Index:Ecosystem Services

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Sub-Category Type Description WCS-ID
Freshwater Provisioning For drinking, irrigation, and cooling. 8
Food Provisioning Fish, seafood, edible algae, game, livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, and other. -
Genetic Resources Provisioning For crop-improvement, and medicinal purposes. 10
Medicinal Resources Provisioning Biochemical products, models, and test-organisms. 15
Ornamental Resources Provisioning Artisan work, décorative plants, pet animals, and fashion. 20
Raw Materials Provisioning Fiber, timber, fuel wood, fodder, and fertilizer. -

Sub-Category Type Description WCS-ID
Air Quality Regulation Regulating Capturing (fine)dust, chemicals, etc. 30
Carbon Regulation Regulating Carbon cycling, and long term storage of greenhouse gases in ecosystem, i.e., sequestering/capturing carbon in biomass and soil organic matter (carbon stocks). 32
Climate Regulation Regulating Managing local climate components, including wind, precipitation, temperature, and radiation from ecosystem. 34
Erosion Protection Regulating 36
Moderating Extreme Events Regulating Storm protection, and flood prevention. 38
Nutrient Regulation Regulating Capacity of ecosystem to recycle nutrients, e.g., Nitrogen (N), and Phosphorous (P). 40
Pest & Disease Control Regulating Seed dispersal, and pest and disease control. 42
Pollinating Regulating Bees, birds, bats, moths, flies, wind, non-flying animals -- "all contribute to the dispersal of seeds and the reproduction" of plants.[2] 44
Soil Fertility Regulating Maintenance of soil fertility, including soil formation, capturing carbon in soil organic matter. 46
Water Purification Regulatin Water purification, e.g., from sediments, pesticides, disease-causing microbes and pathogens. 48
Water Flow Regulation Regulating Groundwater recharge, natural drainage, irrigation, and drought prevention. 50
Waste Regulation Regulating Human waste absorption by ecosystems. 52
Habitat & Cultural Services[1][2]
Sub-Category Type Description WCS-ID
Migratory Species Habitat Maintaining life cycles of migratory species, including nursery services. 60
Genetic Diversity Habitat Maintaining genetic diversity (biodiversity), especially in gene pool protection. 65
Aesthetic Cultural Service Visual qualities of landscape/ecosystem that influence human well-being, and the need for artistic expression (art, music, literature).[2] 70
Opportunities Cultural Service Outdoor activities (recreation and tourism) relating to the local environment or landscape.[2] 72
Heritage Cultural Service This can be considered a combination of "Cultural heritage and cultural diversity" (historically important). and "Natural heritage and natural diversity" (beyond human benefits).[2] 74
Spiritual Cultural Service Spiritual/emotional values that people attached to local environments or landscapes.[2] 76
Information Cultural Service Environmental education based on ecosystem/landscape ("Knowledge System").[2] 78

Ecosystem Service: Water in New York City

Water is naturally purified as it flows through some natural ecosystems, particularly wetlands.[3] For example, New York City "designed and implemented the largest water conservation program in American history, permanently reducing its per capita water use by close to 20% and, at the cost of roughly $500 million dollars, saving the $2 to $5 billion dollars it would have cost to construct new water supply works," i.e., water treatment facilities, which would cost $250 million annually to operate. At the beginning of the 21st Century, the Catskill-Delaware watershed system west of the Hudson River, covering an area of about "2,000 square (830,000 hectares), nearly the size of Delaware," supplied 90% of the New York City's water.[4]

Biome types

Biome Types[1]
Type Surface area


(1,000 km2)[5]

Marine/Open Ocean 416,546 80
Coastal systems 1,799 81
Wetlands 1,799 82
Lakes & Rivers 6,713 83
Forests 46,652 84
Wooded 2,596[6] 85
Boreal 17,611[6] 86
Cool coniferous 3,130[6] 87
Temperate mixed 5,914[6] 88
Temp. dediduous 4,718[6] 89
Warm mixed 5,835[6] 90
Tropical 9,149[6] 91
Woodland & Shrubland 9,766 92
Grass & Rangeland 23,883 93
Sevanna only 15,604[6] 94
Desert 22,174[6] 95
Tundra 6,375[6] 96
Ice/Rock/Polar 2,290[6] 97
Cultivated Areas 20,617 98
Urban Areas 656 99


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Groot, Rudolf de; Fisher, Brendan; Christie, Mike; Aronson, James; Braat; Leon; Gowdy, John, Haines-Young, Roy; Maltby, Edward; Neuville, Aude, Polansky, Stephen; Pertela, Roeimeiry; Ring, Irene. [Reviewers/Editors: Blignaut, James; Brondizio, Eduardo; Costanza, Robert; Jax, Kurt; Kadekodi, Gopal, K.; May, Peter H.; McNeely, Jeffrey; Shmelev, Stanislav; and Kadekodi, Gopal K.]. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: The Ecological and Economics Foundations. Chapter 1: Integrating the ecological and economics dimensions in biodiversity and ecosystem service valuation. TEEB, March 2010. <>. Accessed: April 15, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Krüger, Simone; Wege, Meike; and Kruse, Marion. "Ecosystem services." Coastal Wiki, online wiki page. <>. Last edited: July 23, 2019, at 21:50. Accessed: April 16, 2020.
  3. Favors, Paul. "How Does Water Get Cleaned?" Sciencing. Leaf Group Media. Published electronically: November 22, 2019. <>. Accessed: April 15, 2020.
  4. Appleton, Albert F. "How New York City Used an Ecosystem Services Strategy Carried out Through an Urban-Rural Partnership to Preserve the Pristine Quality of Its Drinking Water and Save Billions of Dollars and What Lessons It Teaches about Using Ecosystem Services." Convention on Biological Diversity. New York City, November 2002.<>. Accessed: April 15, 2020.
  5. Various sources; in the year 2005 unless otherwise noted. Data from: Table 2: Classification of main biomes in TEEB and remaining surface area (year 2005), p. 16.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Subcategory within Forests (figures for the year 2000).


This category has the following 23 subcategories, out of 23 total.