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Sample records for additional ecosystem services

  1. Ecosystem Services

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  2. Fishing for ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  3. Lakes Ecosystem Services Online

    EPA Science Inventory

    Northeastern lakes provide valuable ecosystem services that benefit residents and visitors and are increasingly important for provisioning of recreational opportunities and amenities. Concurrently, however, population growth threatens lakes by, for instance, increasing nutrient ...

  4. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    PubMed

    Mao, Qi-zheng; Huang, Gan-lin; Wu, Jian-guo

    2015-04-01

    Maintaining and improving ecosystem services in urban areas and human well-being are essential for sustainable development and therefore constitute an important topic in urban ecology. Here we reviewed studies on ecosystem services in urban areas. Based on the concept and classification of urban ecosystem services, we summarized characteristics of urban ecosystem services, including the human domination, high demand of ecosystem services in urban areas, spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand in urban areas, multi-services of urban green infrastructures, the socio-economic dimension of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem disservices in urban areas. Among different urban ecosystem services, the regulating service and cultural service are particularly indispensable to benefit human health. We pointed out that tradeoffs among different types of ecosystem services mostly occur between supportive service and cultural service, as well as regulating service and cultural service. In particular, we emphasized the relationship between landscape design (i.e. green infrastructure) and ecosystem services supply. Finally, we discussed current gaps to link urban ecosystem services studies to landscape design and management and pointed out several directions for future research in urban ecosystem services.

  5. Valuation of rangeland ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gascoigne, W.R.

    2011-01-01

    into analyzing the costs and benefits associated with policies being proposed, or possibly already implemented. For example, with monetized values acting as a common metric, one could compare the 'benefits' of converting a rangeland ecosystem for commercial development (perhaps estimated at the market value of the developed land) with the foregone ecosystem service values (in addition to any land income lost) resulting from that land conversion. Similarly, ecosystem service values can be used to determine the level of return on an investment. rhis is a primary objective for private land conservation organizations who typically have very limited resources. Ecosystem service valuation can also have a role in damage assessments from incidents that require compensation such as oil spills. Additionally, valuation can be very informative when investigating regulatory programs that trade ecological assets such as wetland mitigation programs. Typically these programs are based simply on an 'acre for acre' criterion, and do not take into consideration varying welfare values associated with that ecosystem. Lastly, and most fundamental, ecosystem service valuation serves as a recognition tool for people of all backgrounds. Identifying and valuing ecosystem goods and services on rangelands brings to light the value these natural assets have to human welfare that often remain hidden do to their public and non-market attributes. This type of recognition is vital to the preservation of rangeland ecosystems in the future and the many ecological benefits they provide.

  6. Biogeochemical processes underpin ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elemental cycling is critical to the function of ecosystems and delivery of key ecosystem services because many of these elements are essential nutrients or detrimental toxicants that directly affect the health of organisms and ecosystems. A team of authors from North Carolina State University and ...

  7. Ecosystem services provided by bats.

    PubMed

    Kunz, Thomas H; Braun de Torrez, Elizabeth; Bauer, Dana; Lobova, Tatyana; Fleming, Theodore H

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits obtained from the environment that increase human well-being. Economic valuation is conducted by measuring the human welfare gains or losses that result from changes in the provision of ecosystem services. Bats have long been postulated to play important roles in arthropod suppression, seed dispersal, and pollination; however, only recently have these ecosystem services begun to be thoroughly evaluated. Here, we review the available literature on the ecological and economic impact of ecosystem services provided by bats. We describe dietary preferences, foraging behaviors, adaptations, and phylogenetic histories of insectivorous, frugivorous, and nectarivorous bats worldwide in the context of their respective ecosystem services. For each trophic ensemble, we discuss the consequences of these ecological interactions on both natural and agricultural systems. Throughout this review, we highlight the research needed to fully determine the ecosystem services in question. Finally, we provide a comprehensive overview of economic valuation of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, few studies estimating the economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats have been conducted to date; however, we outline a framework that could be used in future studies to more fully address this question. Consumptive goods provided by bats, such as food and guano, are often exchanged in markets where the market price indicates an economic value. Nonmarket valuation methods can be used to estimate the economic value of nonconsumptive services, including inputs to agricultural production and recreational activities. Information on the ecological and economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats can be used to inform decisions regarding where and when to protect or restore bat populations and associated habitats, as well as to improve public perception of bats.

  8. Conservation Planning for Ecosystem Services

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kai M. A; Shaw, M. Rebecca; Cameron, David R; Underwood, Emma C; Daily, Gretchen C

    2006-01-01

    Despite increasing attention to the human dimension of conservation projects, a rigorous, systematic methodology for planning for ecosystem services has not been developed. This is in part because flows of ecosystem services remain poorly characterized at local-to-regional scales, and their protection has not generally been made a priority. We used a spatially explicit conservation planning framework to explore the trade-offs and opportunities for aligning conservation goals for biodiversity with six ecosystem services (carbon storage, flood control, forage production, outdoor recreation, crop pollination, and water provision) in the Central Coast ecoregion of California, United States. We found weak positive and some weak negative associations between the priority areas for biodiversity conservation and the flows of the six ecosystem services across the ecoregion. Excluding the two agriculture-focused services—crop pollination and forage production—eliminates all negative correlations. We compared the degree to which four contrasting conservation network designs protect biodiversity and the flow of the six services. We found that biodiversity conservation protects substantial collateral flows of services. Targeting ecosystem services directly can meet the multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity goals more efficiently but cannot substitute for targeted biodiversity protection (biodiversity losses of 44% relative to targeting biodiversity alone). Strategically targeting only biodiversity plus the four positively associated services offers much promise (relative biodiversity losses of 7%). Here we present an initial analytical framework for integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services in conservation planning and illustrate its application. We found that although there are important potential trade-offs between conservation for biodiversity and for ecosystem services, a systematic planning framework offers scope for identifying valuable synergies. PMID

  9. National Atlas of Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The nation’s ecosystems provide a vast array of services to humans from clean and abundant water to recreational opportunities. The benefits of nature or “ecosystem services” are often taken for granted and not considered in environmental decision-making. In some cases, decis...

  10. Geospatial tools for Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Northeastern lakes provide valuable ecosystem services that benefit residents and visitors and are increasingly important for provisioning of recreational opportunities and amenities. Concurrently, population growth threatens lakes by, for instance, increasing nutrient loads. ...

  11. Ecosystem services provided by waterbirds.

    PubMed

    Green, Andy J; Elmberg, Johan

    2014-02-01

    Ecosystem services are ecosystem processes that directly or indirectly benefit human well-being. There has been much recent literature identifying different services and the communities and species that provide them. This is a vital first step towards management and maintenance of these services. In this review, we specifically address the waterbirds, which play key functional roles in many aquatic ecosystems, including as predators, herbivores and vectors of seeds, invertebrates and nutrients, although these roles have often been overlooked. Waterbirds can maintain the diversity of other organisms, control pests, be effective bioindicators of ecological conditions, and act as sentinels of potential disease outbreaks. They also provide important provisioning (meat, feathers, eggs, etc.) and cultural services to both indigenous and westernized societies. We identify key gaps in the understanding of ecosystem services provided by waterbirds and areas for future research required to clarify their functional role in ecosystems and the services they provide. We consider how the economic value of these services could be calculated, giving some examples. Such valuation will provide powerful arguments for waterbird conservation.

  12. Ecosystem services capacity across heterogeneous forest types: understanding the interactions and suggesting pathways for sustaining multiple ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Alamgir, Mohammed; Turton, Stephen M; Macgregor, Colin J; Pert, Petina L

    2016-10-01

    As ecosystem services supply from tropical forests is declining due to deforestation and forest degradation, much effort is essential to sustain ecosystem services supply from tropical forested landscapes, because tropical forests provide the largest flow of multiple ecosystem services among the terrestrial ecosystems. In order to sustain multiple ecosystem services, understanding ecosystem services capacity across heterogeneous forest types and identifying certain ecosystem services that could be managed to leverage positive effects across the wider bundle of ecosystem services are required. We sampled three forest types, tropical rainforests, sclerophyll forests, and rehabilitated plantation forests, over an area of 32,000m(2) from Wet Tropics bioregion, Australia, aiming to compare supply and evaluate interactions and patterns of eight ecosystem services (global climate regulation, air quality regulation, erosion regulation, nutrient regulation, cyclone protection, habitat provision, energy provision, and timber provision). On average, multiple ecosystem services were highest in the rainforests, lowest in sclerophyll forests, and intermediate in rehabilitated plantation forests. However, a wide variation was apparent among the plots across the three forest types. Global climate regulation service had a synergistic impact on the supply of multiple ecosystem services, while nutrient regulation service was found to have a trade-off impact. Considering multiple ecosystem services, most of the rehabilitated plantation forest plots shared the same ordination space with rainforest plots in the ordination analysis, indicating that rehabilitated plantation forests may supply certain ecosystem services nearly equivalent to rainforests. Two synergy groups and one trade-off group were identified. Apart from conserving rainforests and sclerophyll forests, our findings suggest two additional integrated pathways to sustain the supply of multiple ecosystem services from a

  13. Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Elena M; Peterson, Garry D; Gordon, Line J

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem management that attempts to maximize the production of one ecosystem service often results in substantial declines in the provision of other ecosystem services. For this reason, recent studies have called for increased attention to development of a theoretical understanding behind the relationships among ecosystem services. Here, we review the literature on ecosystem services and propose a typology of relationships between ecosystem services based on the role of drivers and the interactions between services. We use this typology to develop three propositions to help drive ecological science towards a better understanding of the relationships among multiple ecosystem services. Research which aims to understand the relationships among multiple ecosystem services and the mechanisms behind these relationships will improve our ability to sustainably manage landscapes to provide multiple ecosystem services.

  14. Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services webpage

    EPA Science Inventory

    Public website describing research on the large-scale physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of coastal wetlands and estuaries, with emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico. Hyperlinks direct users to mapped ecosystem services of interest and value to Tampa Bay area residents, and i...

  15. EPA's Southwest Ecosystem Services Research Program

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) in the Office of Research and Development (ORD) is studying ecosystem services and the benefits to human well-being provided by ecological services. As part of this research effort, the Southwest Ecosystem Services Research Progra...

  16. Refocusing on nature: holistic assessment of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Menzie, Charles A; Deardorff, Thomas; Booth, Pieter; Wickwire, Ted

    2012-07-01

    The benefits people obtain from ecosystems vary from direct benefits that are easily monetized (e.g., timber) to indirect benefits that are not easily monetized (e.g., maintenance of water quality). Commonly, there is wide variation among individuals in the values placed on ecosystem benefits or services. The lack of consensus both in identifying ecosystem services and in valuing them with respect to other services poses a great challenge to those charged with evaluating changes in the provision of ecosystem service after, for example, a natural disaster. Natural resource economics provides some tools, but economics alone will not ensure a balanced, holistic assessment. An inherent complexity in valuing services is often associated with the interrelationships between services and the background and expertise of those leading the assessment. We argue that a holistic evaluation of ecosystems founded on solid expertise in ecosystem dynamics is essential for the accurate assessment of ecosystem services. A reductionist approach to ecosystem service valuation often fails to capture ecological dynamics that are vital to the functioning and ultimate provision of services. In this article, we present case studies of ecosystem services valuation for forest fires, dam removal, and chemical contamination of sediment to explore the complexity of ecosystem service valuation. Additionally, we offer assessment strategies for recognizing the importance of holistic assessment of ecosystem services.

  17. Assessment and evaluation of soil ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystems are defined by the complex relationships that exist between living resources and habitats of an area - and how they function as a unit. When ecosystems are described in the context of the benefits that people obtain from them, they are defined as ecosystem services. An ecosystem service...

  18. Ecosystem Services Flows: Why Stakeholders' Power Relationships Matter.

    PubMed

    Felipe-Lucia, María R; Martín-López, Berta; Lavorel, Sandra; Berraquero-Díaz, Luis; Escalera-Reyes, Javier; Comín, Francisco A

    2015-01-01

    The ecosystem services framework has enabled the broader public to acknowledge the benefits nature provides to different stakeholders. However, not all stakeholders benefit equally from these services. Rather, power relationships are a key factor influencing the access of individuals or groups to ecosystem services. In this paper, we propose an adaptation of the "cascade" framework for ecosystem services to integrate the analysis of ecological interactions among ecosystem services and stakeholders' interactions, reflecting power relationships that mediate ecosystem services flows. We illustrate its application using the floodplain of the River Piedra (Spain) as a case study. First, we used structural equation modelling (SEM) to model the dependence relationships among ecosystem services. Second, we performed semi-structured interviews to identify formal power relationships among stakeholders. Third, we depicted ecosystem services according to stakeholders' ability to use, manage or impair ecosystem services in order to expose how power relationships mediate access to ecosystem services. Our results revealed that the strongest power was held by those stakeholders who managed (although did not use) those keystone ecosystem properties and services that determine the provision of other services (i.e., intermediate regulating and final services). In contrast, non-empowered stakeholders were only able to access the remaining non-excludable and non-rival ecosystem services (i.e., some of the cultural services, freshwater supply, water quality, and biological control). In addition, land stewardship, access rights, and governance appeared as critical factors determining the status of ecosystem services. Finally, we stress the need to analyse the role of stakeholders and their relationships to foster equal access to ecosystem services.

  19. Ecosystem Services Flows: Why Stakeholders’ Power Relationships Matter

    PubMed Central

    Felipe-Lucia, María R.; Martín-López, Berta; Lavorel, Sandra; Berraquero-Díaz, Luis; Escalera-Reyes, Javier; Comín, Francisco A.

    2015-01-01

    The ecosystem services framework has enabled the broader public to acknowledge the benefits nature provides to different stakeholders. However, not all stakeholders benefit equally from these services. Rather, power relationships are a key factor influencing the access of individuals or groups to ecosystem services. In this paper, we propose an adaptation of the “cascade” framework for ecosystem services to integrate the analysis of ecological interactions among ecosystem services and stakeholders’ interactions, reflecting power relationships that mediate ecosystem services flows. We illustrate its application using the floodplain of the River Piedra (Spain) as a case study. First, we used structural equation modelling (SEM) to model the dependence relationships among ecosystem services. Second, we performed semi-structured interviews to identify formal power relationships among stakeholders. Third, we depicted ecosystem services according to stakeholders’ ability to use, manage or impair ecosystem services in order to expose how power relationships mediate access to ecosystem services. Our results revealed that the strongest power was held by those stakeholders who managed (although did not use) those keystone ecosystem properties and services that determine the provision of other services (i.e., intermediate regulating and final services). In contrast, non-empowered stakeholders were only able to access the remaining non-excludable and non-rival ecosystem services (i.e., some of the cultural services, freshwater supply, water quality, and biological control). In addition, land stewardship, access rights, and governance appeared as critical factors determining the status of ecosystem services. Finally, we stress the need to analyse the role of stakeholders and their relationships to foster equal access to ecosystem services. PMID:26201000

  20. Ecosystem Services in Risk Assessment and Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services concept provides a comprehensive framework for considering ecosystems in decision making, for valuing the services they provide, and for ensuring that society can maintain a healthy and resilient natural environment now and for future generations. A global ...

