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This site provides information about the six ecosystems on which life on Earth most heavily depends: agricultural, forest, freshwater, grassland, coastal, and urban. It is part of a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) project, which includes a discussion guide. Ecosystems are described as communities of interacting organisms and the physical environment in which they live. The goods and services that ecosystems provide are said to form the foundation of human economies. Ecosystems purify air and water, help to control climate, and produce valuable soil-services. Site users may access a discussion guide to accompany the broadcast of the video/television program, which can be used in colleges, secondary schools, and in community groups. Case studies are taken from the companion book, World Resources 2000-2001: Ecosystems and People: The Fraying Web of Life, and from Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Agroecosystems (World Resources Institute). This online text includes profiles, case studies, and ecosystem assessments with references to ecosystems around the world. A list of additional resources includes links to environmental organizations, books, and periodicals.
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