Cascade model

 The principles of a so called Cascade model on ecosystem service flows is applied to our indicators.

The Cascade model chains the ecosystem service flow of five categories; structures (and processes), functions, services, benefits and values.

The entire chain starts with biophysical structures that together with fundamental processes of nature create the capacity of potential for ecosystem functioning. Functioning ecosystems create the potential for actual ecosystem services. Benefits are considered as the share what is taken to use from the entire pool of ecosystem service potential. The values are determined for the benefits.

Values are considered here as economic, social, health and intrinsic.

'Ecosystem services' from the middle was chosen to use as an umbrella term, and the indicators for remaining four steps (structure, function, benefit, value) of the Cascade models were developed to raise the awareness of the entire ecosystem service flow. 

Changes in any step of the Cascade cause changes to the rest of the chain.


Haines-Young, R., & Potschin, M. (2010). The links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Ecosystem Ecology: a new synthesis, 110-139.

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