  1. Balancing feedstock economics and ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this analysis is to examine the economic balance between production of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks and ecosystem services at the farm level. A literature review of the economics of ecosystem services, ecosystem service impacts of biofuel production, and economic factors influencing ...

  2. Uncovering ecosystem service bundles through social preferences.

    PubMed

    Martín-López, Berta; Iniesta-Arandia, Irene; García-Llorente, Marina; Palomo, Ignacio; Casado-Arzuaga, Izaskun; Amo, David García Del; Gómez-Baggethun, Erik; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Palacios-Agundez, Igone; Willaarts, Bárbara; González, José A; Santos-Martín, Fernando; Onaindia, Miren; López-Santiago, Cesar; Montes, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem service assessments have increasingly been used to support environmental management policies, mainly based on biophysical and economic indicators. However, few studies have coped with the social-cultural dimension of ecosystem services, despite being considered a research priority. We examined how ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs emerge from diverging social preferences toward ecosystem services delivered by various types of ecosystems in Spain. We conducted 3,379 direct face-to-face questionnaires in eight different case study sites from 2007 to 2011. Overall, 90.5% of the sampled population recognized the ecosystem's capacity to deliver services. Formal studies, environmental behavior, and gender variables influenced the probability of people recognizing the ecosystem's capacity to provide services. The ecosystem services most frequently perceived by people were regulating services; of those, air purification held the greatest importance. However, statistical analysis showed that socio-cultural factors and the conservation management strategy of ecosystems (i.e., National Park, Natural Park, or a non-protected area) have an effect on social preferences toward ecosystem services. Ecosystem service trade-offs and bundles were identified by analyzing social preferences through multivariate analysis (redundancy analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis). We found a clear trade-off among provisioning services (and recreational hunting) versus regulating services and almost all cultural services. We identified three ecosystem service bundles associated with the conservation management strategy and the rural-urban gradient. We conclude that socio-cultural preferences toward ecosystem services can serve as a tool to identify relevant services for people, the factors underlying these social preferences, and emerging ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs.

  3. Modelling ecosystem services in terrestrial systems

    PubMed Central

    Daily, Gretchen C

    2010-01-01

    Over the past few decades, a multi-disciplinary research community has documented the goods and services provided by ecosystems in specific sites scattered across the world. This research community has now begun to focus on creating methods and tools for mapping and valuing the ecosystem services produced on any landscape in the world. We describe some of these methods and tools and how they calculate and express ecosystem service provision and value on landscapes. We also describe methods for predicting landscape change. These predictions can be used by multi-ecosystem service models to assess potential changes and trade-offs in ecosystem service provision and values into the future. PMID:21173858

  4. Implementing the optimal provision of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Polasky, Stephen; Lewis, David J; Plantinga, Andrew J; Nelson, Erik

    2014-04-29

    Many ecosystem services are public goods whose provision depends on the spatial pattern of land use. The pattern of land use is often determined by the decisions of multiple private landowners. Increasing the provision of ecosystem services, though beneficial for society as a whole, may be costly to private landowners. A regulator interested in providing incentives to landowners for increased provision of ecosystem services often lacks complete information on landowners' costs. The combination of spatially dependent benefits and asymmetric cost information means that the optimal provision of ecosystem services cannot be achieved using standard regulatory or payment for ecosystem services approaches. Here we show that an auction that sets payments between landowners and the regulator for the increased value of ecosystem services with conservation provides incentives for landowners to truthfully reveal cost information, and allows the regulator to implement the optimal provision of ecosystem services, even in the case with spatially dependent benefits and asymmetric information.

  5. Implementing the optimal provision of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Polasky, Stephen; Lewis, David J.; Plantinga, Andrew J.; Nelson, Erik

    2014-01-01

    Many ecosystem services are public goods whose provision depends on the spatial pattern of land use. The pattern of land use is often determined by the decisions of multiple private landowners. Increasing the provision of ecosystem services, though beneficial for society as a whole, may be costly to private landowners. A regulator interested in providing incentives to landowners for increased provision of ecosystem services often lacks complete information on landowners’ costs. The combination of spatially dependent benefits and asymmetric cost information means that the optimal provision of ecosystem services cannot be achieved using standard regulatory or payment for ecosystem services approaches. Here we show that an auction that sets payments between landowners and the regulator for the increased value of ecosystem services with conservation provides incentives for landowners to truthfully reveal cost information, and allows the regulator to implement the optimal provision of ecosystem services, even in the case with spatially dependent benefits and asymmetric information. PMID:24722635

  6. Towards ecosystem accounting: a comprehensive approach to modelling multiple hydrological ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duku, C.; Rathjens, H.; Zwart, S. J.; Hein, L.

    2015-10-01

    Ecosystem accounting is an emerging field that aims to provide a consistent approach to analysing environment-economy interactions. One of the specific features of ecosystem accounting is the distinction between the capacity and the flow of ecosystem services. Ecohydrological modelling to support ecosystem accounting requires considering among others physical and mathematical representation of ecohydrological processes, spatial heterogeneity of the ecosystem, temporal resolution, and required model accuracy. This study examines how a spatially explicit ecohydrological model can be used to analyse multiple hydrological ecosystem services in line with the ecosystem accounting framework. We use the Upper Ouémé watershed in Benin as a test case to demonstrate our approach. The Soil Water and Assessment Tool (SWAT), which has been configured with a grid-based landscape discretization and further enhanced to simulate water flow across the discretized landscape units, is used to simulate the ecohydrology of the Upper Ouémé watershed. Indicators consistent with the ecosystem accounting framework are used to map and quantify the capacities and the flows of multiple hydrological ecosystem services based on the model outputs. Biophysical ecosystem accounts are subsequently set up based on the spatial estimates of hydrological ecosystem services. In addition, we conduct trend analysis statistical tests on biophysical ecosystem accounts to identify trends in changes in the capacity of the watershed ecosystems to provide service flows. We show that the integration of hydrological ecosystem services into an ecosystem accounting framework provides relevant information on ecosystems and hydrological ecosystem services at appropriate scales suitable for decision-making.

  7. Uncovering Ecosystem Service Bundles through Social Preferences

    PubMed Central

    Martín-López, Berta; Iniesta-Arandia, Irene; García-Llorente, Marina; Palomo, Ignacio; Casado-Arzuaga, Izaskun; Amo, David García Del; Gómez-Baggethun, Erik; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Palacios-Agundez, Igone; Willaarts, Bárbara; González, José A.; Santos-Martín, Fernando; Onaindia, Miren; López-Santiago, Cesar; Montes, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem service assessments have increasingly been used to support environmental management policies, mainly based on biophysical and economic indicators. However, few studies have coped with the social-cultural dimension of ecosystem services, despite being considered a research priority. We examined how ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs emerge from diverging social preferences toward ecosystem services delivered by various types of ecosystems in Spain. We conducted 3,379 direct face-to-face questionnaires in eight different case study sites from 2007 to 2011. Overall, 90.5% of the sampled population recognized the ecosystem’s capacity to deliver services. Formal studies, environmental behavior, and gender variables influenced the probability of people recognizing the ecosystem’s capacity to provide services. The ecosystem services most frequently perceived by people were regulating services; of those, air purification held the greatest importance. However, statistical analysis showed that socio-cultural factors and the conservation management strategy of ecosystems (i.e., National Park, Natural Park, or a non-protected area) have an effect on social preferences toward ecosystem services. Ecosystem service trade-offs and bundles were identified by analyzing social preferences through multivariate analysis (redundancy analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis). We found a clear trade-off among provisioning services (and recreational hunting) versus regulating services and almost all cultural services. We identified three ecosystem service bundles associated with the conservation management strategy and the rural-urban gradient. We conclude that socio-cultural preferences toward ecosystem services can serve as a tool to identify relevant services for people, the factors underlying these social preferences, and emerging ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs. PMID:22720006

  8. Ecosystem Services in the Gulf of Maine

    EPA Science Inventory

    The primary goal of ecosystem-based management (EBM) is to sustain the long-term capacity of the natural world to provide ecosystem services. A technical workshop was held with the object of moving toward identifying, mapping, quantifying, and valuing ecosystem services in the G...

  9. Obscuring ecosystem function with application of the ecosystem services concept.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Markus J; Hall, Damon M; Feldpausch-Parker, Andrea M; Peterson, Tarla Rai

    2010-02-01

    Conservationists commonly have framed ecological concerns in economic terms to garner political support for conservation and to increase public interest in preserving global biodiversity. Beginning in the early 1980s, conservation biologists adapted neoliberal economics to reframe ecosystem functions and related biodiversity as ecosystem services to humanity. Despite the economic success of programs such as the Catskill/Delaware watershed management plan in the United States and the creation of global carbon exchanges, today's marketplace often fails to adequately protect biodiversity. We used a Marxist critique to explain one reason for this failure and to suggest a possible, if partial, response. Reframing ecosystem functions as economic services does not address the political problem of commodification. Just as it obscures the labor of human workers, commodification obscures the importance of the biota (ecosystem workers) and related abiotic factors that contribute to ecosystem functions. This erasure of work done by ecosystems impedes public understanding of biodiversity. Odum and Odum's radical suggestion to use the language of ecosystems (i.e., emergy or energy memory) to describe economies, rather than using the language of economics (i.e., services) to describe ecosystems, reverses this erasure of the ecosystem worker. Considering the current dominance of economic forces, however, implementing such solutions would require social changes similar in magnitude to those that occurred during the 1960s. Niklas Luhmann argues that such substantive, yet rapid, social change requires synergy among multiple societal function systems (i.e., economy, education, law, politics, religion, science), rather than reliance on a single social sphere, such as the economy. Explicitly presenting ecosystem services as discreet and incomplete aspects of ecosystem functions not only allows potential economic and environmental benefits associated with ecosystem services, but also

  10. Reframing landscape fragmentation's effects on ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Matthew G E; Suarez-Castro, Andrés F; Martinez-Harms, Maria; Maron, Martine; McAlpine, Clive; Gaston, Kevin J; Johansen, Kasper; Rhodes, Jonathan R

    2015-04-01

    Landscape structure and fragmentation have important effects on ecosystem services, with a common assumption being that fragmentation reduces service provision. This is based on fragmentation's expected effects on ecosystem service supply, but ignores how fragmentation influences the flow of services to people. Here we develop a new conceptual framework that explicitly considers the links between landscape fragmentation, the supply of services, and the flow of services to people. We argue that fragmentation's effects on ecosystem service flow can be positive or negative, and use our framework to construct testable hypotheses about the effects of fragmentation on final ecosystem service provision. Empirical efforts to apply and test this framework are critical to improving landscape management for multiple ecosystem services.

  11. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Forest; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Loreau, Michel

    2015-02-01

    Habitat destruction is driving biodiversity loss in remaining ecosystems, and ecosystem functioning and services often directly depend on biodiversity. Thus, biodiversity loss is likely creating an ecosystem service debt: a gradual loss of biodiversity-dependent benefits that people obtain from remaining fragments of natural ecosystems. Here, we develop an approach for quantifying ecosystem service debts, and illustrate its use to estimate how one anthropogenic driver, habitat destruction, could indirectly diminish one ecosystem service, carbon storage, by creating an extinction debt. We estimate that c. 2-21 Pg C could be gradually emitted globally in remaining ecosystem fragments because of plant species loss caused by nearby habitat destruction. The wide range for this estimate reflects substantial uncertainties in how many plant species will be lost, how much species loss will impact ecosystem functioning and whether plant species loss will decrease soil carbon. Our exploratory analysis suggests that biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debts can be globally substantial, even when locally small, if they occur diffusely across vast areas of remaining ecosystems. There is substantial value in conserving not only the quantity (area), but also the quality (biodiversity) of natural ecosystems for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services.

  12. Changing ecosystem service values following technological change.

    PubMed

    Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Schneider, Daniel W; Brozović, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on natural areas or remote places, with less attention given to urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. However, recent work by urban ecologists and urban designers has more closely examined and appreciated the opportunities associated with integrating natural and built infrastructures. Nevertheless, a perception remains in the literature on ecosystem services that technology may easily and irreversibly substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems, especially when the superiority of the engineered system motivated replacement in the first place. We emphasize that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, as argued in other contexts, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. The complementarity of ecosystem services and technology is illustrated with a case study in Barcelona, Spain where the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of the ecosystem services found there. Interestingly, the complementarity between natural and built infrastructures may remain even for the very ecosystems that are affected by the technological change. This finding suggests that we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with new technologies. Technological innovation can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

  13. Changing Ecosystem Service Values Following Technological Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Schneider, Daniel W.; Brozović, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on natural areas or remote places, with less attention given to urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. However, recent work by urban ecologists and urban designers has more closely examined and appreciated the opportunities associated with integrating natural and built infrastructures. Nevertheless, a perception remains in the literature on ecosystem services that technology may easily and irreversibly substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems, especially when the superiority of the engineered system motivated replacement in the first place. We emphasize that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, as argued in other contexts, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. The complementarity of ecosystem services and technology is illustrated with a case study in Barcelona, Spain where the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of the ecosystem services found there. Interestingly, the complementarity between natural and built infrastructures may remain even for the very ecosystems that are affected by the technological change. This finding suggests that we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with new technologies. Technological innovation can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

  14. An Operational Structure for Clarity in Ecosystem Service Values

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analyses used to value ecosystem services often confuse final ecosystem services with ecological functions that provide only indirect benefit. Extant categorizations of ecosystem services, such as that developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, do not ameliorate these cha...

  15. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Pope, Kevin L; Pegg, Mark A; Cole, Nicholas W; Siddons, Stephen F; Fedele, Alexis D; Harmon, Brian S; Ruskamp, Ryan L; Turner, Dylan R; Uerling, Caleb C

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  16. Have Ecosystem Services Been Oversold?

