Journal article

How is ecosystem health defined and measured? A critical review of freshwater and estuarine studies

Allyson O'Brien, Kallie Townsend, Robin Hale, David Sharley, Vincent Pettigrove

Ecological Indicators | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2016

Abstract

Assessing ecosystem health is an ongoing priority for governments, scientists and managers worldwide. There are several decades of scientific literature discussing ecosystem health and approaches to assess it, with applications to aquatic and terrestrial environments incorporating economic, environmental and social processes. We conducted a systematic review of studies that assess ecosystem health to update our current understanding of how ecosystem health is being defined, and provide new ideas and directions on how it can be measured. We focused the review on studies that used the term 'ecosystem health' or the equivalent terms 'ecosystem integrity', 'ecosystem quality' and 'ecosystem prot..

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