These are the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem
Source: Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (2003) pp 57-58
- Air quality maintenance.
Ecosystems both contribute chemicals to and
extract chemicals from the atmosphere, influencing many aspects of air
- Climate regulation.
Ecosystems influence climate both locally and globally.
For example, at a local scale, changes in land cover can affect
both temperature and precipitation. At the global scale, ecosystems
an important role in climate by either sequestering or emitting
- Water regulation. The
timing and magnitude of runoff, flooding, and
aquifer recharge can be strongly influenced by changes in land cover,
including, in particular, alterations that change the water storage
of the system, such as the conversion of wetlands or the replacement
of forests with croplands or croplands with urban areas.
- Erosion control.
Vegetative cover plays an important role in soil retention
and the prevention of landslides.
- Water purification and waste
treatment. Ecosystems can be a source of
impurities in fresh water but also can help to filter out and decompose
organic wastes introduced into inland waters and coastal and marine
- Regulation of human diseases.
Changes in ecosystems can directly change
the abundance of human pathogens, such as cholera, and can alter the
abundance of disease vectors, such as mosquitoes.
- Biological control.
Ecosystem changes affect the prevalence of crop and
livestock pests and diseases.
- Pollination. Ecosystem
changes affect the distribution, abundance, and
effectiveness of pollinators.
- Storm protection. The
presence of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves
and coral reefs can dramatically reduce the damage caused by hurricanes
or large waves.