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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

People need freshwater biodiversity

Lynch, Abigail J.; Cooke, Steven J.; Arthington, Angela H.; Baigun, Claudio; Bossenbroek, Lisa; Dickens, Chris; Harrison, Ian; Kimirei, Ismael; Langhans, Simone D.; Murchie, Karen J.; Olden, Julian D.; Ormerod, Steve J.; Owuor, Margaret; Raghavan, Rajeev; Samways, Michael J.; Schinegger, Rafaela; Sharma, Subodh; Tachamo-Shah, Ram-Devi; Tickner, David; Tweddle, Denis;
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Freshwater biodiversity, from fish to frogs and microbes to macrophytes, provides a vast array of services to people. Mounting concerns focus on the accelerating pace of biodiversity loss and declining ecological function within freshwater ecosystems that continue to threaten these natural benefits. Here, we catalog nine fundamental ecosystem services that the biotic components of indigenous freshwater biodiversity provide to people, organized into three categories: material (food; health and genetic resources; material goods), non-material (culture; education and science; recreation), and regulating (catchment integrity; climate regulation; water purification and nutrient cycling). If freshwater biodiversity is protected, conserved, and restored in an integrated manner, as well as more broadly appreciated by humanity, it will continue to contribute to human well-being and our sustainable future via this wide range of services and associated nature-based solutions to our sustainable future.This article is categorized under:Human Water > Value of WaterWater and Life > Nature of Freshwater EcosystemsScience of Water > Water and Environmental Change


ecosystem services; freshwater biodiversity; freshwater ecosystems; freshwater life

Published in

WIREs Water
2023, Volume: 10, number: 3, article number: e1633
Publisher: WILEY

    Associated SLU-program

    Nature experiences and health

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)