Programs of the Office of the Science Advisor (OSA)

Ecosystem Services Ecological Risk Assessment Endpoints Guidelines

The purpose of the Generic Ecological Assessment Endpoints (GEAE) for Ecological Risk Assessment (2nd Edition) is to assist EPA risk assessors conducting ecological risk assessments in considering ecosystem services when selecting assessment endpoints. Incorporating ecosystem services endpoints in ecological risk assessments can make the assessments relevant to decision makers and stakeholders whose concerns may be more oriented toward societal outcomes. Ecological risk assessments that include ecosystem service endpoints provide more useful information than conventional endpoints alone to economists who perform cost-benefit analyses. Assessing risks to ecosystem services can highlight potential assessment endpoints that are not considered in conventional risk assessments such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and soil formation. The accompanying Technical Background Paper on Ecosystem Services as Assessment Endpoints for Ecological Risk Assessment describes the science linking the use of ecosystem services to the structure and function of ecosystems and traditional ecological endpoints.

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