Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services encompass a wide range of benefits that humans gain from the natural world. “Ecosystem services” is a relatively new term, even though benefits and goods from nature are essential for everyday life.

Ecosystem services are grouped into three categories: provisioning services, regulating/supporting services and cultural services. Provisioning services are basically tangible goods such as nutrition gained from forests and oceans. Regulating/supporting services are varied in meaning, but essentially consist of both storage of atmospheric carbon and biological purification of anthropogenic contaminants. Cultural services are for example the utilization of nature for recreation and as a source of inspiration.

The effects of climate change on the marine ecosystem may affect ecosystem services, which could have a profound impact on human well-being as well as community planning in the region. In this project we quantify the major marine ecosystem services in the region today (2020), as well as in the future (2120) by producing a combined ecosystem service index. This index gives a comprehensive view of these services, which will help us understand how society may be affected by a changing marine climate in future.

Seashores offer cultural ecosystem services, as people utilize beaches for recreational use. Storsand beach in the picture is a protected area in Nykarleby, Finland.
Photo: Carina Järvinen / Parks and Wildlife Finland