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Terms & Synonyms


Official WHO Definition

The term ecosystem [... ...] can be defined as a system of dynamic interdependent relationships among living organims and their physical environment. It is a bounded entity that has acquired self-stabilizing mechanisms and an internal balance that has been evolving over the curse of centuries (YASSI et al. 2001).

Within a stable ecosystem one species does not eliminate another; otherwise the food supply of the predator species would disappear. Stable and balanced ecosystems will survive longest. An ecosystem cannot sustain massive amounts of materials and energy being consumed by one species without depriving other species and eventually endangering the viability the viability of the entire ecosystem. Similarly, and ecosystem's capacity to absorb wastes and to replenish soild and fresh water is not limitless (YASSI et al. 2001).

Other Definitions

The interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental



Interpretations and Explanations


Yassi A, Kjellstrom, T, De Kok T. (et al.) (2001), Basic environmental health, Oxford University Press.World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), Our common future

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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