How can we tell if the ecosystem services upon which we rely are at risk of being lost, potentially permanently? Ecosystem services underpin human well-being, but we lack a consistent approach for categorizing the extent to which they are threatened. We present an assessment framework for assessing the degree to which the adequate and sustainable provision of a given ecosystem service is threatened. Our framework combines information on the states and trends of both ecosystem service supply and demand, with reference to two critical thresholds: demand exceeding supply and ecosystem service ‘extinction’. This framework can provide a basis for global, national, and regional assessments of threat to ecosystem services, and accompany existing assessments of threat to species and ecosystems.
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