    PubMed

    Silvertown, Jonathan

    2015-11-01

    The concept of ecosystem services (ES) neatly encapsulates the ways in which human society depends upon the existence and functioning of nature, but also draws power by chiming with dominant neoliberal ideology. Scientific paradigms such as this have an inherent tendency to stop adherents from recognizing alternative approaches. It is high time to examine whether the concept is being oversold with potentially damaging consequences. Many authors have questioned the monetization of ES, but the origin of the problem lies deeper in anthropocentrism. By illustration with alternatives, I attempt to show how the ES paradigm has constrained thought, particularly towards the monetization and financialization of nature, even when many ecologists and others oppose this trend.

  17. Assessing soil ecosystem services using empirical indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodí, Merche B.; Struyf, Eric; Staes, Jan; Meire, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Studying the soil from the ecosystem services (ES) approach is a way to embrace the complexity and multiple functions of the soil systems and its interactions with the environment and with humans. The ES approach is ideal for developing a sustainable and integrated land management and to concern people about the value of conserving soil. However, this approach is generally used up to know only for soil provisioning services as well as the potential for carbon storage, but not for other services such as soil erosion or water buffering. In addition, those studies carried out are focussed in coarse spatial scale, without identifying the spatial or temporal variability. One of the reasons of this bias arises from the difficulties of obtaining a broad and reliable dataset of indicators from empirical sources. This constrain is sorted out with the action of SOGLO project (the Soil System Under Global Change), an interuniversity attraction pole project (2012-2017) involving different universities from Belgium. The project brings the opportunity to obtain a unique soil dataset for an improved and integrated analysis of the feedbacks between the soil system and fluxes of sediment, carbon (C), nutrients and water in response to anthropogenic forcings at different spatial and temporal scales in experimental sites in both Brazil and in Belgium. Within this broad project, the objective of the present work is to elucidate how different land uses in Belgium (forest, grassland, cropland with conventional tillage and with reduced tillage both with crop rotation) affect the delivery and trade-off of soil ecosystem services. We did this by measuring and comparing a range of indicators of soil ecosystem services in different lands uses during a range of 5 years. Specifically we investigated quantity of SOC in the soil and DOC in the soil solution and at the discharge point (SOC storage service/water buffering services); Si, N, P in the soil, dissolved in the soil solution and at the

  18. Ecosystem Services: Benefits Supplied to Human Societies by Natural Ecosystems

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The module provides a link to an article that is part of a series of articles in Issues in Ecology. This article discusses the many services an ecosystem provides in order to sustain and fulfill human needs.

  19. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy.

    PubMed

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers.

  20. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. PMID:25394857

  1. [Ecosystem services valuation of Qinghai Lake].

    PubMed

    Jiang, Bo; Zhang, Lu; Ouyang, Zhi-yun

    2015-10-01

    Qinghai Lake is the largest inland and salt water lake in China, and provides important ecosystem services to beneficiaries. Economic valuation of wetland ecosystem services from Qinghai Lake can reveal the direct contribution of lake ecosystems to beneficiaries using economic data, which can advance the incorporation of wetland protection of Qinghai Lake into economic tradeoffs and decision analyses. In this paper, we established a final ecosystem services valuation system based on the underlying ecological mechanisms and regional socio-economic conditions. We then evaluated the eco-economic value provided by the wetlands at Qinghai Lake to beneficiaries in 2012 using the market value method, replacement cost method, zonal travel cost method, and contingent valuation method. According to the valuation result, the total economic values of the final ecosystem services provided by the wetlands at Qinghai Lake were estimated to be 6749.08 x 10(8) yuan RMB in 2012, among which the value of water storage service and climate regulation service were 4797.57 x 10(8) and 1929.34 x 10(8) yuan RMB, accounting for 71.1% and 28.6% of the total value, respectively. The economic value of the 8 final ecosystem services was ranked from greatest to lowest as: water storage service > climate regulation service > recreation and tourism service > non-use value > oxygen release service > raw material production service > carbon sequestration service > food production service. The evaluation result of this paper reflects the substantial value that the wetlands of Qinghai Lake provide to beneficiaries using monetary values, which has the potential to help increase wetland protection awareness among the public and decision-makers, and inform managers about ways to create ecological compensation incentives. The final ecosystem service evaluation system presented in this paper will offer guidance on separating intermediate services and final services, and establishing monitoring programs for

  2. Ecosystem services in the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steinman, Alan D.; Cardinale, Bradley J; Munns Jr, Wayne R; Ogdahl, Mary E.; Allan, David J; Angadi, Ted; Bartlett, Sarah; Brauman, Kate; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Doss, Matt; Dupont, Diane; Johns, Annie; Kashian, Donna; Lupi, Frank; McIntyre, Peter B.; Miller, Todd; Moore, Michael P.; Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Poudel, Rajendra; Price, James; Provencher, Bill; Rea, Anne; Read, Jennifer; Renzetti, Steven; Sohngen, Brent; Washburn, Erica

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive inventory of ecosystem services across the entire Great Lakes basin is currently lacking and is needed to make informed management decisions. A greater appreciation and understanding of ecosystem services, including both use and non-use services, may have avoided misguided resource management decisions in the past that resulted in negative legacies inherited by future generations. Given the interest in ecosystem services and lack of a coherent approach to addressing this topic in the Great Lakes, a summit was convened involving 28 experts working on various aspects of ecosystem services in the Great Lakes. The invited attendees spanned a variety of social and natural sciences. Given the unique status of the Great Lakes as the world's largest collective repository of surface freshwater, and the numerous stressors threatening this valuable resource, timing was propitious to examine ecosystem services. Several themes and recommendations emerged from the summit. There was general consensus that: 1) a comprehensive inventory of ecosystem services throughout the Great Lakes is a desirable goal but would require considerable resources; 2) more spatially and temporally intensive data are needed to overcome our data gaps, but the arrangement of data networks and observatories must be well-coordinated; 3) trade-offs must be considered as part of ecosystem services analyses; and 4) formation of a Great Lakes Institute for Ecosystem Services, to provide a hub for research, meetings, and training is desirable. Several challenges also emerged during the summit, which are discussed.

  3. Ecosystem services and agriculture: tradeoffs and synergies.

    PubMed

    Power, Alison G

    2010-09-27

    Agricultural ecosystems provide humans with food, forage, bioenergy and pharmaceuticals and are essential to human wellbeing. These systems rely on ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems, including pollination, biological pest control, maintenance of soil structure and fertility, nutrient cycling and hydrological services. Preliminary assessments indicate that the value of these ecosystem services to agriculture is enormous and often underappreciated. Agroecosystems also produce a variety of ecosystem services, such as regulation of soil and water quality, carbon sequestration, support for biodiversity and cultural services. Depending on management practices, agriculture can also be the source of numerous disservices, including loss of wildlife habitat, nutrient runoff, sedimentation of waterways, greenhouse gas emissions, and pesticide poisoning of humans and non-target species. The tradeoffs that may occur between provisioning services and other ecosystem services and disservices should be evaluated in terms of spatial scale, temporal scale and reversibility. As more effective methods for valuing ecosystem services become available, the potential for 'win-win' scenarios increases. Under all scenarios, appropriate agricultural management practices are critical to realizing the benefits of ecosystem services and reducing disservices from agricultural activities.

  4. Invertebrates, ecosystem services and climate change.

    PubMed

    Prather, Chelse M; Pelini, Shannon L; Laws, Angela; Rivest, Emily; Woltz, Megan; Bloch, Christopher P; Del Toro, Israel; Ho, Chuan-Kai; Kominoski, John; Newbold, T A Scott; Parsons, Sheena; Joern, A

    2013-05-01

    The sustainability of ecosystem services depends on a firm understanding of both how organisms provide these services to humans and how these organisms will be altered with a changing climate. Unquestionably a dominant feature of most ecosystems, invertebrates affect many ecosystem services and are also highly responsive to climate change. However, there is still a basic lack of understanding of the direct and indirect paths by which invertebrates influence ecosystem services, as well as how climate change will affect those ecosystem services by altering invertebrate populations. This indicates a lack of communication and collaboration among scientists researching ecosystem services and climate change effects on invertebrates, and land managers and researchers from other disciplines, which becomes obvious when systematically reviewing the literature relevant to invertebrates, ecosystem services, and climate change. To address this issue, we review how invertebrates respond to climate change. We then review how invertebrates both positively and negatively influence ecosystem services. Lastly, we provide some critical future directions for research needs, and suggest ways in which managers, scientists and other researchers may collaborate to tackle the complex issue of sustaining invertebrate-mediated services under a changing climate.

  5. Ecosystem services and agriculture: tradeoffs and synergies

    PubMed Central

    Power, Alison G.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural ecosystems provide humans with food, forage, bioenergy and pharmaceuticals and are essential to human wellbeing. These systems rely on ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems, including pollination, biological pest control, maintenance of soil structure and fertility, nutrient cycling and hydrological services. Preliminary assessments indicate that the value of these ecosystem services to agriculture is enormous and often underappreciated. Agroecosystems also produce a variety of ecosystem services, such as regulation of soil and water quality, carbon sequestration, support for biodiversity and cultural services. Depending on management practices, agriculture can also be the source of numerous disservices, including loss of wildlife habitat, nutrient runoff, sedimentation of waterways, greenhouse gas emissions, and pesticide poisoning of humans and non-target species. The tradeoffs that may occur between provisioning services and other ecosystem services and disservices should be evaluated in terms of spatial scale, temporal scale and reversibility. As more effective methods for valuing ecosystem services become available, the potential for ‘win–win’ scenarios increases. Under all scenarios, appropriate agricultural management practices are critical to realizing the benefits of ecosystem services and reducing disservices from agricultural activities. PMID:20713396

  6. Dynamics of ecosystem services provided by subtropical ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The trends in the provision of ecosystem services during restoration and succession of subtropical forests and plantations were quantified, in terms of both receiver and donor values, based on a case study of a 3-step secondary succession series that included a 400-year-old subtropical forest and a 23-year history of growth on 3 subtropical forest plantations in Southeastern China. The ‘People's Republic of China Forestry Standard: Forest Ecosystem Service Valuation Norms’ was revised and applied to quantify the receiver values of ecosystem services, which were then compared with the emergy-based, donor values of the services. The results revealed that the efficiencies of subtropical forests and plantations in providing ecosystem services were 2 orders of magnitude higher than similar services provided by the current China economic system, and these efficiencieskept increasing over the course of succession. As a result, we conclude that afforestation is an efficient way to accelerate both the ability and efficiency of subtropical forests to provide ecosystem services. This paper is significant because it examines the dynamics of the provision of ecosystem services by forests over a succession series that spans 400 years. The paper also examines the rate of increase of services during forest restoration over a period of 23 years. The emergy used in ecosystem services provision is compared to the provision of similar services by economic means in the Chinese e

  7. The National Atlas of Ecosystem Services: Spatially Explicit Characterization of Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA’s Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) is conducting transdisciplinary research to develop tools to enable decision-makers at all levels of governance to proactively conserve ecosystem services. One of these tools is a National Atlas of Ecosystem Services which ...

  8. Southwest Ecosystem Services Project (SwESP): Identifying Ecosystems Services Based on Tribal Values

    EPA Science Inventory

    USEPA Office of Research Development (ORD) new strategic focus is the measurement of benefits and services of ecosystem. The primary objective of the Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) is to identify, measure, monitor, model and map ecosystem services and to enable their ...

  9. Multiple ecosystem services in a working landscape

    PubMed Central

    Eastburn, Danny J.; O’Geen, Anthony T.; Tate, Kenneth W.; Roche, Leslie M.

    2017-01-01

    Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services—specifically agricultural production, biodiversity and habitat, and soil health—across human created vegetation states in a managed oak woodland landscape in a Mediterranean climate. We found clear tradeoffs and synergies in management outcomes. Grassland states maximized agricultural productivity at a loss of soil health, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. Synergies existed among multiple ecosystem services in savanna and woodland states with significantly larger nutrient pools, more diversity and native plant richness, and less invasive species. This integrative approach can be adapted to a diversity of working landscapes to provide useful information for science-based ecosystem service valuations, conservation decision making, and management effectiveness assessments. PMID:28301475

  10. ESRP approach to using final ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed the ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) as one of its major research efforts. The goal of this program is to create “A comprehensive theory and practice for quantifying ecosystem services so that their value and their...

  11. Investigating Ecosystems Services in the Arid Southwest

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Southwest Ecosystem Services Project (SwESP) is an integrated, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency project focused on how to identify, characterize, and quantify the ecosystem services in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The southwestern landscape is highly d...

  12. Identifying spatial priorities for protecting ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Luck, Gary W

    2012-01-01

    Priorities for protecting ecosystem services must be identified to ensure future human well-being. Approaches to broad-scale spatial prioritization of ecosystem services are becoming increasingly popular and are a vital precursor to identifying locations where further detailed analyses of the management of ecosystem services is required (e.g., examining trade-offs among management actions). Prioritization approaches often examine the spatial congruence between priorities for protecting ecosystem services and priorities for protecting biodiversity; therefore, the spatial prioritization method used is crucial because it will influence the alignment of service protection and conservation goals. While spatial prioritization of ecosystem services and prioritization for conservation share similarities, such as the need to document threats and costs, the former differs substantially from the latter owing to the requirement to measure the following components: supply of services; availability of human-derived alternatives to service provision; capacity to meet beneficiary demand; and site dependency in and scale of service delivery. We review studies that identify broad-scale spatial priorities for managing ecosystem services and demonstrate that researchers have used different approaches and included various measures for identifying priorities, and most studies do not consider all of the components listed above. We describe a conceptual framework for integrating each of these components into spatial prioritization of ecosystem services and illustrate our approach using a worked example for water provision. A fuller characterization of the biophysical and social context for ecosystem services that we call for should improve future prioritization and the identification of locations where ecosystem-service management is especially important or cost effective. PMID:24555017

  13. Operationalizing Network Theory for Ecosystem Service Assessments.

    PubMed

    Dee, Laura E; Allesina, Stefano; Bonn, Aletta; Eklöf, Anna; Gaines, Steven D; Hines, Jes; Jacob, Ute; McDonald-Madden, Eve; Possingham, Hugh; Schröter, Matthias; Thompson, Ross M

    2017-02-01

    Managing ecosystems to provide ecosystem services in the face of global change is a pressing challenge for policy and science. Predicting how alternative management actions and changing future conditions will alter services is complicated by interactions among components in ecological and socioeconomic systems. Failure to understand those interactions can lead to detrimental outcomes from management decisions. Network theory that integrates ecological and socioeconomic systems may provide a path to meeting this challenge. While network theory offers promising approaches to examine ecosystem services, few studies have identified how to operationalize networks for managing and assessing diverse ecosystem services. We propose a framework for how to use networks to assess how drivers and management actions will directly and indirectly alter ecosystem services.

