Ecosystem services

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Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. They are grouped into four groups:

  1. Provisioning services - products obtained from ecosystems (i.e., food, fresh water, fuelwood, fiber, biochemicals, genetic resources);
  2. Regulating services - benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes (i.e., climate regulation, disease regulation, water regulation, water purification, pollination);
  3. Cultural services - nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystems (i.e., spiritual and religious, recreation and ecotourism, aesthetic, inspirational, educational, sense of place, cultural heritage);
  4. Supporting services - services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services (i.e., soil formation, nutrient cycling, primary production).