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What services do wetlands provide?

A list of services has been collated to inform the use of the Whole-of-System, Values-Based Framework and provide a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of the services that wetlands provide. The classification categories (e.g. provisioning, regulating, cultural, supporting) used by the MA, CICES, and the Australian Government’s Ramsar Guideline are not included below because these are typologies.

Lacustrine wetland. Photo by Gary Cranitch © Queensland Museum

Much of the wording of the services table is directly informed by CICES, but also has links to the Australian Government’s Ramsar guideline (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2008), the MA (2005): Wetlands and Water framework[2], and the environmental values (EVs) and Water Quality Objectives (WQOs) outlined under Queensland legislation and Water Quality Guidelines. The services table has direct links to the informing framework (e.g. for CICES, the corresponding code is included) for referencing back to the original source. Where the hierarchical framework exists for a service, but it is not provided as an explicit example, inferences have been made that that category applies (e.g. examples for “fiber and fuel” in the MA (2005) are for plants, but the category could be applied to animals).

Similarly to other frameworks (e.g. CICES, FEGS), the services listed below are final services and intended to be separate from other services. As such, in the table, the EVs from the Queensland EVs and WQOs apply only to abiotic services as the EVs and WQOs focus on the final service that the water provides (e.g. the service ‘surface water for drinking’ relates to the ‘drinking water supply’ EV).

CICES (v5.1) is intended to be exhaustive at the ‘group’ level within the hierarchy but has the option to be customised by individual users[1]. Where CICES codes are unavailable for a service, the nearest CICES code for “other” is used (for example, 2.3.X.X) and a new code number is substituted for ‘x’. New sub-codes of CICES have been added where necessary (denoted by ^ in some entries). Where there is a singular CICES code that applies to multiple Queensland EVs and WQOs, this code has been repeated in the table (denoted by a # in some entries). The most contemporary, unfiltered CICES spreadsheet can be downloaded from the CICES Website.


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  1. ^ Haines-Young, R & Potschin, MB (2018), Common international classification of ecosystem services (CICES) V5. 1 and guidance on the application of the revised structure. . .. [online], European Environment Agency (EEA). Available at:
  2. ^ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis, page 13 (2005), World Resources Institute, Washington, DC..

Last updated: 18 June 2022

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2022) What services do wetlands provide?, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 July 2022. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science