  14. From theoretical to actual ecosystem services: mapping beneficiaries and spatial flows in ecosystem service assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Villa, Ferdinando; Batker, David; Harrison-Cox, Jennifer; Voigt, Brian; Johnson, Gary W.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services mapping and modeling has focused more on supply than demand, until recently. Whereas the potential provision of economic benefits from ecosystems to people is often quantified through ecological production functions, the use of and demand for ecosystem services has received less attention, as have the spatial flows of services from ecosystems to people. However, new modeling approaches that map and quantify service-specific sources (ecosystem capacity to provide a service), sinks (biophysical or anthropogenic features that deplete or alter service flows), users (user locations and level of demand), and spatial flows can provide a more complete understanding of ecosystem services. Through a case study in Puget Sound, Washington State, USA, we quantify and differentiate between the theoretical or in situ provision of services, i.e., ecosystems’ capacity to supply services, and their actual provision when accounting for the location of beneficiaries and the spatial connections that mediate service flows between people and ecosystems. Our analysis includes five ecosystem services: carbon sequestration and storage, riverine flood regulation, sediment regulation for reservoirs, open space proximity, and scenic viewsheds. Each ecosystem service is characterized by different beneficiary groups and means of service flow. Using the ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) methodology we map service supply, demand, and flow, extending on simpler approaches used by past studies to map service provision and use. With the exception of the carbon sequestration service, regions that actually provided services to people, i.e., connected to beneficiaries via flow paths, amounted to 16-66% of those theoretically capable of supplying services, i.e., all ecosystems across the landscape. These results offer a more complete understanding of the spatial dynamics of ecosystem services and their effects, and may provide a sounder basis for economic

  15. Are Urban Ecosystem Services Useful for a Sustainable City?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenerette, D.

    2014-12-01

    In meeting the needs of rapidly expanding city residents, ecosystem functioning within the urban boundary may provide several key services ranging from life-sustaining services such as climate regulation and food production to services associated with recreation and aesthetics. In contrast, ecosystem disservices are associated with ecosystem characteristics that have a negative impact on residents and range from potentially injurious components such as increasing pollutant exposure or additional resource requirements such as irrigation water. Identifying trade-offs in both services and disservices is a priority for assessing how ecosystem functioning influences urban residents. Such assessments require a baseline understanding of their rates of production and acutely need expanded monitoring and modeling. Recent efforts at quantifying ecosystem services and disservices have relied on combinations of direct field surveys, in-situ environmental sensor networks, and remotely sensed vegetation. While much work has been conducted within single metropolitan regions, expanded efforts are underway to analyze networks of urban sites. Here I highlight recent findings associated with urban ecosystem services associated with variation in urban forests and urban gardens as two contrasting ecosystem types within a city. These research efforts are leading to improved understanding of the variation in the production of and specific desires for ecosystem services and disservices. Initial data across several studies suggests desires for services show sensitivity to both socioeconomic status as suggested by a hierarchy of needs hypothesis and local environmental conditions as suggested by an environmental determinism hypothesis. Consequently, the production of ecosystem services also varies dramatically across socioeconomic and climate gradients. Future projections of the rates of service production are highly uncertain with likely strong nonlinearities in responses to urban

  16. Environmental Impacts of the Use of Ecosystem Services: Case Study of Birdwatching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronenberg, Jakub

    2014-09-01

    The main reason for promoting the concept of ecosystem services lies in its potential to contribute to environmental conservation. Highlighting the benefits derived from ecosystems fosters an understanding of humans' dependence on nature, as users of ecosystem services. However, the act of using ecosystem services may not be environmentally neutral. As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the `ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders). To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts. The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

  17. Ecosystem services in sustainable groundwater management.

    PubMed

    Tuinstra, Jaap; van Wensem, Joke

    2014-07-01

    The ecosystem services concept seems to get foothold in environmental policy and management in Europe and, for instance, The Netherlands. With respect to groundwater management there is a challenge to incorporate this concept in such a way that it contributes to the sustainability of decisions. Groundwater is of vital importance to societies, which is reflected in the presented overview of groundwater related ecosystem services. Classifications of these services vary depending on the purpose of the listing (valuation, protection, mapping et cetera). Though the scientific basis is developing, the knowledge-availability still can be a critical factor in decision making based upon ecosystem services. The examples in this article illustrate that awareness of the value of groundwater can result in balanced decisions with respect to the use of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services concept contributes to this awareness and enhances the visibility of the groundwater functions in the decision making process. The success of the ecosystem services concept and its contribution to sustainable groundwater management will, however, largely depend on other aspects than the concept itself. Local and actual circumstances, policy ambitions and knowledge availability will play an important role. Solutions can be considered more sustainable when more of the key elements for sustainable groundwater management, as defined in this article, are fully used and the presented guidelines for long term use of ecosystem services are respected.

  18. Global Mapping of Provisioning Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bingham, Lisa; Straatsma, Menno; Karssenberg, Derek

    2016-04-01

    Attributing monetary value to ecosystem services for decision-making has become more relevant as a basis for decision-making. There are a number of problematic aspects of the calculations, including consistency of economy represented (e.g., purchasing price, production price) and determining which ecosystem subservices to include in a valuation. While several authors have proposed methods for calculating ecosystem services and calculations are presented for global and regional studies, the calculations are mostly broken down into biomes and regions without showing spatially explicit results. The key to decision-making for governments is to be able to make spatial-based decisions because a large spatial variation may exist within a biome or region. Our objective was to compute the spatial distribution of global ecosystem services based on 89 subservices. Initially, only the provisioning ecosystem service category is presented. The provisioning ecosystem service category was calculated using 6 ecosystem services (food, water, raw materials, genetic resources, medical resources, and ornaments) divided into 41 subservices. Global data sets were obtained from a variety of governmental and research agencies for the year 2005 because this is the most data complete and recent year available. All data originated either in tabular or grid formats and were disaggregated to 10 km cell length grids. A lookup table with production values by subservice by country were disaggregated over the economic zone (either marine, land, or combination) based on the spatial existence of the subservice (e.g. forest cover, crop land, non-arable land). Values express the production price in international dollars per hectare. The ecosystem services and the ecosystem service category(ies) maps may be used to show spatial variation of a service within and between countries as well as to specifically show the values within specific regions (e.g. countries, continents), biomes (e.g. coastal, forest

  19. Spatial dynamics of ecosystem service flows: a comprehensive approach to quantifying actual services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Johnson, Gary W.; Voigt, Brian; Villa, Ferdinando

    2013-01-01

    Recent ecosystem services research has highlighted the importance of spatial connectivity between ecosystems and their beneficiaries. Despite this need, a systematic approach to ecosystem service flow quantification has not yet emerged. In this article, we present such an approach, which we formalize as a class of agent-based models termed “Service Path Attribution Networks” (SPANs). These models, developed as part of the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) project, expand on ecosystem services classification terminology introduced by other authors. Conceptual elements needed to support flow modeling include a service's rivalness, its flow routing type (e.g., through hydrologic or transportation networks, lines of sight, or other approaches), and whether the benefit is supplied by an ecosystem's provision of a beneficial flow to people or by absorption of a detrimental flow before it reaches them. We describe our implementation of the SPAN framework for five ecosystem services and discuss how to generalize the approach to additional services. SPAN model outputs include maps of ecosystem service provision, use, depletion, and flows under theoretical, possible, actual, inaccessible, and blocked conditions. We highlight how these different ecosystem service flow maps could be used to support various types of decision making for conservation and resource management planning.

  20. Ecosystem Services Assessment of the Nemunas River Delta

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept of ecosystem services recognizes the services, and benefits, provided to people by ecosystems. The Nemunas River Delta, in Lithuania, provides many ecosystem services to the people of the area, including food, fuel, transportation, climate regulation, water purificati...

  1. Ecosystem Services in Environmental Science Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruppert, John Robert

    2015-01-01

    Human beings depend on a set of benefits that emerge from functioning ecosystems, termed Ecosystem Services (ES), and make decisions in everyday life that affect these ES. Recent advancements in science have led to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of ES and how they can be used to inform environmental decision-making. Following suit, US…

  2. Reactive nitrogen impacts on ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) is a new, multi-year research initiative under development by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As one of its components, ESRP has chosen to focus on reactive Nitrogen (Nr) for stressor-specific ecosystem research through a...

  3. Toward a standard lexicon for ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The complex, widely dispersed, and cumulative environmental challenges currently facing society require holistic, transdisciplinary approaches to resolve. The concept of ecosystem services (ES) has become more widely accepted both as a framework that cuts across the dimensions of...

  4. Reef Ecosystem Services and Decision Support Database

    EPA Science Inventory

    This scientific and management information database utilizes systems thinking to describe the linkages between decisions, human activities, and provisioning of reef ecosystem goods and services. This database provides: (1) Hierarchy of related topics - Click on topics to navigat...

  5. Linking ecosystem services, rehabilitation and river hydrogeomorphology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assignment of values for natural ecological benefits and anthropocentric ecosystem services in riverine landscapes has been problematic, because a firm scientific basis linking these to the river's physical structure has been absent. We highlight some inherent problems in this pr...

  6. Environmental Justice Challengers for Ecosystem Service Valuation

    EPA Science Inventory

    In pursuing improved ecosystem services management, there is also an opportunity to work towards environmental justice. The practice of environmental valuation can assist with both goals, but as typically employed obscures distributional analysis. Furthermore, valuation technique...

  7. Introduction to watershed ecosystem services: Chapter 1

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jefferson S.; Stallard, Robert F.; Kirn, Vanessa

    2015-01-01

    Humans derive a great number of goods and services from terrestrial ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003, 2005). Some, like timber, fruits, bush meat, and other forest based food stuffs, are evident but others are not so obvious. Increasingly policy makers have realized the importance of forests and other ecosystems in sequestering carbon, as clearing of once vibrant vegetation or draining of swamps releases carbon dioxide (U.S. DOE, 2012) and where planting trees – particularly in the tropics - takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (Bala et al., 2007). Scientists and conservationists have long called our attention to the value of Neotropical landscapes for biodiversity conservation as forests and other ecosystems harbor vast numbers of species. In recent decades conservationists and policy makers have also highlighted the potential of forests and other ecosystems to regulate stream flows (Ibáñez et al., 2002, Laurance, 2007 but also see Calder et al., 2007) and play a role in assuring clean water (Uriarte et al., 2011). All of these goods and services are part of what is collectively referred to as ecosystem services or goods and services that are provided to humanity through the unimpeded natural function of the ecosystem.

  8. Decision analytic strategies for integrating ecosystem services and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    von Stackelberg, Katherine E

    2013-04-01

    Ecosystem services as a concept and guiding principle are enjoying wide popularity and endorsement from high-level policy thinkers to industry as support for sustainability goals continue to grow. However, explicit incorporation of ecosystem services into decision making still lacks practical implementation at more local scales and faces significant regulatory and technical constraints. Risk assessment represents an example of a regulatory process for which guidance exists that makes it challenging to incorporate ecosystem service endpoints. Technical constraints exist in the quantification of the relationships between ecological functions and services and endpoints valued by humans, and the complexity of those interactions with respect to bundling and stacking. In addition, ecosystem services, by their very definition, represent an anthropogenic construct with no inherent ecological value, which, in practical terms, requires a far more inclusionary decision making process explicitly incorporating a greater diversity of stakeholder values. Despite these constraints, it is possible, given a commitment to sustainable decision making, to simplify the process based on strategic outcomes (e.g., identifying desired end-states in general terms). Decision analytic techniques provide a mechanism for evaluating tradeoffs across key ecosystem services valued by stakeholders and to develop criteria drawn from the entire spectrum of stakeholders in evaluating potential alternatives. This article highlights several examples of ways in which ecosystem service endpoints can be incorporated into the decision-making process.

  9. Adaptive management for soil ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Birge, Hannah E.; Bevans, Rebecca A.; Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.; Baer, Sara G.; Wall, Diana H.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by soil include regulation of the atmosphere and climate, primary (including agricultural) production, waste processing, decomposition, nutrient conservation, water purification, erosion control, medical resources, pest control, and disease mitigation. The simultaneous production of these multiple services arises from complex interactions among diverse aboveground and belowground communities across multiple scales. When a system is mismanaged, non-linear and persistent losses in ecosystem services can arise. Adaptive management is an approach to management designed to reduce uncertainty as management proceeds. By developing alternative hypotheses, testing these hypotheses and adjusting management in response to outcomes, managers can probe dynamic mechanistic relationships among aboveground and belowground soil system components. In doing so, soil ecosystem services can be preserved and critical ecological thresholds avoided. Here, we present an adaptive management framework designed to reduce uncertainty surrounding the soil system, even when soil ecosystem services production is not the explicit management objective, so that managers can reach their management goals without undermining soil multifunctionality or contributing to an irreversible loss of soil ecosystem services.

  10. Does competition among ecosystem engineering species result in tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Production of ecosystem services depends on the ecological community structure at a given location. Ecosystem engineering species (EES) can strongly determine community structure, but do they consequently determine the production of ecosystem services? We explore this question ...

  11. Ecosystem Services Provided by Stream Fishes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stream fish provide important services to people, including recreation and food, regulation of ecosystem processes, and aesthetic benefits. If the services provided by fish in different streams can be measured, then they can be valued and considered in restoration decisions. We...

  12. Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Demonstration Project Website: Phase II

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Demonstration Project models the impact of human development and natural stressors on the economic, aesthetic and cultural value of local ecosystems. By linking ecological structures, functions, and condition to the ecosystem services valued by h...

  13. Ecosystem Services in Lakes of the Northeastern United States: An Assessment of Lakes Ecosystem Services Beneficiaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    : Lakes and ponds provide numerous ecosystem services including fishing, swimming, drinking water, and aesthetic enjoyment. Much analysis to date has focused on understanding the interplay between ecological condition and availability of services. For instance, prior analyses s...

