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Growing pressures on the natural environment through intensification of human land use may compromise ecosystem functions that are central to both the human and the natural world. According to the UN commissioned Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report published in 2004, 60% of ecosystem services were degraded or used unsustainably. More recent State of the Environment reports show continuing threats to ecosystems. This module examines rising ecosystem pressures focusing particularly on intensification of anthropogenic land use and projected demands in future output. It explores effects of these pressures on ecosystems. Questions asked include: What changes can these 'stressors' cause in wild population structure and biodiversity, and how might they ultimately affect such ecosystem services like water purification, food production, biological pest control, pollination, soil conservation and carbon sequestration? We end by examining case studies and examples of better management of ecosystems for a sustainable future.