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Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Research

Linking to Ecosystem Services

Humans benefit from a multitude of resources and processes supplied by natural and managed ecosystems. Collectively, these benefits are known as ecosystem services and include products like clean air, clean water, food and fiber. Ecosystem services are distinct from other ecosystem products and functions because there is human demand for these natural assets.

Quantification of ecosystem services through measurement or modeling and the subsequent valuation of human benefits is a strategic focus for EPA. EPA believes that the effective communication of this information to communities will make evaluation of ecosystem services a routine part of decision-making, and will transform the way Communities understand and respond to environmental issues.

EPA is exploring the application of the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality Modeling system (CMAQ) as an ecological production function (EPF) for the estimation of clean air (clear air and healthful air) and climate and weather ecosystem services. CMAQ also simulates nitrogen deposition, which is a contributing factor to EPFs for clean water services. Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis research is part of EPA's effort to design a National Ecosystem Service Classification System.

Contacts: Robin Dennis, Ellen Cooter

Cooter, E.J., A. Rea, R. Bruins, D. Schwede, R. Dennis, submitted.  “The role of the atmosphere in the provision of ecosystem services.”  Science of the Total Environment.



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