In the ecological literature, the term “ecosystem function” has been subject to various
interpretation: it is sometimes used to indicate the functioning of the ecosystem, sometimes it is
related to the human benefits due to ecosystem processes and properties, sometimes processes
and functions are not separated (Boyd & Banzhaf 2006).
De Groot et al. (2002) defined ecosystem functions as “the capacity of natural processes and
components to provide goods and services that satisfy human needs, directly or indirectly”.
Similarly, TEEB defines ecosystem functions are “a subset of the interactions between ecosystem
structure and processes that underpin the capacity of an ecosystem to provide goods and services
The HyMoCARES consortium decided to basically follow the TEEB definition of functions, which is
consistent with the definition of ES and processes that is used in HyMoCARES D.T1.1.1 and in the
previous paragraph of this document.
In HyMoCARES, the definition provided by TEEB is further
specified, defining functions as “the result of the interactions among boundary conditions and
biotic and abiotic processes that influences positively or negatively the capacity of an ecosystem
to provide goods and services”.
Following the former list of processes, we selected a number of
functions (see below) which are initiated by these processes and that we considered relevant for
Thereby, we are aware of the fact that some of the processes presented in the previous paragraph
can be considered as functions from a river ecosystem services perspective, as they could have a
direct effect on river ES. Similarly, the functions listed below may be influenced by other functions,
too, including possible feedback effects.