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The operating of an ecosystem. Very often, there is a normative component involved, insofar as ecosystem functioning not only refers to (any) functioning/performance of the system but to 'proper functioning' and thus implies a normative choice on what is considered as a properly functioning ecosystem (operating within certain limits).
Based on Jax (2010)
There are manifold ways in which this is assessed and conceptualised, e.g. as (see this glossary) good ecological status, ecosystem health, ecosystem integrity, or implied by the desired state of ecosystem services delivered by the systems. Sometimes used as synonymous with ecosystem function, sometimes not. When using ecosystem functioning the emphasis should be on the overall performance of the system and not as much on selected processes or purposes.
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