There are several definitions of ecosystem integrity, and they all reflect the capability of a system to support services of value to humans .
- ‘the maintenance of the community structure and function characteristic of a particular locale deemed satisfactory to society’ .
- ‘the capability of supporting and maintaining a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of organisms having species composition, diversity, and functional organisation comparable to that of natural habitats of the region.’ .
- ‘it is much more useful to characterize in detail the functional and structural aspects of ecosystems to provide a conceptual framework for assessing the impact of human activity on biological systems and to identify practical consequences stemming from this framework.’ .
- ‘integrity reflects the ability of ecosystems to sustain services to humans and the identification of those services can best emerge from multisector partnerships, in which all stakeholders seek agreement on the uses to which an ecosystem will be put, recognizing the linkages with other ecosystems.’ .
- De Leo, G. and Levin, S,. 1997. The multifaceted aspects of ecosystem integrity, Conservation Ecology [online] 1(1)3.
- Cairns, J. 1977. Quantification of biological integrity, pp. 171-187 in R.K. Ballentine and L.J. Guarraia (Eds.), The integrity of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water and Hazardous Materials, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
- Karr, J.R. and Dudley, D.R. 1981. Ecological perspective on water quality goals. Environmental Management 5, 55-68.
- Noss (1995a) in De Leo, G. and Levin, S,. 1997. The multifaceted aspects of ecosystem integrity, Conservation Ecology [online] 1(1)3.