We explore the relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem services and conservation policy. A framework for studying their interdependence is proposed. We argue that a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for making a transition to a truly sustainable economy is that biodiversity conservation and its analysis take into account unwanted and avoidable indirect - i.e. rebound - effects of all kinds of biodiversity policy. We identify five types of such rebound effects and propose the terms biodiversity (two types), ecological, service and environmental rebound for these. The service rebound is associated with the problem of incongruence or conflicts, and thus the potential need for trade-offs, between ecosystem services or between such services and biodiversity conservation. Effective biodiversity policy requires the minimization of these various rebound effects. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.