Important for the following ecosystem services:
Buffering and attenuation of mass flows
Buffering and attenuation of mass flows allows the transport and storage of sediment by rivers, lakes and seas.
Global climate regulation is provided by nature through the long-term storage of carbon dioxide in soils, vegetable biomass, and the oceans. At a regional level, the climate is regulated by ocean currents and winds while, at local and micro-levels, vegetation can modify temperatures, humidity, and wind speeds.
Filtering, sequestering, storing, and accumulating pollutants is carried out by a range of organisms including, algae, animals, microorganisms and vascular and non-vascular plants.
Flood and storm protection
Flood and storm protection is provided by the sheltering, buffering and attenuating effects of natural and planted vegetation.
Maintain nursery habitats
Nurseries are habitats that make a significantly high contribution to the reproduction of individuals from a particular species, where juveniles occur at higher densities, avoid predation more successfully, or grow faster than in other habitats.
Mediation of sensory impacts
Vegetation is the main (natural) barrier used to reduce noise and light pollution, limiting the impact it can have on human health and the environment.
Soil quality is provided through weathering processes, which maintain bio-geochemical conditions of soils including fertility and soil structure, and decomposition and fixing processes, which enables nitrogen fixing, nitrification and mineralisation of dead organic material.
Bio-remediation is a natural process whereby living organisms such as micro-organisms, plants, algae, and some animals degrade, reduce, and/or detoxify contaminants.
Ecosystems play important roles in regulation of diseases for human populations as well as for wild and domesticated flora and fauna.
Fibres and other materials
Fibres and other materials from plants, algae and animals are directly used or processed for a variety of purposes. This includes wood, timber, and fibres which are not further processed, as well as material for production, such as cellulose, cotton, and dyes, and plant, animal and algal material for fodder and fertiliser use.
Mass stabilisation and erosion control
Mass stabilisation and erosion control is delivered through vegetation cover protected and stabilising terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, coastal wetlands and dunes. Vegetation on slopes also prevents avalanches and landslides, and mangroves, sea grass and macroalgae provide erosion protection of coasts and sediments.
Pest control and invasive alien species management is provided through direct introduction and maintenance of populations of the predators of the pest or the invasive species, landscaping areas to encourage habitats for pest reduction, and the manufacture of a family of natural biocides based on natural toxins to pests.
Water flow maintenance
The hydrological cycle, also called water cycle or hydrologic cycle, is the system that enables circulation of water through the Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans. The hydrological cycle is responsible for recharge of groundwater sources (i.e. aquifers) and maintenance of surface water flows.
Influenced by the following drivers of environmental change:
Changes to the ocean chemistry which occurs when carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere and...
Sea level rise
Increase in global mean sea level as a result of an increase in the volume of water in the world's...
Industrial or domestic activities
Non-agricultural human activities including non-consumptive use of resources.
Industrial or domestic construction
Process of constructing a building or infrastructure for industrial or domestic purposes.
Sea surface temperature
Periods in which sea surface temperatures exceed or go below the normal range of variation.