The environment provides functions. There are three categories of environmental functions: resource functions, sink functions, and service functions. Environmental functions are environmental services such as trash disposal, natural resource supply, and life support. Resource functions include food production, water supply, air circulation, and waste treatment. Sink functions are activities that use energy but do not produce more energy, such as heating or cooling buildings. Service functions are activities that keep other things working such as printing documents or e-mail.
An environment can be considered functional if it performs its resource role adequately. An ecosystem is an example of a functional system. It produces resources (food) that sustain life. It removes waste products that would otherwise build up and cause harm. All resource functions must be performed for an environment to be considered functional.
Non-functional systems malfunction due to deficiencies in one or more of their resource roles. A bone density study uses x-rays to look for evidence of past diseases or trauma on the skeleton. This is a diagnostic tool that determines your risk of developing osteoporosis and other diseases associated with inadequate bone mass. The test requires no internal body samples; instead, densitometers measure the amount of bone mineral content within certain regions of the body. These devices sound alarms when there is significant loss of bone mass so that patients can take action before serious problems develop.
Environmental purposes These are the environmental functions that sustain human existence and economic activity. The first of these roles (the Earth's "source") is the generation of raw materials from natural resources such as soil, water, forests, minerals, and marine life. This source of material is then used for products which people need or want. At the end of their useful lives, some of these products are returned to the environment to be decomposed by bacteria or other organisms into nutrients that can be reused.
The second role of the environment is as a medium for the exchange of energy between humans and their surroundings. For example, trees transpire water vapor into the atmosphere, while grasses and other plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen in return. We use this windblown water and solar power to grow more crops than we could by ourselves, which allows us to live more comfortably with less resource consumption. When they die, these plants and animals decompose back into the environment, taking many chemical compounds with them which are re-used by other plants or transformed through biological processes into new substances that may be absorbed into the soil or blown away in dust storms.
The third role of the environment is as a regulator of our physical well-being. For example, when it gets hot outside, trees move closer to the sunlight so they can use its heat to make food, which reduces the risk of forest fires.
The environment is divided into three dimensions: physical, biological, and social. The physical environment is made up of abiotic (non-living) elements such as land, air, and water. These are referred to as the lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere, respectively. Abiotic elements do not change over time and are therefore considered static. Biotic elements are living things and include all plant and animal life. Finally, the social environment includes everything that affects people, including their beliefs, values, and laws. This environment includes their homes, workplaces, schools, streets, etc.
Physical environments can be either natural or constructed. Natural environments consist of non-man-made features such as hills, rivers, and forests. Man-made environments include buildings, roads, and airports. Physical environments influence how people use space by providing different types of surfaces for walking, running, jumping, etc. They also provide resistance when being pushed or pulled by forces such as wind or gravity. In addition, physical environments affect what people can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. For example, a forest provides much needed shade but can also be used to hide illegal activities. Biological environments consist of the plants and animals that make up a habitat. A habitat is defined as the physical surroundings that support a community of organisms. Biological environments can be natural or man-made. Social environments include norms, values, and laws that define behavior within a community.
Examples of Various Types of Human-Environment Interactions
Natural (soil, air, water, and living creatures) and man-made (buildings, parks, bridges, highways, industries, monuments, and so on) are the primary components of the environment (individual, family, community, religion, educational, economic, etc).
These components form the background against which people act. They influence their thoughts and behaviors, and therefore affect the outcome of any situation.
People have always tried to improve their surroundings by cleaning up pollution, preserving natural beauty, creating public parks, and so on. This is called environmental awareness training.
In addition to these efforts, there are laws that protect the environment. For example, there are federal laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. State and local governments can also pass laws that protect the environment. These actions help to preserve our natural resources while at the same time providing opportunities for people to make a difference.
In conclusion, the environment consists of both natural and man-made elements. It influences everyone in some way whether it is through action or inaction. It is important to understand this concept because it helps us to put events into perspective and not get caught up in the frenzy of daily life.
A functional ecosystem is one that has biological and chemical activity that reflect typical rates of plant production, carbon storage, and nutrient cycling. (12th) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: Keeping Natural Life Support Processes Alive.
An ecosystem is considered to be functioning if it meets two criteria: first, if it is stable over time; second, if it is efficient in converting energy into other forms such as growth or reproduction. An ecosystem can be considered stable if no major changes occur that would affect the overall structure and function of the system. For example, an ecosystem can be considered stable if there are no major droughts or floods that would cause significant changes to the species composition or total biomass within the system. An ecosystem can also be considered stable if it shows a constant state of equilibrium, where inputs of energy and materials balance losses by decomposition and erosion. Stable ecosystems tend to have relatively few large fluctuations in temperature or precipitation, which allows most life processes to continue at a consistent rate.
Efficient ecosystems use resources well. They do not depend on any single species for survival. Instead, many species share their environment and help each other out when one species fails or is removed from the area. Efficient ecosystems tend to have high levels of biodiversity, since this increases the number of species that can aid in resource extraction and preservation.