification and management of habitats is centred on the populations of species of interest, the concept of an ecosystem is centred on the interactions between its components and its properties as a system. This systems perspective logically extends to including people as part of ecosystems. We simultaneously depend upon and influence ecosystems.

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