Soils and their contribution to ecosystem services

Nationale Bodenbeobachtung NABO

The factsheet "Soils and their contribution to ecosystem services" shows how soil ecosystem services and soil properties and functions are linked with the benefits derived by humans and the impact exerted by the latter.

Selection of soil functions: Brown = regulating functions, green = production functions, blue = habitat functions

​While soils provide multiple services to humans, their value is rarely or only sparingly factored into decision-making processes. The concept of ecosystem services provides an opportunity to link soil functions and the underlying soil properties to human well-being. The factsheet identifies these links and places them in a feedback loop with the exploitation of soil by humans, thus also highlighting the repercussions this has on soil. Visualisation of these links is intended to facilitate the use of ecosystem services as an argument in decision-making processes and so promote efforts to operationalise the concept of ecosystem services.

The illustration shows pictograms of a selection of soil functions (from left to right): carbon sink, buffer, water balance, nutrient cycle, inorganic and organic filter, forest and agricultural production, and habitat for soil organisms and plants.