What are Ecosystem Services?

The Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel and CDFA recognize the importance of environmental stewardship practices in agriculture. The science panel has defined ecosystem services as "the multiple benefits we gain from farming and ranching including crop and livestock production. In addition to valuable open space and wildlife habitat, the management decisions and conservation practices of farmers and ranchers also enhance environmental quality, provide recreational opportunities and offer social benefits."

Ecosystem Services Database

Below are examples of important benefits provided by ecosystem services.

Are you are farmer/rancher that has on-farm/ranch ecosystem services?
Let us know: EcoSysServices@cdfa.ca.gov.

  • Wildlife Habitats (View Image)
    • Provide habitats for resident and transient wildlife populations
  • Nutrient Cycling (View Image)
    • Provide nutrient storage and cycling
  • Food, Fiber and Fuel Production (View Image)
    • Provide food, fiber, and fuel to sustain a growing global population
  • Recreation and Cultural (View Image)
    • Provide opportunities for recreational activities
  • Soil Structure, Formation and Fertility
    • Provide opportunities for enhancing the soil system, promotes organic matter buildup/carbon sequestration, and prevent disturbances
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Water Cycling
    • Maintain soil moisture and regulate water movement/cycling
  • Atmospheric Gas/Climate Regulation
    • Regulate atmospheric chemical composition.
  • Water Quality
    • Reduces salinity and organic/inorganic constituents in surface and ground water.
  • Pest Control
    • Control pests and weeds by natural enemies and weed seed predators, respectively
  • Pollination Services (View Image)
    • Contribute to fruit, nut, and vegetable production
    • Integrated Pest Management Download PDF
    • Alley Cropping Download PDF