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The New EcologyRethinking a Science for the Anthropocene$
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Oswald J. Schmitz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160566

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160566.001.0001

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Valuing Species and Ecosystems

Valuing Species and Ecosystems

(p.19) Chapter 2 Valuing Species and Ecosystems
The New Ecology

Oswald J. Schmitz

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers some of the ecological scientific inroads that support a more complete valuation of species and ecosystems. It describes a very utilitarian, purely economic way of valuing nature, driven by a narrow focus on one small part of it. Such a narrow focus can disassociate humans from the larger ecological context in which they live. A major effort of the New Ecology has already broadened the scope of what is valued and how it is valued. Species are integral functional components of nature's economy. By producing, consuming, and decomposing materials, they sustain nature's economy. The chapter argues that focusing on biodiversity and its conservation is key to maintaining the sustainability of an interdependent nature and society.

Keywords:   species, ecosystems, nature, New Ecology, biodiversity, conservation, sustainability, society

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