An ecosystem is a continuously changing complex of plant, animal, and microorganism communities and the nonliving environment, interrelating as a functional unit. Humans are an integral part of ecosystems.
The reason why I choose this topic is because most of the people think that the forest only provide wood to us, obviously they are lay man or people with no scientific knowledge. Other than wood forest provides us numerous services which I am going to discuss in this essay. Firstly, we see what is ecosystem and what is meant by forest ecosystem services?
Community made up of living organisms and nonliving components such as air, water, and mineral soil is called ecosystem. Ecosystems can be studied in two different ways. They are interdependent collections of plants and animals
A definite ecosystem has strong connections among its components and weak interactions across its boundaries. Ecosystem boundary is the place where a number of discontinuities overlap, for instance in the distribution of organisms, soil types, drainage basins, or depth in a water body. At a larger scale, regional and even globally spread ecosystems can be assessed based on a commonality of basic structural units. Benefits people obtain from ecosystems are called ecosystem services. These are provisioning services such as food and water, regulating services such as disease and flood control, cultural services such as divine, entertaining, and folk benefits and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that sustain the life on earth. Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms. Biodiversity is the source of many ecosystem goods, such as food and genetic resources, and changes in biodiversity can influence the provisioning of ecosystem services. A complete assessment of the condition of ecosystems, the provision of services, and their relation to human well-being requires an integrated approach. This enables a decision process to determine which service or set of services is valued most highly and how to develop approaches to maintain services by managing the system sustainably.
Ecosystem Boundaries and Categories:
Even the term of an ecosystem is ancient, ecosystems first became a unit of study less than a century ago, when Arthur Tansley provided an initial scientific conceptualization in 1935.
Biodiversity and ecosystems are closely related concepts. Biodiversity according to Center of Biodiversity (CBD) is “The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems” (United Nations 1992: Article 2). Diversity thus is a basic feature of ecosystems, and the changeability among ecosystems is an element of biodiversity. In one sense, the whole biosphere of Earth is an ecosystem since the elements interact with each other. At a smaller level, the guiding principle is that a definite ecosystem has robust interactions among its components and weak interactions across its boundaries. A practical method to the spatial delimitation of an ecosystem is to build up a series of overlays of substantial factors, mapping the site of discontinuities, such as in the spreading of organisms, the biophysical environment, and spatial interactions. A useful ecosystem border is the place where a number of these relative discontinuities overlap. At large level, regional and even globally distributed ecosystems can be assessed based on the commonality of elementary structural units. We use similar framework in the MA for the global analysis of ecosystem properties and changes. The global assessment being undertaken by the MA is based on 10 classes: marine, coastal, inland water, forest, dryland, island, mountain, polar, cultivated, and urban. These classes are not ecosystems by themselves, but each contains a number of ecosystems inside them. Ecosystems within each class share a suite of biological, climatic, and social factors that tend to differ across categories. More specifically, there is greater similarity within than between each class in:
• Climatic conditions
• Geophysical conditions
• Dominant use by humans
• Surface cover (depend upon the type of vegetative cover in terrestrial ecosystems or on fresh water, brackish water, or salt water in aquatic ecosystems)
• Species composition
• Resource management systems and institutions.