  14. Setting the bar: Standards for ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Polasky, Stephen; Tallis, Heather; Reyers, Belinda

    2015-01-01

    Progress in ecosystem service science has been rapid, and there is now a healthy appetite among key public and private sector decision makers for this science. However, changing policy and management is a long-term project, one that raises a number of specific practical challenges. One impediment to broad adoption of ecosystem service information is the lack of standards that define terminology, acceptable data and methods, and reporting requirements. Ecosystem service standards should be tailored to specific use contexts, such as national income and wealth accounts, corporate sustainability reporting, land-use planning, and environmental impact assessments. Many standard-setting organizations already exist, and the research community will make the most headway toward rapid uptake of ecosystem service science by working directly with these organizations. Progress has been made in aligning with existing organizations in areas such as product certification and sustainability reporting, but a major challenge remains in mainstreaming ecosystem service information into core public and private use contexts, such as agricultural and energy subsidy design, national income accounts, and corporate accounts. PMID:26082540

  15. Setting the bar: Standards for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Polasky, Stephen; Tallis, Heather; Reyers, Belinda

    2015-06-16

    Progress in ecosystem service science has been rapid, and there is now a healthy appetite among key public and private sector decision makers for this science. However, changing policy and management is a long-term project, one that raises a number of specific practical challenges. One impediment to broad adoption of ecosystem service information is the lack of standards that define terminology, acceptable data and methods, and reporting requirements. Ecosystem service standards should be tailored to specific use contexts, such as national income and wealth accounts, corporate sustainability reporting, land-use planning, and environmental impact assessments. Many standard-setting organizations already exist, and the research community will make the most headway toward rapid uptake of ecosystem service science by working directly with these organizations. Progress has been made in aligning with existing organizations in areas such as product certification and sustainability reporting, but a major challenge remains in mainstreaming ecosystem service information into core public and private use contexts, such as agricultural and energy subsidy design, national income accounts, and corporate accounts.

  16. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    EPA Science Inventory

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  17. The consequence of tree pests and diseases for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Boyd, I L; Freer-Smith, P H; Gilligan, C A; Godfray, H C J

    2013-11-15

    Trees and forests provide a wide variety of ecosystem services in addition to timber, food, and other provisioning services. New approaches to pest and disease management are needed that take into account these multiple services and the different stakeholders they benefit, as well as the likelihood of greater threats in the future resulting from globalization and climate change. These considerations will affect priorities for both basic and applied research and how trade and phytosanitary regulations are formulated.

  18. Risk and markets for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Bendor, Todd K; Riggsbee, J Adam; Doyle, Martin

    2011-12-15

    Market-based environmental regulations (e.g., cap and trade, "payments for ecosystem services") are increasingly common. However, few detailed studies of operating ecosystem markets have lent understanding to how such policies affect incentive structures for improving environmental quality. The largest U.S. market stems from the Clean Water Act provisions requiring ecosystem restoration to offset aquatic ecosystems damaged during development. We describe and test how variations in the rules governing this ecosystem market shift risk between regulators and entrepreneurs to promote ecological restoration. We analyze extensive national scale data to assess how two critical aspects of market structure - (a) the geographic scale of markets and (b) policies dictating the release of credits - affect the willingness of entrepreneurs to enter specific markets and produce credits. We find no discernible relationship between policies attempting to ease market entry and either the number of individual producers or total credits produced. Rather, market entry is primarily related to regional geography (the prevalence of aquatic ecosystems) and regional economic growth. Any improvements to policies governing ecosystem markets require explicit evaluation of the interplay between policy and risk elements affecting both regulators and entrepreneurial credit providers. Our findings extend to emerging, regulated ecosystem markets, including proposed carbon offset mechanisms, biodiversity banking, and water quality trading programs.

  19. Care services ecosystem for ambient assisted living

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camarinha-Matos, Luis M.; Rosas, Joao; Ines Oliveira, Ana; Ferrada, Filipa

    2015-08-01

    Effective provision of care and assistance services in ambient assisted living requires the involvement and collaboration of multiple stakeholders. To support such collaboration, the development of an ecosystem of products and services for active ageing plays an important role. This article introduces a conceptual architecture that supports such care ecosystem. In order to facilitate understanding and better interrelate concepts, a 3-layered model is adopted: Infrastructure layer, Care and assistance services layer and Ambient Assisted Living ecosystem layer. A holistic perspective of ambient assisted living, namely considering four important life settings is adopted: (1) independent living; (2) health and care in life; (3) occupation in life and (4) recreation in life. The proposed architecture is designed in the context of a national Portuguese project and in accordance with the findings of a large European road mapping initiative on ICT and ageing.

  20. Value of ecosystem hydropower service and its impact on the payment for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Fu, B; Wang, Y K; Xu, P; Yan, K; Li, M

    2014-02-15

    Hydropower is an important service provided by ecosystems. We surveyed all the hydropower plants in the Zagunao River Basin, Southwest China. Then, we assessed the hydropower service by using the InVEST (The Integrated Value and Tradeoff of Ecosystem Service Tools) model. Finally, we discussed the impact on ecological compensation. The results showed that: 1) hydropower service value of ecosystems in the Zagunao River Basin is 216.29 Euro/hm(2) on the average, of which the high-value area with more than 475.65 Euro/hm(2) is about 750.37 km(2), accounting for 16.12% of the whole watershed, but it provides 53.47% of the whole watershed service value; 2) ecosystem is an ecological reservoir with a great regulation capacity. Dams cannot completely replace the reservoir water conservation function of ecosystems, and has high economic and environmental costs that must be paid as well. Compensation for water conservation services should become an important basis for ecological compensation of hydropower development. 3) In the current PES cases, the standard of compensation is generally low. Cascade development makes the value of upstream ecosystem services become more prominent, reflecting the differential rent value, and the value of ecosystem services should be based on the distribution of differentiated ecological compensation.

  1. Ecosystem service bundles for analyzing tradeoffs in diverse landscapes.

    PubMed

    Raudsepp-Hearne, C; Peterson, G D; Bennett, E M

    2010-03-16

    A key challenge of ecosystem management is determining how to manage multiple ecosystem services across landscapes. Enhancing important provisioning ecosystem services, such as food and timber, often leads to tradeoffs between regulating and cultural ecosystem services, such as nutrient cycling, flood protection, and tourism. We developed a framework for analyzing the provision of multiple ecosystem services across landscapes and present an empirical demonstration of ecosystem service bundles, sets of services that appear together repeatedly. Ecosystem service bundles were identified by analyzing the spatial patterns of 12 ecosystem services in a mixed-use landscape consisting of 137 municipalities in Quebec, Canada. We identified six types of ecosystem service bundles and were able to link these bundles to areas on the landscape characterized by distinct social-ecological dynamics. Our results show landscape-scale tradeoffs between provisioning and almost all regulating and cultural ecosystem services, and they show that a greater diversity of ecosystem services is positively correlated with the provision of regulating ecosystem services. Ecosystem service-bundle analysis can identify areas on a landscape where ecosystem management has produced exceptionally desirable or undesirable sets of ecosystem services.

  2. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review.

    PubMed

    Payne, Charlotte L R; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-02-17

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems.

  3. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Charlotte L. R.; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-01-01

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems. PMID:28218635

  4. Funding Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, V.

    2014-12-01

    Ecosystem services projects ideally should be funded through commoditized markets. Where those markets do not exist financing directly from interested private sector parties can be a direct link between business interested in fulfilling sustainability goals and project implementers. Challenges exist, however in 1) linking those interests; 2) carefully quantifying the services produced, their true costs to implement and meeting protocol standards; 3) measuring the success of projects, especially over lengthy periods of time; and 4) balancing issues related to multiple spatial scales for projects and funding to make a difference. Examples from National Forest Foundation's experience implementing carbon and water projects with multiple private sector funders and the USDA Forest Service will highlight experiences and lessons learned in funding and implementing ecosystem service projects.

  5. Ecosystem services in risk assessment and management.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services (ES) concept holds much promise for environmental decision making. Even so, the concept has yet to gain full traction in the decisions and policies of environmental agencies in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. Here we examine the opportunities for ...

  6. Managing Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Management practices impact soil organisms by altering their environment and therefore favoring some species over others. Management only rarely results in the elimination of an entire functional group that then impacts an ecosystem service, as in the example of repeated tillage eliminating earthwo...

  7. Documenting Public Values for River Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The value to society of environmental changes is difficult to assess, and thus challenging to include in environmental management decisions. This presentation will first provide an overview of how framing these values in an ecosystem services perspective can facilitate the proces...

  8. Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystem Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. During the twentieth century, climate change has had documented impacts on ecological systems, and impacts are expected to increase as climate change continues and perhaps even accelerates. This techn...

  9. Ecosystem services and grasslands in America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, grasslands occupied a large portion of Canada and the USA throughout the Great Plains region east of the Rocky Mountains. Grasslands in the USA are valued for a wide range of ecosystem services, and provide a primary source of forage for grazing livestock. Unfortunately, grasslands a...

  10. Managing Perennial Monocultures for Ecosystem Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) are perennial grasses that can provide both renewable energy and ecosystem services, but the extent to which they do depends strongly on crop management. Nutrient use efficiency and wildlife habitat provision are influenced pr...

  11. Ecosystem Services Derived from Headwater Catchments

    EPA Science Inventory

    We used data from the USEPA’s wadeable streams assessment (WSA), US Forest Service’s forest inventory and analysis (FIA), and select USFS experimental forests (EF) to investigate potential ecosystems services derived from headwater catchments. C, N, and P inputs to these catchmen...

  12. Quantifying Ecosystem Services, Assessing Human Impacts

    EPA Science Inventory

    Natural and managed ecosystems provide a multitude of resources and services vital to human well-being – provisioning of food, fiber, clean water and air, habitat for fish and wildlife, recreational opportunities, prevention of flooding, reduction of greenhouse gases, among many ...

  13. Summary: Ecosystem Services and Human Welfare

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services paradigm is a framework conceived to engage support among people, especially policy- and decision-makers, for the recognition that human welfare, prosperity, security, and well-being are intrinsically linked to the health of the environment. Simply stated, ...

  14. Connecting nitrogen deposition and ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    There are tremendous human health and well-being consequences of nitrogen release to the atmosphere, land and water. The effects on human health are related to the fundamental ecosystem services providing clean air and water for human consumption. Among the highest available da...

  15. Environmental impacts of the use of ecosystem services: case study of birdwatching.

    PubMed

    Kronenberg, Jakub

    2014-09-01

    The main reason for promoting the concept of ecosystem services lies in its potential to contribute to environmental conservation. Highlighting the benefits derived from ecosystems fosters an understanding of humans' dependence on nature, as users of ecosystem services. However, the act of using ecosystem services may not be environmentally neutral. As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the 'ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders). To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts. The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

  16. Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Community-level ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program is developing tools and approaches to incorporate ecosystem goods and services concepts into community-level decision-making. The San Juan Community Study is one of a series of coordinated community studies, which also include Mobile Bay, AL, Great Lakes Areas of Concern, and the Pacific Northwest. Common elements across the community studies include a focus on watershed management and national estuary programs (National Estuary Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve System). San Juan, Puerto Rico, is unique from the other community studies in that it is located in a highly urbanized watershed integrated with a number of freshwater and coastal ecosystems. The San Juan Community Study will explore linkages between watershed management decisions (e.g., dredging canals, restoration of mangrove buffers, sewage discharge interventions, climate adaptive strategies) targeting priority stressors (e.g., nutrients, contaminants, and pathogens; aquatic debris; habitat loss; modified hydrology and water circulation; sea level rise; storm intensity and frequency) effecting the condition of ecosystems (e.g., estuarine habitats and fish, as well as the connected terrestrial and coastal ecosystems), associated ecosystem goods and services (e.g., tourism and recreation, fishing, nutrient & sediment retention, contaminant processing, carbon sequestration, flood protection),

  17. Valuing ecosystem services in terms of ecological risks and returns.

    PubMed

    Abson, David J; Termansen, Mette

    2011-04-01

    The economic valuation of ecosystem services is a key policy tool in stemming losses of biological diversity. It is proposed that the loss of ecosystem function and the biological resources within ecosystems is due in part to the failure of markets to recognize the benefits humans derive from ecosystems. Placing monetary values on ecosystem services is often suggested as a necessary step in correcting such market failures. We consider the effects of valuing different types of ecosystem services within an economic framework. We argue that provisioning and regulating ecosystem services are generally produced and consumed in ways that make them amenable to economic valuation. The values associated with cultural ecosystem services lie outside the domain of economic valuation, but their worth may be expressed through noneconomic, deliberative forms of valuation. We argue that supporting ecosystem services are not of direct value and that the losses of such services can be expressed in terms of the effects of their loss on the risk to the provision of the directly valued ecosystem services they support. We propose a heuristic framework that considers the relations between ecological risks and returns in the provision of ecosystem services. The proposed ecosystem-service valuation framework, which allows the expression of the value of all types of ecosystem services, calls for a shift from static, purely monetary valuation toward the consideration of trade-offs between the current flow of benefits from ecosystems and the ability of those ecosystems to provide future flows.

  18. Ecosystem goods and services at the neighborhood scale

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mapping ecosystem functions and articulating the ecosystem goods and services (EGS) they provide to human beneficiaries are important aspects that: link human actions to human costs and benefits from ecosystem, and ultimately provide this information to the general public, public...

  19. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  20. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  1. EnviroAtlas - Ecosystem Services Market-Based Programs Web Service, U.S., 2016, Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This EnviroAtlas web service contains layers depicting market-based programs and projects addressing ecosystem services protection in the United States. Layers include data collected via surveys and desk research conducted by Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace from 2008 to 2016 on biodiversity (i.e., imperiled species/habitats; wetlands and streams), carbon, and water markets and enabling conditions that facilitate, directly or indirectly, market-based approaches to protecting and investing in those ecosystem services. This dataset was produced by Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace for EnviroAtlas in order to support public access to and use of information related to environmental markets. EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas) allows the user to interact with a web-based, easy-to-use, mapping application to view and analyze multiple ecosystem services for the contiguous United States. The dataset is available as downloadable data (https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/EnviroAtlas) or as an EnviroAtlas map service. Additional descriptive information about this dataset can be found in its associated EnviroAtlas Fact Sheet (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas/enviroatlas-fact-sheets).

  2. Maintaining ecosystem services through continued livestock production on California rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barry, S.; Becchetti, T.

