Ecological integrity is the capacity to maintain a balanced, adaptive community of species having species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to those of natural habitats in the particular region. An example of an indicator is the Index of Biotic Integrity (Karr 2002), which scores a range of aquatic community parameters against defined standards. Terrestrial versions have also been proposed (Andreasen et al. 2001). Some integrity indices are based on the levels of connectedness and self-organization in ecosystems (Kutsch et al. 2001). Ecological health concepts focus on assessment of the functional aspects of an ecosystem, without necessarily referencing them to a natural state.
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