Juan P. Alvez is a PhD candidate in ecological economics at the University of Vermont. His research addresses environmental, social, and productive aspects of rural farms, with emphasis on dairy management, ecosystem conservation, and sustainable livelihoods in the Atlantic forest in Santa Catarina, Brazil, and in Vermont.

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Ecosystem services are conventionally defined as the human benefits provided by natural ecosystems and include the capacity of those systems to reproduce or replenish themselves. It is useful, however, to distinguish between two types of flows from nature that benefit humans: ecosystem services and throughput.1,2 Ecosystems generate services …

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