Sustainable Development Indicator Group

Working Draft Framework, Version 2, June 4, 1996

Home Page Button Comments Button Glossary Button

1.2.1 Ecological Capacity

Definition: The overall ability of an ecosystem to maintain its natural, original, or current condition and to produce goods and services. This includes both the current stock and the ability of an ecosystem to produce more of a specific resource. This includes surface and subsurface renewable resources. This includes both land and ocean ecosystems.

Definition Source: None

Ecological Capacity Categories:

1.2.1.1 Air Capacity: The ability water resources to maintain the ecosystem in its natural, original, or current state. This includes the capacity of the water to provide Oxygen and water to the biota and carry off Carbon Dioxide from the biota in the ecosystem. This includes both man-made and naturally occurring substances found in air that interact with water and soil, each other, and biota to produce adverse or undesirable affects. This does not include waste products managed by man, which fall under Man-made Capital. (Definition Source: None)

------1.2.1.1.1 Carbon Monoxide in Air

------1.2.1.1.2 Nitrous Oxides in Air

------1.2.1.1.3 Other Toxics in Air

------1.2.1.1.4 Ozone

------1.2.1.1.5 Particulates in Air

------1.2.1.1.6 Radioactives in Air

------1.2.1.1.7 Sulphur Oxides in Air

------1.2.1.1.8 Volatile Organic Compounds in Air

1.2.1.2 Biodiversity Capacity: The ability of an ecosystem to naturally maintain a mix of biota (flora and fauna). This includes the variety of ecosystems, the species within an ecosystem, and the genetic variations within an ecosystem. Thiss applies to all land and ocean ecosystems.

------1.2.1.2.1 Biota Population

------1.2.1.2.2 Ecosystem Diversity

------1.2.1.2.3 Genetic Diversity

------1.2.1.2.4 Species Diversity

1.2.1.3 Contribution to Global System: The ability of an ecosystem to affect the behavior of global subsystems, specifically, the global atmosphere (weather and climate) and oceans. (Definition Source: None)

1.2.1.4 Cultural and Spiritual Capacity: The ability of ecosystems to provide for the spiritual and cultural needs of society. (Definition Source: None)

1.2.1.5 Human Habitat Capacity: The ability of an ecosystem to provide space and resources to support human habitations. Habitations include buildings, structures, roads, dams, power lines, and other such human-made capital. (Definition Source: None)

1.2.1.6 Productive Capacity: The ability of an ecosystem to produce the raw materials necessary for economic activities. This includes all renewable resources, such as agricultural products, fibers, foodstuffs, timber, water, etc. This includes all renewable resources found both on and below the surface of the Ecosystem.

------1.2.1.6.1 Renewable Subsurface Resources

------1.2.1.6.2 Renewable Surface Resources

1.2.1.7 Soil Capacity: The ability of the local soil resources to maintain the ecosystem in its natural, original, or current state. This includes the capacity of the soil to provide nutrients and minerals to the biota in the ecosystem. This also includes the amount of soil available for use by an ecosystem. This includes both man-made and naturally occurring substances found in soil that interact with twater and air, each other, and biota to produce adverse or undesirable affects. This does not include waste products managed by man, which fall under Man-made Capital. (Definition Source: None)

------1.2.1.7.1 Heavy Metals in Soil

------1.2.1.7.2 Nitrous Oxides in Soil

------1.2.1.7.3 Nutrients in Soil

------1.2.1.7.4 Other Toxics in Soil

------1.2.1.7.5 Radioactives in Soil

------1.2.1.7.6 Salts in Soil

------1.2.1.7.7 Sulphur Oxides in Soil

------1.2.1.7.8 Volatile Organic Compounds in Soil

1.2.1.8 Water Capacity: The ability water resources to maintain the ecosystem in its natural, original, or current state. This includes the capacity of the water to provide nutrients and minerals to the biota in the ecosystem. This also includes the amount of water available for use by the ecosystem. This includes both man-made and naturally occurring substances found in wate that interact with soil and air, each other, and biota to produce adverse or undesirable affects. This does not include waste products managed by man, which fall under Man-made Capital. (Definition Source: None)

------1.2.1.8.1 Dissolved Oxygen

------1.2.1.8.2 Dissolved Solids

------1.2.1.8.3 Heavy Metals in Water

------1.2.1.8.4 Nitrous Oxides in Water

------1.2.1.8.5 Nutrients in Water

------1.2.1.8.6 Other Toxics in Water

------1.2.1.8.7 Radioactives in Water

------1.2.1.8.8 Salts in Water

------1.2.1.8.9 Sulphur Oxides in Water

------1.2.1.8.10 Suspended Solids

------1.2.1.8.11 Volatile Organic Compounds in Water

------1.2.1.8.12 Waste Heat