Table

Listing of Applications of New Ecosystems in Ecological Engineering

Activity

Soil bioengineering Bioremediation

Phytoremediation Reclamation of disturbed lands

Compost engineering

Ecotoxicology Food production

Wetland mitigation Environmental education Wastewater treatment

Type of Constructed Ecosystem

Fast growing riparian tree species for bank stabilization and erosion control

Mixes of microbial species and/or nutrient additions for enhanced biodegradation of toxic chemicals

Hyperaccumulator plant species for metal and other pollutant uptake

Communities of plants, animals, and microbes that colonize and restore ecological values

Mechanical and microbial systems for breakdown of organic solid wastes and generation of soil amendments

Ecosystems in microcosms and mesocosms for evaluating the effects of toxins

Facilities and species for intensive food production including greenhouses, hydroponics, aquaculture, etc.

Wetland ecosystems that legally compensate for damage done to natural wetlands

Exhibits and/or experiments involving living ecosystems in aquaria or zoos

Wetlands and other aquatic systems for degradation of municipal, industrial, or storm wastewaters biology that systematically describes the relationships between species, including a logical system of naming species so that they can be distinguished.

Biodiversity is a property of nature that has been conceptually revised recently and is the main focus of conservation efforts. It has grown from the old concept of species diversity which has long been an important component of ecological theory. With the advent of the term, sometime in the 1980s, the old concept has been broadened to include other forms of diversity, ranging from the gene level to the landscape. This broadening was necessary to bring attention to all forms of ecological and evolutionary diversity, especially in relation to forces which reduce or threaten to reduce diversity in living systems. In a somewhat similar fashion, the term biocomplexity has recently been introduced (Cottingham, 2002; Michener et al., 2001), which relates to the old concept of complexity (see Table 1.3). To some extent

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