What Is a Sustainable Ecosystem?

by Herbert Kanter
The Appalachian Mountains are home to one of the most diverse sustainable ecosystems on the planet.

The Appalachian Mountains are home to one of the most diverse sustainable ecosystems on the planet.

A sustainable ecosystem is a biological environment and series of habitats that is able to thrive and support itself without outside influence or assistance. In ideal sustainable ecosystems, everything is already provided within the ecosystem for life to survive.

Qualities of Sustainable Ecosystems

Sustainable ecosystems across the country share several attributes, most notably biological diversity. Diversity means not only a collection of different species present, but a large amount of different species present. Other key characteristics include available acreage for roaming and expansion, available unpolluted water source and limited or controlled human activity.

Ecosystems of Endangered Sustainability

There are endangered ecosystems all over the world whose diversity and sustainability is threatened daily by human actions. One of the most relevant examples of an endangered ecosystem that is quickly becoming unsustainable are coral reefs worldwide. Cyanide fishing, coral mining for souvenirs and general human activity in coral reef regions have led to a threatened sustainability.

Examples of Sustainable Ecosystems

Fortunately, there are still examples of sustainable ecosystems remaining around the world. One of the most prominent examples is the Appalachian region in the southwestern United States, which is one of the most richly biodiverse regions in the world. Aside from teeming forests, cities that reuse and recycle and exist in harmony with the surrounding environments are also considered sustainable ecosystems.

About the Author

Herbert Kanter has been writing professionally since 2001. His fiction has been published in "Novelletum" and in Polyphony Online. Kanter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Joseph's University and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at the University of San Francisco.

Photo Credits

  • fall trees on the appalachian trail image by Jorge Moro from Fotolia.com