    2015-12-01

    Nearly 40% of California is rangeland comprising the largest land type in California and providing forage for livestock, primarily beef cattle. In addition to forage, rangelands provide a host of ecosystem systems services, including habitat for common and endangered species, fire fuels management, pollination services, clean water, viewsheds, and carbon sequestration. Published research has documented that most of these ecosystem services are positively impacted by managed livestock grazing and rancher stewardship. Ranchers typically do not receive any monetary reimbursement for their stewardship in providing these ecosystem services to the public. Markets have been difficult to establish with limited ability to adequately monitor and measure services provided. At the same time, rangelands have been experiencing rapid conversion to urbanization and more profitable and intensive forms of agriculture such as almond and walnut orchards. To prevent further conversion of rangelands and the loss of the services they provide, there needs to be a mechanism to identify and compensate landowners for the value of all products and services being received from rangelands. This paper considers two methods (opportunity cost and avoided cost) to determine the value of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) for rangelands. PES can raise the value of rangelands, making them more competitive financially. Real estate values and University of California Cooperative Extension Cost Studies, were used to demonstrate the difference in value (lost opportunity cost) between the primary products of rangelands (livestock production) and the products of the converted rangelands (almond and walnut orchards). Avoided costs for vegetation management and habitat creation and maintenance were used to establish the value of managed grazing. If conversion is to be slowed or stopped and managed grazing promoted to protect the ecosystem services rangelands provide, this value could be compensated through

  3. Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES): using GIS to include social values information in ecosystem services assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherrouse, B.C.; Semmens, D.J.

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem services can be defined in various ways; simply put, they are the benefits provided by nature, which contribute to human well-being. These benefits can range from tangible products such as food and fresh water to cultural services such as recreation and esthetics. As the use of these benefits continues to increase, additional pressures are placed on the natural ecosystems providing them. This makes it all the more important when assessing possible tradeoffs among ecosystem services to consider the human attitudes and preferences that express underlying social values associated with their benefits. While some of these values can be accounted for through economic markets, other values can be more difficult to quantify, and attaching dollar amounts to them may not be very useful in all cases. Regardless of the processes or units used for quantifying such values, the ability to map them across the landscape and relate them to the ecosystem services to which they are attributed is necessary for effective assessments. To address some of the needs associated with quantifying and mapping social values for inclusion in ecosystem services assessments, scientists at the Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center (RMGSC), in collaboration with Colorado State University, have developed a public domain tool, Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES). SolVES is a geographic information system (GIS) application designed to use data from public attitude and preference surveys to assess, map, and quantify social values for ecosystem services. SolVES calculates and maps a 10-point Value Index representing the relative perceived social values of ecosystem services such as recreation and biodiversity for various groups of ecosystem stakeholders. SolVES output can also be used to identify and model relationships between social values and physical characteristics of the underlying landscape. These relationships can then be used to generate predicted Value Index maps for areas

  4. Ecosystem service valuations of mangrove ecosystems to inform decision making and future valuation exercises.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Nibedita; Sutherland, William J; Dicks, Lynn; Hugé, Jean; Koedam, Nico; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid

    2014-01-01

    The valuation of ecosystem services is a complex process as it includes several dimensions (ecological, socio-cultural and economic) and not all of these can be quantified in monetary units. The aim of this paper is to conduct an ecosystem services valuation study for mangroves ecosystems, the results of which can be used to inform governance and management of mangroves. We used an expert-based participatory approach (the Delphi technique) to identify, categorize and rank the various ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems at a global scale. Subsequently we looked for evidence in the existing ecosystem services literature for monetary valuations of these ecosystem service categories throughout the biogeographic distribution of mangroves. We then compared the relative ranking of ecosystem service categories between the monetary valuations and the expert based analysis. The experts identified 16 ecosystem service categories, six of which are not adequately represented in the literature. There was no significant correlation between the expert based valuation (the Delphi technique) and the economic valuation, indicating that the scope of valuation of ecosystem services needs to be broadened. Acknowledging this diversity in different valuation approaches, and developing methodological frameworks that foster the pluralism of values in ecosystem services research, are crucial for maintaining the credibility of ecosystem services valuation. To conclude, we use the findings of our dual approach to valuation to make recommendations on how to assess and manage the ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems.

  5. Ecosystem Service Valuations of Mangrove Ecosystems to Inform Decision Making and Future Valuation Exercises

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Nibedita; Sutherland, William J.; Dicks, Lynn; Hugé, Jean; Koedam, Nico; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid

    2014-01-01

    The valuation of ecosystem services is a complex process as it includes several dimensions (ecological, socio-cultural and economic) and not all of these can be quantified in monetary units. The aim of this paper is to conduct an ecosystem services valuation study for mangroves ecosystems, the results of which can be used to inform governance and management of mangroves. We used an expert-based participatory approach (the Delphi technique) to identify, categorize and rank the various ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems at a global scale. Subsequently we looked for evidence in the existing ecosystem services literature for monetary valuations of these ecosystem service categories throughout the biogeographic distribution of mangroves. We then compared the relative ranking of ecosystem service categories between the monetary valuations and the expert based analysis. The experts identified 16 ecosystem service categories, six of which are not adequately represented in the literature. There was no significant correlation between the expert based valuation (the Delphi technique) and the economic valuation, indicating that the scope of valuation of ecosystem services needs to be broadened. Acknowledging this diversity in different valuation approaches, and developing methodological frameworks that foster the pluralism of values in ecosystem services research, are crucial for maintaining the credibility of ecosystem services valuation. To conclude, we use the findings of our dual approach to valuation to make recommendations on how to assess and manage the ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems. PMID:25243852

  6. Uncertainties in landscape analysis and ecosystem service assessment.

    PubMed

    Hou, Y; Burkhard, B; Müller, F

    2013-09-01

    Landscape analysis and ecosystem service assessment have drawn increasing concern from research and application at the landscape scale. Thanks to the continuously emerging assessments as well as studies aiming at evaluation method improvement, policy makers and landscape managers have an increasing interest in integrating ecosystem services into their decisions. However, the plausible assessments carry numerous sources of uncertainties, which regrettably tend to be ignored or disregarded by the actors or researchers. In order to cope with uncertainties and make them more transparent for landscape managers, we demonstrate them by reviewing literature, describing an example and proposing approaches for uncertainty analysis. Additionally, we conclude with potential actions to reduce the insecurities accompanying landscape analysis and ecosystem service assessments. As for landscape analysis, the fundamental uncertainty origins are landscape complexity and methodological uncertainties. Concerning the uncertainty sources of ecosystem service assessments, the complexity of the natural system, respondents' preferences and technical problems play essential roles. By analyzing the assessment process, we find that initial data uncertainty pervades the whole assessment and argue that the limited knowledge about the complexity of ecosystems is the focal origin of uncertainties. For analyzing uncertainties in assessments, we propose systems analysis, scenario simulation and the comparison method as promising strategies. To reduce uncertainties, we assume that actions should integrate continuous learning, expanding respondent numbers and sources, considering representativeness, improving and standardizing assessment methods and optimizing spatial and geobiophysical data.

  7. Mapping ecosystem services potential in Lithuania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Depellegrin, Daniel; Misiune, Ieva; Pereira, Paulo

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) are understood as the benefits that humans get from ecosystems functions. They are divided in providing, regulating, supporting and cultural. The correct management of ES is fundamental to achieve sustainable development goals. A good assessment of ES potential can be obtained using GIS techniques, in order to have a spatial dimension of ES distribution. This will help to have a better territorial planning, improve ES capacity, and have more benefits. ES potential analysis can be carried out based on the ES matrix developed by Burkhard et al. (2009). This method is based on the attribution a rank from 0 to 5 (0= no capacity to 5=very high relevant capacity) to the land use classes of the corine land cover (CLC). This represents an important advantage since a determined land use can be related with a certain number of services. The objective of this work is to Map the ES potential in Lithuania. The results showed that Lithuania has a high potential for regulating services, followed by cultural and provisioning services. Urban areas provide a very small amount of services, contrary to forest, where the highest potential is observed. The most comon land covers in Lithuania are non-irrigated arable land, complex cultivation patterns, mixed and coniferous forest. Total and regulating and cultural ES had dispersed pattern showing that they are scattered in the territory. They are located mainly in forested and coastal areas. In relation to provisioning services they had a clustered distribution, and they were mainly observed in the central part of Lithuania. References Burkhard B, Kroll F, Müller F, Windhorst W. 2009. Landscapes' capacities to provide ecosystem services - a concept for land-cover based assessments. Landsc. Online. 15:1-22

  8. Ecosystem services and livelihoods in deltaic environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholls, R. J.; Rahman, M. M.; Salehin, M.; Hutton, C.

    2015-12-01

    While overall, deltas account for only 1% of global land area, they are home to more than a half billion people or ca. 7% of the world's population. In many deltas, livelihoods and food security are strongly dependent on ecosystem services, which in turn are affected by various environmental change factors, including climate variability and change, modifications to upstream river, sediment and nutrient fluxes, evolving nearshore ecosystems, and delta-level change factors such as subsidence, changing land use and management interventions such as polders. Key limits include scarcity of fresh water, saline water intrusion and the impacts of extreme events (e.g. river floods, cyclones and storm surges), which constrain land use choices and livelihood opportunities for the deltaic populations. The ESPA Deltas project takes a systemic perspective of the interaction between the coupled bio-physical environment and the livelihoods of rural delta residents. The methods emphasise poverty reduction and use coastal Bangladesh as an example. This includes a set of consistent biophysical analyses of the delta and the upstream catchments and the downstream Bay of Bengal, as well as governance and policy analysis and socio-demographic analysis, including an innovative household survey on ecosystem utilization. These results are encapsulated in an integrated model that analyses ecosystem services and livelihood implications. This integrated approach is designed to support delta-level policy formulation. It allows the exploration of contrasting development trajectories, including issues such as robustness of different governance options on ecosystem services and livelihoods. The method is strongly participatory including an ongoing series of stakeholder workshops addressing issue identification, scenario development and consideration of policy responses. The methods presented are generic and transferable to other deltas. The paper will consider the overall ESPA Deltas project and

  9. Identifying Ecosystem Services of Rivers and Streams Through Content Analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    While much ecosystem services research focuses on analysis such as mapping and/or valuation, fewer research efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. Ecosystem service monitoring and analysis efforts and communications ...

  10. Fishing for Novel Approaches to Ecosystem Service Forecasts

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem service concept provides a powerful framework for conserving species and the environments they depend upon. Describing current distributions of ecosystem services and forecasting their future distributions have therefore become central objectives in many conservati...

  11. Balancing Tradeoffs in Ecosystem Functions and Services in Grassland Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managed grasslands are increasingly expected to provide ecosystem services beyond the traditional provision of food, feed, and fiber. Grassland systems can provide ecosystem services such as soil conservation, water quality protection, wildlife conservation, pleasing landscapes, soil carbon storage,...

  12. Climate change, biotic interactions and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Montoya, José M; Raffaelli, Dave

    2010-07-12

    Climate change is real. The wrangling debates are over, and we now need to move onto a predictive ecology that will allow managers of landscapes and policy makers to adapt to the likely changes in biodiversity over the coming decades. There is ample evidence that ecological responses are already occurring at the individual species (population) level. The challenge is how to synthesize the growing list of such observations with a coherent body of theory that will enable us to predict where and when changes will occur, what the consequences might be for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and what we might do practically in order to maintain those systems in as good condition as possible. It is thus necessary to investigate the effects of climate change at the ecosystem level and to consider novel emergent ecosystems composed of new species assemblages arising from differential rates of range shifts of species. Here, we present current knowledge on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services supply, and summarize the papers included in this volume. We discuss how resilient ecosystems are in the face of the multiple components that characterize climate change, and suggest which current ecological theories may be used as a starting point to predict ecosystem-level effects of climate change.

  13. Translating ecological risk to ecosystem service loss.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Helm, Roger C; Adams, William J; Clements, William H; Cramer, Martin A; Curry, Mark; DiPinto, Lisa M; Johns, D Michael; Seiler, Richard; Williams, Lisa L; Young, Dale

    2009-10-01

    Hazardous site management in the United States includes remediation of contaminated environmental media and restoration of injured natural resources. Site remediation decisions are informed by ecological risk assessment (ERA), whereas restoration and compensation decisions are informed by the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process. Despite similarities in many of their data needs and the advantages of more closely linking their analyses, ERA and NRDA have been conducted largely independently of one another. This is the 4th in a series of papers reporting the results of a recent workshop that explored how ERA and NRDA data needs and assessment processes could be more closely linked. Our objective is to evaluate the technical underpinnings of recentmethods used to translate natural resource injuries into ecological service losses and to propose ways to enhance the usefulness of data obtained in ERAs to the NRDA process. Three aspects are addressed: 1) improving the linkage among ERA assessment endpoints and ecological services evaluated in the NRDA process, 2) enhancing ERA data collection and interpretation approaches to improve translation of ERA measurements in damage assessments, and 3) highlighting methods that can be used to aggregate service losses across contaminants and across natural resources. We propose that ERA and NRDA both would benefit by focusing ecological assessment endpoints on the ecosystem services that correspond most directly to restoration and damage compensation decisions, and we encourage development of generic ecosystem service assessment endpoints for application in hazardous site investigations. To facilitate their use in NRDA, ERA measurements should focus on natural resource species that affect the flow of ecosystem services most directly, should encompass levels of biological organization above organisms, and should be made with the use of experimental designs that support description of responses to contaminants as

  14. Green Infrastructure, Ecosystem Services, and Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Coutts, Christopher; Hahn, Micah

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary ecological models of health prominently feature the natural environment as fundamental to the ecosystem services that support human life, health, and well-being. The natural environment encompasses and permeates all other spheres of influence on health. Reviews of the natural environment and health literature have tended, at times intentionally, to focus on a limited subset of ecosystem services as well as health benefits stemming from the presence, and access and exposure to, green infrastructure. The sweeping influence of green infrastructure on the myriad ecosystem services essential to health has therefore often been underrepresented. This survey of the literature aims to provide a more comprehensive picture—in the form of a primer—of the many simultaneously acting health co-benefits of green infrastructure. It is hoped that a more accurately exhaustive list of benefits will not only instigate further research into the health co-benefits of green infrastructure but also promote consilience in the many fields, including public health, that must be involved in the landscape conservation necessary to protect and improve health and well-being. PMID:26295249

  15. Ecosystem services in urban water investment.

    PubMed

    Kandulu, John M; Connor, Jeffery D; MacDonald, Darla Hatton

    2014-12-01

    Increasingly, water agencies and utilities have an obligation to consider the broad environmental impacts associated with investments. To aid in understanding water cycle interdependencies when making urban water supply investment decisions, an ecosystem services typology was augmented with the concept of integrated water resources management. This framework is applied to stormwater harvesting in a case study catchment in Adelaide, South Australia. Results show that this methodological framework can effectively facilitate systematic consideration and quantitative assessment of broad environmental impacts of water supply investments. Five ecosystem service impacts were quantified including provision of 1) urban recreational amenity, 2) regulation of coastal water quality, 3) salinity, 4) greenhouse gas emissions, and 5) support of estuarine habitats. This study shows that ignoring broad environmental impacts can underestimate ecosystem service benefits of water supply investments by a value of up to A$1.36/kL, or three times the cost of operating and maintenance of stormwater harvesting. Rigorous assessment of the public welfare impacts of water infrastructure investments is required to guide long-term optimal water supply investment decisions. Numerous challenges remain in the quantification of broad environmental impacts of a water supply investment including a lack of peer-reviewed studies of environmental impacts, aggregation of incommensurable impacts, potential for double-counting errors, uncertainties in available impact estimates, and how to determine the most suitable quantification technique.

