What are ecosystem services?
Ecosystem services are the benefits humans receive from natural, functioning ecosystems. Examples include pollination services from bees, clean drinking water, and so forth.
Ecosystem services are the benefits humans receive from natural, functioning ecosystems. Ecosystem services are varied and can be complex and often ignored. They are generally grouped into four categories:
- Provisioning services-These include food, timber production, energy such as from fossil fuels or geothermal energy,
- Regulating services-Services derived from ecosystems that we rely on for regulation include erosion prevention, flood protection, clean air and water, and climate regulation.
- Cultural services-These include spiritual health, recreational enjoyment, aesthetics, and so forth.
- Supporting services-Soil formation, nutrient cycling, primary production, and biodiversity.
You can read more about ecosystem services from the IUCN here.