Supporting ES are ecosystem services that are necessary for the production of the provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services. Some examples include biomass production, production of atmospheric oxygen, soil formation and retention, nutrient cycling, water cycling, and provision of habitat. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) approach lists them in a separate category alongside the provisioning, regulating and cultural services. The CICES and TEEB classification systems exclude them and represent their services through underlying ecosystem processes and functions.
Within environmental governance also supporting services in terms of underlying ecosystem functions and processes should be considered. These are the neuralgic and strategic points in the system to apply measures to when managing ecosystem services.