  16. Green Infrastructure, Ecosystem Services, and Human Health.

    PubMed

    Coutts, Christopher; Hahn, Micah

    2015-08-18

    Contemporary ecological models of health prominently feature the natural environment as fundamental to the ecosystem services that support human life, health, and well-being. The natural environment encompasses and permeates all other spheres of influence on health. Reviews of the natural environment and health literature have tended, at times intentionally, to focus on a limited subset of ecosystem services as well as health benefits stemming from the presence, and access and exposure to, green infrastructure. The sweeping influence of green infrastructure on the myriad ecosystem services essential to health has therefore often been underrepresented. This survey of the literature aims to provide a more comprehensive picture-in the form of a primer-of the many simultaneously acting health co-benefits of green infrastructure. It is hoped that a more accurately exhaustive list of benefits will not only instigate further research into the health co-benefits of green infrastructure but also promote consilience in the many fields, including public health, that must be involved in the landscape conservation necessary to protect and improve health and well-being.

  17. Ecosystem services: From theory to implementation

    PubMed Central

    Daily, Gretchen C.; Matson, Pamela A.

    2008-01-01

    Around the world, leaders are increasingly recognizing ecosystems as natural capital assets that supply life-support services of tremendous value. The challenge is to turn this recognition into incentives and institutions that will guide wise investments in natural capital, on a large scale. Advances are required on three key fronts, each featured here: the science of ecosystem production functions and service mapping; the design of appropriate finance, policy, and governance systems; and the art of implementing these in diverse biophysical and social contexts. Scientific understanding of ecosystem production functions is improving rapidly but remains a limiting factor in incorporating natural capital into decisions, via systems of national accounting and other mechanisms. Novel institutional structures are being established for a broad array of services and places, creating a need and opportunity for systematic assessment of their scope and limitations. Finally, it is clear that formal sharing of experience, and defining of priorities for future work, could greatly accelerate the rate of innovation and uptake of new approaches. PMID:18621697

  18. Ecosystem services: from theory to implementation.

    PubMed

    Daily, Gretchen C; Matson, Pamela A

    2008-07-15

    Around the world, leaders are increasingly recognizing ecosystems as natural capital assets that supply life-support services of tremendous value. The challenge is to turn this recognition into incentives and institutions that will guide wise investments in natural capital, on a large scale. Advances are required on three key fronts, each featured here: the science of ecosystem production functions and service mapping; the design of appropriate finance, policy, and governance systems; and the art of implementing these in diverse biophysical and social contexts. Scientific understanding of ecosystem production functions is improving rapidly but remains a limiting factor in incorporating natural capital into decisions, via systems of national accounting and other mechanisms. Novel institutional structures are being established for a broad array of services and places, creating a need and opportunity for systematic assessment of their scope and limitations. Finally, it is clear that formal sharing of experience, and defining of priorities for future work, could greatly accelerate the rate of innovation and uptake of new approaches.

  19. Implications of agricultural transitions and urbanization for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Cumming, Graeme S; Buerkert, Andreas; Hoffmann, Ellen M; Schlecht, Eva; von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan; Tscharntke, Teja

    2014-11-06

    Historically, farmers and hunter-gatherers relied directly on ecosystem services, which they both exploited and enjoyed. Urban populations still rely on ecosystems, but prioritize non-ecosystem services (socioeconomic). Population growth and densification increase the scale and change the nature of both ecosystem- and non-ecosystem-service supply and demand, weakening direct feedbacks between ecosystems and societies and potentially pushing social-ecological systems into traps that can lead to collapse. The interacting and mutually reinforcing processes of technological change, population growth and urbanization contribute to over-exploitation of ecosystems through complex feedbacks that have important implications for sustainable resource use.

  20. Operationalizing Ecosystem Services Indicators for Policy and Decision-Making

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services concept has gained popularity as a means of linking ecosystem goods and services to human well-being. Despite its popularity as a concept, there is much progress needed in operationalizing ecosystem services indicators before they are useful for policy and...

  1. Community Based Demonstration Projects: Willamette Ecosystem Services Project (WESP)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA’s Ecosystem Services Research Program in the Office of Research and Development is focused on the study of ecosystem services and the benefits to human well-being provided by ecological systems. As part of this research effort, the Willamette Ecosystems Services Project (WE...

  2. Mapping ecosystem services in the St. Louis River estuary (presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Management of ecosystems for sustainable provision of services beneficial to human communities requires reliable data about from where in the ecosystem services flow. Our objective is to map ecosystem services in the St. Louis River with the overarching EPA goal of community sust...

  3. Prioritization of Ecosystem Services Research: Tampa Bay Demonstration Project.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Demonstration Project (TBESDP) is a component of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Ecosystem Services Research Program. The principal objectives of TBESDP are (1) to quantify the ecosystem services of the Tampa Bay watershed, (2) to deter...

  4. Mapping ecosystem services in the St. Louis River Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sustainable management of ecosystems for the perpetual flow of services beneficial to human communities requires reliable data about from where in the ecosystem services flow. Our objective is to map ecosystem services in the St. Louis River with the overarching U.S. EPA goal of ...

  5. Urban ecosystem services and decision making for a green Philadelphia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hogan, Dianna M.; Shapiro, Carl D.; Karp, David N.; Wachter, Susan M.

    2014-01-01

    plan marks a citywide effort to factor environmental quality concerns into the city’s strategic planning, choosing to replace expensive and aging grey infrastructure, with innovative and resilient green infrastructure. The symposium focused on these city of Philadelphia initiatives and also on two new Federal- local partnership programs: America’s Great Outdoors, initiated to promote conservation and recreation, and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a multiagency effort to reconnect urban communities to their waterways. A second goal of the symposium was to advance a research agenda on urban ecosystem services. While there has been considerable work on ecosystem services, the discussion of the benefits provided by urban ecosystems is not as developed. Benefits range from improved water and air quality to quality of life gains, including aesthetic and recreational considerations. There is also need for additional focused research toward furthering the understanding of the multiple indirect benefits provided by urban ecosystem services (Bolund and Hunhammar, 1999). Moreover, there is a need for a greater understanding of how best to inform local decision making in this area, as local decision makers in cities across the country are increasingly recognizing the importance of developing sustainability measures for their immediate and long-term planning (United States Conference of Mayors, 2005). Approaching these local and regional plans from a holistic perspective has become a guiding principle of sustainability and resiliency. Therefore, there is a need to better understand the gains that have been achieved and to advance a research agenda on ecosystem services going forward. The day’s program included presentations on greening initiatives from the Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, as well as discussion about using an urban ecosystem services framework to evaluate these initiatives. Panel sessions included discussion of the Green City, Clean

  6. Ecosystem services and economic theory: integration for policy-relevant research.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Brendan; Turner, Kerry; Zylstra, Matthew; Brouwer, Roy; de Groot, Rudolf; Farber, Stephen; Ferraro, Paul; Green, Rhys; Hadley, David; Harlow, Julian; Jefferiss, Paul; Kirkby, Chris; Morling, Paul; Mowatt, Shaun; Naidoo, Robin; Paavola, Jouni; Strassburg, Bernardo; Yu, Doug; Balmford, Andrew

    2008-12-01

    It has become essential in policy and decision-making circles to think about the economic benefits (in addition to moral and scientific motivations) humans derive from well-functioning ecosystems. The concept of ecosystem services has been developed to address this link between ecosystems and human welfare. Since policy decisions are often evaluated through cost-benefit assessments, an economic analysis can help make ecosystem service research operational. In this paper we provide some simple economic analyses to discuss key concepts involved in formalizing ecosystem service research. These include the distinction between services and benefits, understanding the importance of marginal ecosystem changes, formalizing the idea of a safe minimum standard for ecosystem service provision, and discussing how to capture the public benefits of ecosystem services. We discuss how the integration of economic concepts and ecosystem services can provide policy and decision makers with a fuller spectrum of information for making conservation-conversion trade-offs. We include the results from a survey of the literature and a questionnaire of researchers regarding how ecosystem service research can be integrated into the policy process. We feel this discussion of economic concepts will be a practical aid for ecosystem service research to become more immediately policy relevant.

  7. Public participation GIS: a method for identifying ecosystems services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Greg; Montag, Jessica; Lyon, Katie

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the use of an Internet-based public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) to identify ecosystem services in Grand County, Colorado. Specific research objectives were to examine the distribution of ecosystem services, identify the characteristics of participants in the study, explore potential relationships between ecosystem services and land use and land cover (LULC) classifications, and assess the methodological strengths and weakness of the PPGIS approach for identifying ecosystem services. Key findings include: (1) Cultural ecosystem service opportunities were easiest to identify while supporting and regulatory services most challenging, (2) participants were highly educated, knowledgeable about nature and science, and have a strong connection to the outdoors, (3) some LULC classifications were logically and spatially associated with ecosystem services, and (4) despite limitations, the PPGIS method demonstrates potential for identifying ecosystem services to augment expert judgment and to inform public or environmental policy decisions regarding land use trade-offs.

  8. Measures of the Effects of Agricultural Practices on Ecosystem Services

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Polasky, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    Agriculture produces more than just crops. Agricultural practices have environmental impacts that affect a wide range of ecosystem services, including water quality, pollination, nutrient cycling, soil retention, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation. In turn, ecosystem services affect agricultural productivity. Understanding the contribution of various agricultural practices to the range of ecosystem services would help inform choices about the most beneficial agricultural practices. To accomplish this, however, we must overcome a big challenge in measuring the impact of alternative agricultural practices on ecosystem services and of ecosystem services on agricultural production.

  9. Ecosystem services as a common language for coastal ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Granek, Elise F; Polasky, Stephen; Kappel, Carrie V; Reed, Denise J; Stoms, David M; Koch, Evamaria W; Kennedy, Chris J; Cramer, Lori A; Hacker, Sally D; Barbier, Edward B; Aswani, Shankar; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Perillo, Gerardo M E; Silliman, Brian R; Muthiga, Nyawira; Bael, David; Wolanski, Eric

    2010-02-01

    Ecosystem-based management is logistically and politically challenging because ecosystems are inherently complex and management decisions affect a multitude of groups. Coastal ecosystems, which lie at the interface between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and provide an array of ecosystem services to different groups, aptly illustrate these challenges. Successful ecosystem-based management of coastal ecosystems requires incorporating scientific information and the knowledge and views of interested parties into the decision-making process. Estimating the provision of ecosystem services under alternative management schemes offers a systematic way to incorporate biogeophysical and socioeconomic information and the views of individuals and groups in the policy and management process. Employing ecosystem services as a common language to improve the process of ecosystem-based management presents both benefits and difficulties. Benefits include a transparent method for assessing trade-offs associated with management alternatives, a common set of facts and common currency on which to base negotiations, and improved communication among groups with competing interests or differing worldviews. Yet challenges to this approach remain, including predicting how human interventions will affect ecosystems, how such changes will affect the provision of ecosystem services, and how changes in service provision will affect the welfare of different groups in society. In a case study from Puget Sound, Washington, we illustrate the potential of applying ecosystem services as a common language for ecosystem-based management.

  10. European perspective of ecosystem services and related policies.

    PubMed

    Dunbar, Martha Bonnet; Panagos, Panos; Montanarella, Luca

    2013-04-01

    In this article, we focus on the importance of terrestrial ecosystems and the services they provide. European Union policies, contributing to the conservation and maintenance of ecosystem services in Europe are discussed and their current impacts briefly reviewed in the light of the main challenges that European ecosystems might face in the near future.

  11. Historical dynamics in ecosystem service bundles.

    PubMed

    Renard, Delphine; Rhemtulla, Jeanine M; Bennett, Elena M

    2015-10-27

    Managing multiple ecosystem services (ES), including addressing trade-offs between services and preventing ecological surprises, is among the most pressing areas for sustainability research. These challenges require ES research to go beyond the currently common approach of snapshot studies limited to one or two services at a single point in time. We used a spatiotemporal approach to examine changes in nine ES and their relationships from 1971 to 2006 across 131 municipalities in a mixed-use landscape in Quebec, Canada. We show how an approach that incorporates time and space can improve our understanding of ES dynamics. We found an increase in the provision of most services through time; however, provision of ES was not uniformly enhanced at all locations. Instead, each municipality specialized in providing a bundle (set of positively correlated ES) dominated by just a few services. The trajectory of bundle formation was related to changes in agricultural policy and global trends; local biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics explained the bundles' increasing spatial clustering. Relationships between services varied through time, with some provisioning and cultural services shifting from a trade-off or no relationship in 1971 to an apparent synergistic relationship by 2006. By implementing a spatiotemporal perspective on multiple services, we provide clear evidence of the dynamic nature of ES interactions and contribute to identifying processes and drivers behind these changing relationships. Our study raises questions about using snapshots of ES provision at a single point in time to build our understanding of ES relationships in complex and dynamic social-ecological systems.

  12. Historical dynamics in ecosystem service bundles

    PubMed Central

    Renard, Delphine; Rhemtulla, Jeanine M.; Bennett, Elena M.

