PRESENTER: Antonello Provenzale, National Research Council, and LifeWatch ERIC, Italy.
The Critical Zone is the Earth’s outer skin, where we find all terrestrial ecosystems, but it is critically endangered.
The Critical Zone is the Earth’s outer skin, where we all live: the space between the top of the vegetation canopy and the bottom of the surface aquifers, down to the undisturbed rock. It’s a very thin layer, and it is essentially the support system for all terrestrial ecosystems. It’s called the Critical Zone because it’s critical to ecosystem functioning but it’s also critically endangered.