Ecosystem function

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Definition of Ecosystem function:
The physical, chemical and biological processes that transform and translocate energy or materials in an ecosystem[1]
This is the common definition for Ecosystem function, other definitions can be discussed in the article

Ecosystem functioning generally describes the combined effects of individual functions, with the overall rate of functioning being governed by the interplay of abiotic (physical and chemical) and/or biotic factors[2]/. Although a distinction is not always made, ecosystem function can be destinguished from ecosystem process. Ecosystem process refers to mechanistic processes such as bioturbation intensity, decomposition or resource use that are carried out by fauna and which regulate the observed level of ecosystem function such as nutrient cyling or primary productivity.


  1. Naeem, S. 1998. Species redundancy and ecosystem reliability. Conserv. Biol., 12: 39-45
  2. Reiss, J., Bridle, J.R., Montoya, J.M. and Woodward, G. 2009. Emerging horizons in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research. Trends Ecol. Evol., 24: 505-514