Supporting services or ecological functions are the underpinning structures and processes that ultimately give rise to ecosystem services. Some have described them as ‘intermediate services’. Each of the other main service themes, groups and classes should be liked to such underpinning structures and processes, although often the nature of the linkages are not fully understood.
A classification of these underpinning services is not covered in CICES which seeks to identify the final services that link to the goods and benefits that are valued by people.
The context for CICES can be illustrated conceptually using the Cascade Model (Potschin and Haines-Young, 2011)
After: Potschin, M. and R. Haines-Young (2011): Introduction to the special issue. Progress in Physical Geography 35(5): 571-574. pdf