In this summary chapter, we highlight three over-arching patterns among the ecosystem responses presented by the chapters in this volume. The first pattern is one of altered abundances and fluxes of water, nutrients, energy and species in ecosystems—always taking place initially after land use change, and often evolving and persisting over some extended period of time. A second repeating pattern is that there are clear bioclimatic and edaphic controls over the vulnerability of ecosystems to degradation during land use. A third emergent pattern is that indirect, unintended responses are ubiquitous across all types of land use and represent additional trade-offs in ecosystem services that go well beyond the direct impacts of land use change. Combined, these three patterns provide a conceptual basis upon which to develop a framework for systematic assessment of ecosystem responses to land use and land use change.