Resources Box 13.1

Ecosystem Services

We recommend the following references if you wish to investigate this topic further at this point in the book

Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems; ultimately, these services support human life so, ecosystem services are the life support systems of the planet. Historically, the nature and value of planet Earth’s life support systems have largely been ignored until their disruption or loss revealed their importance. The pro-active evaluation of ecosystems and biodiversity has become an important field of investigation for economists and ecologists alike, largely motivated by the search for arguments in favour of broader conservation policies.

At the request of the then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the year 2000, the first major scientific appraisal of the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide, known as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, was done between 2001 and 2005 and involved the work of more than 1,360 experts worldwide. The first overview of the project, describing its conceptual framework, was published in 2005 in the 155-page book Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis (published by Island Press, Washington; ISBN: 9781597260404). Wikipedia [] provides a quick introduction, and check out the following websites for further details:

...and the following publications:

Cavanagh, R.D., Broszeit, S., Pilling, G.M., Grant, S.M., Murphy, E.J. & Austen, M.C. (2016). Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283: article 20161635. DOI:

Costanza, R., d’Arge, R., de Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O’Neill, R.V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R.G., Sutton, P. & van den Belt, M. (1997). The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387: 253. DOI:

Costanza, R., de Groot, R., Braat, L., Kubiszewski, I., Fioramonti, L., Sutton, P., Farber, S. & Grasso, M. (2017). Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go? Ecosystem Services, 28: 1-16. DOI:

Daily, G.C. (ed) (1997). Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Washington, DC: Island Press. 412 pp. ISBN-10: 1559634766, ISBN-13: 978-1559634762.

Dighton, J. (2016) Fungi in Ecosystem Processes, 2nd Edn. 382 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 9781482249057.

Dighton, J. & White J.F. (eds). (2017). The Fungal Community: Its Organization and Role in the Ecosystem, 4th Edition. 597 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 9781498706650.

Farber, S., Costanza, R., Childers, D.L., Erickson, J., Gross, K., Grove, M., Hopkinson, C.S., Kahn, J., Pincetl, S., Troy, A., Warren, P. & Wilson, M. (2006). Linking ecology and economics for ecosystem management. BioScience, 56: 121-133. DOI:[0121:LEAEFE]2.0.CO;2.

 Gadd, G.M. (ed.). (2006). Fungi in Biogeochemical Cycles (British Mycological Society Symposium volume). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN-10: 0521845793, ISBN-13: 978-0521845793. DOI:

Salles, J.-M. (2011). Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: Why put economic values on Nature? Comptes Rendus Biologies, 334: 469-482. DOI:

Vo, Q.T., Kuenzer, C., Vo, Q.M., Moder, F. & Oppelt, N. (2012). Review of valuation methods for mangrove ecosystem services. Ecological Indicators, 23: 431-446. DOI:

Zhang, W., Ricketts, T.H., Kremen, C., Carney, K. & Swinton, S.M. (2007). Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture. Ecological Economics, 64: 253-260. DOI:

There are tens of thousands of other publications relevant to this topic. We’ll leave you to find the ones that interest you most!

CLICK HERE to download a PDF version of this Resources Box (with its associated table of fungal contributions to Ecosystem Services you can find in this book)

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This is a Resources Box from the 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi: David Moore, Geoffrey D. Robson and Anthony P. J. Trinci 2019