Threatened Ecosystems

  1. NatureServe
    Chief Ecologist
  1. NatureServe
    Senior Research Ecologist, LAC
  1. NatureServe
    Senior Research Ecologist


When we convert land for agricultural, urban, and industrial land uses, we remove some portion of a functioning ecosystem. When we use land and water too intensively, we may change the way ecosystems function and affect its health, integrity, and capacity for resilience.

A cloud forest in Costa Rica. Photo by Patrick Comer | NatureServe.

Land use and management activities, if not compatible with natural ecological processes, threaten the health of ecosystems. NatureServe uses ecological classifications to describe and map the location of ecosystem types. We then document trends in ecosystem extent and integrity in order to assess the risk that we may lose the many functions and services provided by a given ecosystem type.

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