DISCUSSION PAPER ON ECOSYSTEM SERVICES. FINAL REPORT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRIC
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Ecosystems are complex interactions among living and non-living components of the environment (e.g., forests, grasslands, riverine ecosystems, marine ecosystems). These interactions mediate processes that achieve major transformations of resources, many of which rival or exceed what can be achieved cost-effectively by humans (e.g., maintenance of atmospheric gases, large-scale filtration and purification of water, or widespread control of potential pest species). These transformations support and enrich human life, but are often overlooked and/or undervalued in decision-making because decision-makers lack relevant information about them and because they do not pass through markets and therefore do not have economic value attached to them.