Lake-wetland ecosystems provide valuable ecosystem services (ES), but lake-wetland ecosystems have suffered great loss from rapid urban expansion and other land use changes. Despite great efforts in increasing our understanding about ES produced by lake-wetlands, significant challenges (e.g., data, information, and implementation) still remain. This paper provides a thorough review of the progress in lake-wetland ES research. It addresses the pressing management needs for reliable biophysical models and economic valuation methods that quantify the trade-offs, across different spatial-temporal scales, and that can assess the effectiveness of alternative wetland management scenarios. The review identified significant gaps, namely, the need to identify data sources for more robust quantitative analyses of the link between ecosystem characteristics and final ES; the lack of information that can be used for generating evidence of trade-offs to compare alternative management actions; and the inadequate attention to incorporating information on potential trade-offs into wetland management. We conclude with lessons for future research including: (i) wetland ES monitoring programs to collect observed data on ES indicators and ecosystem characteristic metrics; (ii) integrated ES assessment models to track ES trends and evaluate ES trade-offs across temporal-spatial scale; and (iii) financial incentives to compensate ES suppliers for conservation to guarantee implementation.