nature's services

This is a refer link - it defines a well-defined concept with references to external definitions that it should closely refer to - update that external definition with material from here as required to keep them in synch.

Accounting for nature's services is the main focus of the Natural Capitalism and more general natural capital movements in accounting reform. Having such accounting is pre-requisite to measuring the value of Earth in monetary terms. A major source of reductions in the value of life is a disregard for these services:
* pollination
* erosion prevention
* water filtering
* animal habitat including fish nursery and game nursery functions
* bacteria absorption
* flood prevention
* etc.

A study of 17 of these by Robert Costanza that ended in 1995 concluded that there were US$33T/year in such services being provided to primary industry (agriculture) alone, exceeding the US$25T/year of human economic services in that year. This was based on the cost of actually replacing services whose natural capital was damaged such that they could not provide the service. Doing this damage and being paid for it is a major source of uneconomic growth.

See GFDL article on nature's services for followup and more general background information.