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Table 1 Soil functions that play a role in ecosystem services either directly, through their primary benefits to humans, or indirectly, by contributing to ecosystem functioning that eventually leads to benefits for humans

From: Continental-scale assessment of provisioning soil functions in Europe

Soil functions (CEC2006) Type of linkage Ecosystem services (MEA2003)
Supporting Provisioning Regulating Cultural
Biomass production Direct   Providing food, feed, wood, fiber, biofuels   
Indirect Supporting ecosystem functions through primary production   Regulating carbon sequestration Contributing to traditions, spiritual inspiration
Storing, filtering and transforming nutrients and water Direct    Regulating water and nutrient availability  
Indirect Supporting ecosystem functions through water and nutrient cycling    
Hosting biodiversity Direct Supporting ecosystem functioning by hosting biodiversity    
Indirect   Providing pharmaceuticals and biochemicals through gene reserve Regulating crop pollination, pest, and disease control through living organisms Contributing to scientific discovery
Platform for human activities Direct Supporting human habitats    
Indirect     
Source of raw materials Direct   Providing minerals and soil organic matter   
Indirect     
Carbon pool Direct    Regulating atmospheric CO2  
Indirect Supporting soil structure, nutrient capacity, etc.   Regulating soil system  
Storing geological and archaeological heritage Direct     Cultural heritage values (natural sciences, history, and anthropology)
Indirect Geological heritage supporting the maintenance of ecosystem dynamic equilibrium