Ecosystem services provided by marine inter- and sub-tidal benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages are often overlooked given their benthic location that is not evident to most observers. The macro-flora and macro-fauna that are the basis for these assemblages are impacted by changes in physical, chemical, and hydrological short and long-term alterations to their habitats. Globally, benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages can be categorized to examine ecosystems services provided by these highly productive coastal areas and the significance of the biodiversity of these assemblages should not be taken for granted. Ecosystem services provided can be categorized just as other global ecosystem services. The ecosystem services provided by marine coastal zones thus include Provisional, Supporting, Regulating, and Cultural Services. Significant environmental impacts to all of these types of ecosystem services have ensued from both natural and human events during the last decade. In addition to ongoing coastal human activity related threats to these areas, the disturbances to these assemblages immediately after a natural disaster event are currently a focus of research. Quantifying the impacts across the subunit of macroinvertebrate benthos is a focus of much current research. The current knowledge base and predicted recovery timeframes, in addition to the need for further investigation of long-term environmental societal factors are important globally.
Part of the book: Ecosystem Services and Global Ecology