Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Agricultural Ecosystem Services
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Agricultural Ecosystem Services

These models were developed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, with support from Fertilizer Canada.

Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models (ESCMs) offer an entry point for incorporating a suite of ecosystem services considerations into a program or project. The models illustrate the way that a management intervention cascades through an ecological system and results in ecosystem services and other human welfare impacts.

General ESCMs can be used as consistent templates that can be specified to the context of a particular project or program. These general models are relatively high-level and less specific to enhance transferability, while site-specific models are more detailed and precisely tailored to the conditions and processes of a particular program or project. ESCMs are generally developed through an iterative process of literature reviews, workshops, and follow- up expert elicitations.

Further information on ESCMs:

Model walkthrough and editing demo

It is important to note that these models are designed to show system change. They describe how a system will change given a particular management intervention or external stressor, in comparison to some baseline. The model should only include those things that are expected to change given the intervention(s) or stressor(s) of interest.

All Systems


Agricultural Management Conceptual Models

Model Version Model File(s) Additional Resources
Nitrogen Management Practices


Editable version External link

Evidence library

Phosphorus Management Practices


Editable version External link