The structure and functioning of marine ecosystems: an environmental protection and management perspective (ENRR699)

This report describes how properties, structure and processes affect the functioning of a marine ecosystem and hence its human value via goods and services provided. It also provides a summary of marine ecosystem goods and services, a description of major large-scale properties and processes, and an account of ecosystem structure and functioning in the marine environment and examples of how environmental change from human activities may affect ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as examples of how the limits of ecosystem resilience and resistance may be reached, the role of resilience, resistance and recovery in maintaining the baseline conditions, and dossiers of critical ecosystem structure and functional processes within particular environments (marine landscapes).

The aim of this information was to support the 'Ecosystem Approach’ to marine environmental management, protection and education. The case studies given in the report can be used to inform the importance of different aspects of properties, structure and functioning (as processes) for management of areas to maintain ecosystems and their services.

A printed copy of this report is available from our Enquiry Service. Tel: 0845 600 3078 Email:

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ENRR699, PDF, 52.8 MB 2014/05/30