RAND > ISE > Projects & Resources > Our Future, Our Environment > Nature's Services

Of the over one million species of plants and animals on this planet, only a few -- such as crops, timber, and edible fish -- have market values. Most of the remaining species aid humans in less direct ways: by creating oxygen, decomposing organic matter, filtering air and water, and controlling pests. These natural processes can be seen as "services" provided by our ecosystems.

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