Ecosystems Research Research Questions
- What are ecosystems services?
- How is information about ecosystems services used to improve decisions?
- How is ecosystems research conducted?
What are ecosystems services?
Ecosystem services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature—clean air and water, fertile soil for crop production, pollination, and flood control. These ecosystem services are important to our health and well-being, yet they are limited and often taken for granted as being free.
Ecosystem services research is transforming the way we account for the type, quality, and magnitude of nature's goods and services so that they can be considered in environmental management decisions. The research is providing the data, methods, models, and tools needed by states, communities, and tribes to understand the cost and benefits of using ecosystem services. Learn more about ecosystem services.
How is information about ecosystems services used to improve decisions?
Ecosystems services research will provide information that will help communities develop management options to mitigate conditions that have adverse affects and to enhance conditions that have positive effects on human health and well-being.
How is ecosystems research conducted?
The goal of EPA's ecosystems research is to provide scientific leadership and knowledge for assessing, improving, and restoring the integrity of ecosystems. EPA's goal includes protecting, sustaining and restoring the health of critical natural habitats and ecosystems. To accomplish this goal, EPA must assess the condition of the environment, diagnose causes of impairment and forecast the impact of alternative activities and policy scenarios. Ecosystems research provides scientific leadership and knowledge for assessing, improving, and restoring the integrity of ecosystems.