An Eco-sustainable World
Ecological Glossary

Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that ecosystems provide to humanity and all life forms on Earth. It is the different resources and natural processes that contribute to the well-being of human societies, the economy and the environment in general.
As can be seen from the picture there are different types of ecosystem services, which can be divided into four main categories:
Provisioning services: include the resources that ecosystems provide directly, such as food, clean water, timber, natural fibers, fuels and building materials.
Regulatory services: relate to the natural processes that regulate the environment, such as air and water purification, flood control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, and waste management.

Cultural services: are the non-material benefits that people derive from ecosystems, such as recreation, artistic inspiration, aesthetic value, spirituality and psychological well-being.
Support services: are the fundamental services that allow other ecosystem services to function properly. These include soil formation, nutrient cycling, photosynthesis, seed dispersal and soil fertilization.
Ecosystem services are of fundamental importance for the sustainability and well-being of human communities. However, they are often taken for granted or not considered in economic planning and decisions. Valuing and preserving ecosystem services has become a priority to address challenges such as biodiversity loss, climate change and environmental degradation.

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