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  • 1.
    Hakalehto, E.
    et al.
    Finnoflag Oy, Kuopio and Siilinjärvi, Finland.
    Dahlquist, Erik
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    A microbiological approach to the ecosystem services2018In: Microbiological Environmental Hygiene, Nova Science Publisher Inc. , 2018, p. 433-474Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Man has always exploited the environment for securing human life and culture. This “tradition” is both embedded into our instincts as well as a mode of behavior and a learnt method of survival in our societies. However, alongside with the globalization of the economy, internationalization, industrialization and population growth, the consequences of the one-sided approach of the past have become unbearable for the environment. Consequently, in order to maintain life on earth in its current form, we should establish new thinking and modes of action. Therefore, the survival strategies for Mankind should inherently contain the strive for sustainability, as well as the tendency to avoid past mistakes, and to repair them instantaneously whenever possible. The agricultural tradition of different nations leans on the centuries old wisdom of human civilization in a good sense. For example, the East Asian agricultural societies have learnt to handle each piece of land in their possession in an individual manner, taking into account the local environmental conditions. These principles are now more and more unanimously accepted, at least in theory. Also, the industrial ecosystem needs to be functioning in the natural way, and in balance with the environment. This is a necessity in the reversion or prevention of any developing environmental catastrophes that could wait behind the corner. As the major vehicles for the circulation of matter, microbes are in a key position and provide means for finding the solutions to serve the global ecosystems. In the aftermath of a vast environmental crisis, namely the oil leakage from the “Deepwater Horizon” oil platform well in the Mexican Gulf in the year 2010, it was noticed that the dramatic consequences of the spill were mitigated and the worst scenario of destruction avoided thanks to the cleaning actions of the marine micro-organisms. This was a positive result both ecologically and in economic sense. It further encouraged the scientists to find and isolate microbial strains which could be used for such operations. Although the natural microflora compensated and mitigated the effects of the Deepwater Horizon accident surprisingly well in 2010, there have been observations and concerns about the long term effects of this ecocatastroph (Geggel, 2015).

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