Ecosystem services

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:

  1. Provisioning services contribute to production of food, fibres, biofuels and drinking water.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.