Ecosystem services are naturally occurring. They range from goods that are bought and sold to feelings of wonder and enjoyment. If damaged, they are difficult to return back to normal and could have economic as well as ecological ramifications.
These services are necessary for other services to function. Photosynthesis allows plants to grow and therefore provide habitats and food. The biogeochemical cycles move the elements and molecules in order to support the existence of the ecosystem.
Think of the word provisions. Many of these services can be traded in markets or used in households. Services include food, water, shelter, medicine, energy, and timber (used for lumber).
These services are often taken for granted because you do not see them in action. They are considered to be ‘behind the scenes’. Examples:
Natural disaster control
Happy thoughts and feelings are provided by these eco-services. Many national/state/local parks are used for tourism, recreation, or aesthetic beauty.
Image courtesy of