Life on Earth is sustained by ecosystems which vary greatly, but have certain attributes in common. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- What basic characteristics of ecosystems allow them to sustain life.
- What are the basic concepts of the ecological communities and their processes within ecosystems.
- What are food chains, food webs, and trophic levels.
- What the concept of ecosystem management involves.
- Why the ecosystem is the basic system that supports life and allows it to persist.
- How conservation and management of the environment might be improved through ecosystem management.
- What a community level effect is.
- What a keystone species is.