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Fisher, Brendan
Costanza, Robert
Turner, R. Kerry
Morling Paul
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
CSERGE Working Paper EDM 07-04
The concept of ecosystems services has become an important model for linking the functioning of ecosystems to human welfare benefits. Understanding this link is critical in decision-making contexts. While there have been several attempts to come up with a classification scheme for ecosystem services, there has not been an agreed upon, meaningful and consistent definition for ecosystem services. In this paper we offer a definition of ecosystem services that is likely to be operational for ecosystem service research and several classification schemes. We argue that any attempt at classifying ecosystem services should be based on both the characteristics of interest and a decision-context. Because of this there is not one classification scheme that will be adequate for the many context in which ecosystem service research may be utilized. We discuss several examples of how classification schemes will be a function of both ecosystem and ecosystem service characteristics and the decision-making context.
ecosystem benefits
Ecosystem services
environmental decision making
human welfare
Millennium Assessment
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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