Ecosystems have biophysical, economic, and social limits. The environment is constantly in a state of flux, causing ecosystems to change. Given this, human populations recognize that the ability of an ecosystem to provide goods and services has limitations. Unfortunately, people also often make demands on ecosystems that exceed the system's biological or physical capabilities. Science provides information about ecosystem limits; society uses this information to make choices. Land managers use this information as they develop ways to allocate finite resources. People can choose to modify their behavior and organize their institutions to be consistent with the capabilities of ecosystems, or they can pursue actions inconsistent with the capabilities of ecosystems. People can also improve ecosystem productivity on some sites through investments in management practices. Societal choices regarding the use and allocation of resources have implications for inter-generational equity and tradeoffs.
[ Diversity ] [ Ecosystem Flexibility ] [ Natural & Human Disturbance ]
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