Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystems to benefits used in economic and other human activity. These services can be broken down into four groups:
- Provisioning services contribute to production of food, fibres, biofuels and drinking water.
- Regulating services relate to natural filtration, treatment, regulation or conservation of air, water, soil, habitat and climate. Examples are: capture of airborne particulate matter, and storage of carbon in soil and vegetation.
- Cultural services contribute to all human activities in and related to nature. Recreation and tourism, for example, but also education on nature sites and other forms of nature experience.
- Lastly, intermediary services indirectly contribute to the previous groups. For example, orchard pollination by wild bees contribute to a provisioning service.
This theme includes a wide range of ecosystem services. These are approached from both the supply and use perspective. The ecosystem services are expressed in both biophysical and monetary units.