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Earth on Edge: Ecosystems
This site provides information about the six ecosystems on which life on Earth most heavily depends: agricultural, forest, freshwater, grassland, coastal, and urban. It is part of a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) project, which includes a discussion guide. Ecosystems are described as communities of interacting organisms and the physical environment in which they live. The goods and services that ecosystems provide are said to form the foundation of human economies. Ecosystems purify air and water, help to control climate, and produce valuable soil-services. Site users may access a discussion guide to accompany the broadcast of the video/television program, which can be used in colleges, secondary schools, and in community groups. Case studies are taken from the companion book, World Resources 2000-2001: Ecosystems and People: The Fraying Web of Life, and from Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Agroecosystems (World Resources Institute). This online text includes profiles, case studies, and ecosystem assessments with references to ecosystems around the world. A list of additional resources includes links to environmental organizations, books, and periodicals.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • General public
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Assessment / Evaluation
    • Tutorial
  • Services:
    • Message board
  • Agricultural science
  • Ecology
  • Environmental science
  • Forestry
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Human geography
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
PBS permits use of hardcopies from portions of its website for non-profit, educational (i.e. a teacher or instructor offering a course at a university/college, within a school system, or at an adult education/lifelong learning facility, with no fee charged for the material), and/or personal activities. On any document of PBS Online content photocopied for distribution, please note the name of the PBS site, the URL (web address), and a copyright notice if available.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-002-033
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Janet Overton
World Resources Institute

Editor: Wendy Vanasselt
World Resources Institute

Editor: Gregory Mock
World Resources Institute

Publisher: Public Broadcasting System