A framework for classifying and quantifying the natural capital and ecosystem services of soils
The ecosystem services and natural capital of soils are often not recognised and generally not well understood. This paper addresses this issue by drawing on scientific understanding of soil formation, functioning and classification systems and building on current thinking on ecosystem services to develop a framework to classify and quantify soil natural capital and ecosystem services. The framework consists of five main interconnected components: (1) soil natural capital, characterised by standard soil properties well known to soil scientists; (2) the processes behind soil natural capital formation, maintenance and degradation; (3) drivers (anthropogenic and natural) of soil processes; (4) provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services; and (5) human needs fulfilled by soil ecosystem services.
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