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Ecosystem services are the benefits that nature provides through natural processes. For example, plants provide clean air, natural fire helps cycle nutrients, and bats act as insect control. Ecosystem services are valued by people, even if people do not always think about where these services. Scientists have studied ecosystems for a long time. The concept of ecosystem services, however, is relatively new. The identification of ecosystem services enables scientists to show people that ecosystems are important to everyone. Learn more about ecosystem services in this edition and then look around you to see how ecosystems benefit your community!
Additional Resources for this Issue:
Human health and well-being are closely tied to the environment, which provides benefits such as clean water, clean air, and protection from natural hazards, also known as ecosystem goods and services. EnviroAtlas provides geospatial data, easy-to-use tools, and other resources related to ecosystem services, their chemical and non-chemical stressors, and human health.