    2015-01-01

    Managing multiple ecosystem services (ES), including addressing trade-offs between services and preventing ecological surprises, is among the most pressing areas for sustainability research. These challenges require ES research to go beyond the currently common approach of snapshot studies limited to one or two services at a single point in time. We used a spatiotemporal approach to examine changes in nine ES and their relationships from 1971 to 2006 across 131 municipalities in a mixed-use landscape in Quebec, Canada. We show how an approach that incorporates time and space can improve our understanding of ES dynamics. We found an increase in the provision of most services through time; however, provision of ES was not uniformly enhanced at all locations. Instead, each municipality specialized in providing a bundle (set of positively correlated ES) dominated by just a few services. The trajectory of bundle formation was related to changes in agricultural policy and global trends; local biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics explained the bundles’ increasing spatial clustering. Relationships between services varied through time, with some provisioning and cultural services shifting from a trade-off or no relationship in 1971 to an apparent synergistic relationship by 2006. By implementing a spatiotemporal perspective on multiple services, we provide clear evidence of the dynamic nature of ES interactions and contribute to identifying processes and drivers behind these changing relationships. Our study raises questions about using snapshots of ES provision at a single point in time to build our understanding of ES relationships in complex and dynamic social-ecological systems. PMID:26460005

  13. Safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Little Karoo, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Carwardine, Josie; Bode, Michael; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Wilson, Kerrie A; Possingham, Hugh P; Rouget, Mathieu; de Lange, Willem; Richardson, David M; Cowling, Richard M

    2010-08-01

    Global declines in biodiversity and the widespread degradation of ecosystem services have led to urgent calls to safeguard both. Responses to this urgency include calls to integrate the needs of ecosystem services and biodiversity into the design of conservation interventions. The benefits of such integration are purported to include improvements in the justification and resources available for these interventions. Nevertheless, additional costs and potential trade-offs remain poorly understood in the design of interventions that seek to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. We sought to investigate the synergies and trade-offs in safeguarding ecosystem services and biodiversity in South Africa's Little Karoo. We used data on three ecosystem services--carbon storage, water recharge, and fodder provision--and data on biodiversity to examine several conservation planning scenarios. First, we investigated the amount of each ecosystem service captured incidentally by a conservation plan to meet targets for biodiversity only while minimizing opportunity costs. We then examined the costs of adding targets for ecosystem services into this conservation plan. Finally, we explored trade-offs between biodiversity and ecosystem service targets at a fixed cost. At least 30% of each ecosystem service was captured incidentally when all of biodiversity targets were met. By including data on ecosystem services, we increased the amount of services captured by at least 20% for all three services without additional costs. When biodiversity targets were reduced by 8%, an extra 40% of fodder provision and water recharge were obtained and 58% of carbon could be captured for the same cost. The opportunity cost (in terms of forgone production) of safeguarding 100% of the biodiversity targets was about US$500 million. Our results showed that with a small decrease in biodiversity target achievement, substantial gains for the

  14. Ecosystem services in risk assessment and management. ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The ecosystem services (ES) concept holds much promise for environmental decision making. Even so, the concept has yet to gain full traction in the decisions and policies of environmental agencies in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. Here we examine the opportunities for and implications of including ES in risk assessments and the risk management decisions that they inform. We assert that use of ES will: 1) lead to more comprehensive environmental protection; 2) help to articulate the benefits of environmental decisions, policies, and actions; 3) better inform the derivation of environmental quality standards; 4) enable integration of human health and ecological risk assessment; and 5) facilitate horizontal integration of policies, regulations, and programs. We provide the technical basis and supporting rationale for each assertion, relying on examples taken from experiences in the United States and European Union. Specific recommendations are offered for use of ES in risk assessment and risk management, and issues and challenges to advancing use of ES are described along with some of the science needed to improve the value of the ES concept to environmental protection. This paper is one of 4 papers generated from the 2014 Pellston Workshop “Ecosystem Services, Environmental Stressors and Decision Making,” organized jointly by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and the Ecological Society of America. The main workshop objective was

  15. Forest Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Ecosystem services, feedback and evolution in developing mountainous catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Band, Larry

    2010-05-01

    Mountain watersheds provide significant ecosystem services both locally and for surrounding regions, including the provision of freshwater, hydropower, carbon sequestration, habitat, forest products and recreational/aesthetic opportunities. The hydrologic connectivity along hillslopes in sloping terrain provides an upslope subsidy of water and nutrients to downslope ecosystem patches, producing characteristic ecosystem patterns of vegetation density and type, and soil biogeochemical cycling. Recent work suggests that optimal patterns of forest cover evolve along these flowpaths which maximize net primary productivity and carbon sequestration at the hillslope to catchment scale. These watersheds are under significant pressure from potential climate change, changes in forest management, increasing population and development, and increasing demand for water export. As water balance and flowpaths are altered by shifting weather patterns and new development, the spatial distribution and coupling of water, carbon and nutrient cycling will spur the evolution of different ecosystem patterns. These issues have both theoretical and practical implications for the coupling of water, carbon and nutrient cycling at the landscape level, and the potential to manage watersheds for bundled ecosystem services. If the spatial structure of the ecosystem spontaneously adjusts to maximize landscape level use of limiting resources, there may be trade-offs in the level of services provided. The well known carbon-for-water tradeoff reflects the growth of forests to maximize carbon uptake, but also transpiration which limits freshwater availability in many biomes. We provide examples of the response of bundled ecosystem services to climate and land use change in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of the United States. These mountains have very high net primary productivity, biodiversity and water yields, and provide significant freshwater resources to surrounding regions. There has been a

  16. Assessment of Coastal Ecosystem Services for Conservation Strategies in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Min Gon; Kang, Hojeong; Choi, Sung-Uk

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that scientific and political consideration for ecosystem services has dramatically increased over the past decade, few studies have focused on marine and coastal ecosystem services for conservation strategies. We used an ecosystem services approach to assess spatial distributions of habitat risks and four ecosystem services (coastal protection, carbon storage, recreation, and aesthetic quality), and explored the tradeoffs among them in coastal areas of South Korea. Additionally, we analyzed how the social and ecological characteristics in coastal areas interact with conservation and development policies by using this approach. We found strong negative associations between the habitat risks and ecosystem services (aquaculture, carbon storage, recreation, and aesthetic quality) across the coastal counties. Our results showed that the intensity of the habitat risks and the provision of ecosystem services were significantly different between reclamation-dominated and conservation-dominated counties, except for coastal vulnerability. A generalized linear model suggested that reclamation projects were dependent on economic efficiency, whereas demographic pressures and habitat conditions influenced the designation of protected areas at a county level. The ecosystem services approach provided guidelines to achieve both sustainable development and environment conservation. By using the approach, we can select the priority areas for developments while we can minimize the degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. As cultural ecosystem services are evenly distributed throughout coastal areas of South Korea, decision makers may employ them to improve the conditions of coastal wetlands outside of protected areas. PMID:26221950

  17. Assessment of Coastal Ecosystem Services for Conservation Strategies in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Chung, Min Gon; Kang, Hojeong; Choi, Sung-Uk

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that scientific and political consideration for ecosystem services has dramatically increased over the past decade, few studies have focused on marine and coastal ecosystem services for conservation strategies. We used an ecosystem services approach to assess spatial distributions of habitat risks and four ecosystem services (coastal protection, carbon storage, recreation, and aesthetic quality), and explored the tradeoffs among them in coastal areas of South Korea. Additionally, we analyzed how the social and ecological characteristics in coastal areas interact with conservation and development policies by using this approach. We found strong negative associations between the habitat risks and ecosystem services (aquaculture, carbon storage, recreation, and aesthetic quality) across the coastal counties. Our results showed that the intensity of the habitat risks and the provision of ecosystem services were significantly different between reclamation-dominated and conservation-dominated counties, except for coastal vulnerability. A generalized linear model suggested that reclamation projects were dependent on economic efficiency, whereas demographic pressures and habitat conditions influenced the designation of protected areas at a county level. The ecosystem services approach provided guidelines to achieve both sustainable development and environment conservation. By using the approach, we can select the priority areas for developments while we can minimize the degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. As cultural ecosystem services are evenly distributed throughout coastal areas of South Korea, decision makers may employ them to improve the conditions of coastal wetlands outside of protected areas.

  18. Trends in ecosystem service research: early steps and current drivers.

    PubMed

    Vihervaara, Petteri; Rönkä, Mia; Walls, Mari

    2010-06-01

    Over the past 50 years, human beings have influenced ecosystems more rapidly than at any similar time in human history, drastically altering ecosystem functioning. Along with ecosystem transformation and degradation, a number of studies have addressed the functioning, assessment and management of ecosystems. The concept of ecosystem services has been developed in the scientific literature since the end of the 1970s. However, ecosystem service research has focused on certain service categories, ecosystem types, and geographical areas, while substantial knowledge gaps remain concerning several aspects. We assess the development and current status of ecosystem service research on the basis of publications collected from the Web of Science. The material consists of (1) articles (n = 353) from all the years included in the Web of Science down to the completion of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and (2) more recent articles (n = 687) published between 2006 and 2008. We also assess the importance of international processes, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Kyoto Protocol and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, as drivers of ecosystem service research. Finally, we identify future prospects and research needs concerning the assessment and management of ecosystem services.

  19. Avian conservation practices strengthen ecosystem services in California vineyards.

    PubMed

    Jedlicka, Julie A; Greenberg, Russell; Letourneau, Deborah K

    2011-01-01

    Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey in treatments with songbird nest boxes and controls without nest boxes. The average species richness of avian insectivores increased by over 50 percent compared to controls. Insectivorous bird density nearly quadrupled, primarily due to a tenfold increase in Western Bluebird abundance. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the abundance of omnivorous or granivorous bird species some of which opportunistically forage on grapes. In a sentinel prey experiment, 2.4 times more live beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) were removed in the nest box treatment than in the control. As an estimate of the maximum foraging services provided by insectivorous birds, we found that larval removal rates measured immediately below occupied boxes averaged 3.5 times greater than in the control. Consequently the presence of Western Bluebirds in vineyard nest boxes strengthened ecosystem services to winegrape growers, illustrating a benefit of agroecological conservation practices. Predator addition and sentinel prey experiments lack some disadvantages of predator exclusion experiments and were robust methodologies for detecting ecosystem services.

  20. Avian Conservation Practices Strengthen Ecosystem Services in California Vineyards

    PubMed Central

    Jedlicka, Julie A.; Greenberg, Russell; Letourneau, Deborah K.

    2011-01-01

    Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey in treatments with songbird nest boxes and controls without nest boxes. The average species richness of avian insectivores increased by over 50 percent compared to controls. Insectivorous bird density nearly quadrupled, primarily due to a tenfold increase in Western Bluebird abundance. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the abundance of omnivorous or granivorous bird species some of which opportunistically forage on grapes. In a sentinel prey experiment, 2.4 times more live beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) were removed in the nest box treatment than in the control. As an estimate of the maximum foraging services provided by insectivorous birds, we found that larval removal rates measured immediately below occupied boxes averaged 3.5 times greater than in the control. Consequently the presence of Western Bluebirds in vineyard nest boxes strengthened ecosystem services to winegrape growers, illustrating a benefit of agroecological conservation practices. Predator addition and sentinel prey experiments lack some disadvantages of predator exclusion experiments and were robust methodologies for detecting ecosystem services. PMID:22096555

  1. Trade-offs across space, time, and ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez, J.P.; Beard, T.D.; Bennett, E.M.; Cumming, Graeme S.; Cork, S.J.; Agard, J.; Dobson, A.P.; Peterson, G.D.

    2006-01-01

    Ecosystem service (ES) trade-offs arise from management choices made by humans, which can change the type, magnitude, and relative mix of services provided by ecosystems. Trade-offs occur when the provision of one ES is reduced as a consequence of increased use of another ES. In some cases, a trade-off may be an explicit choice; but in others, trade-offs arise without premeditation or even awareness that they are taking place. Trade-offs in ES can be classified along three axes: spatial scale, temporal scale, and reversibility. Spatial scale refers to whether the effects of the trade-off are felt locally or at a distant location. Temporal scale refers to whether the effects take place relatively rapidly or slowly. Reversibility expresses the likelihood that the perturbed ES may return to its original state if the perturbation ceases. Across all four Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios and selected case study examples, trade-off decisions show a preference for provisioning, regulating, or cultural services (in that order). Supporting services are more likely to be "taken for granted." Cultural ES are almost entirely unquantified in scenario modeling; therefore, the calculated model results do not fully capture losses of these services that occur in the scenarios. The quantitative scenario models primarily capture the services that are perceived by society as more important - provisioning and regulating ecosystem services - and thus do not fully capture trade-offs of cultural and supporting services. Successful management policies will be those that incorporate lessons learned from prior decisions into future management actions. Managers should complement their actions with monitoring programs that, in addition to monitoring the short-term provisions of services, also monitor the long-term evolution of slowly changing variables. Policies can then be developed to take into account ES trade-offs at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Successful strategies will

  2. Improvements in ecosystem services from investments in natural capital.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zheng, Hua; Xiao, Yi; Polasky, Stephen; Liu, Jianguo; Xu, Weihua; Wang, Qiao; Zhang, Lu; Xiao, Yang; Rao, Enming; Jiang, Ling; Lu, Fei; Wang, Xiaoke; Yang, Guangbin; Gong, Shihan; Wu, Bingfang; Zeng, Yuan; Yang, Wu; Daily, Gretchen C

    2016-06-17

    In response to ecosystem degradation from rapid economic development, China began investing heavily in protecting and restoring natural capital starting in 2000. We report on China's first national ecosystem assessment (2000-2010), designed to quantify and help manage change in ecosystem services, including food production, carbon sequestration, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, water retention, flood mitigation, and provision of habitat for biodiversity. Overall, ecosystem services improved from 2000 to 2010, apart from habitat provision. China's national conservation policies contributed significantly to the increases in those ecosystem services.

  3. Ecosystem Services Assessment of the Nemunas River Delta

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept of ecosystem services recognizes the services, and benefits, provided to people by ecosystems. The Nemunas River Delta, in Lithuania, is a valued area that can provide a range of services. We conducted a meta-analysis of existing studies done on the region to identify...

  4. A site-based approach to delivering rangeland ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rangeland ecosystems are capable of providing an array of ecosystem services important to the wellbeing of society. Some of these services (e.g. meat, fibre) are transported to markets and their quantity, quality and value are established via a set of widely accepted standards. Other services (e.g. ...

  5. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Tallis, Heather

    2016-01-01

    The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

  6. The role of palaeoecological records in assessing ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffers, Elizabeth S.; Nogué, Sandra; Willis, Katherine J.

    2015-03-01

    Biological conservation and environmental management are increasingly focussing on the preservation and restoration of ecosystem services (i.e. the benefits that humans receive from the natural functioning of healthy ecosystems). Over the past decade there has been a rapid increase in the number of palaeoecological studies that have contributed to conservation of biodiversity and management of ecosystem processes; however, there are relatively few instances in which attempts have been made to estimate the continuity of ecosystem goods and services over time. How resistant is an ecosystem service to environmental perturbations? And, if damaged, how long it does it take an ecosystem service to recover? Both questions are highly relevant to conservation and management of landscapes that are important for ecosystem service provision and require an in-depth understanding of the way ecosystems function in space and time. An understanding of time is particularly relevant for those ecosystem services - be they supporting, provisioning, regulating or cultural services that involve processes that vary over a decadal (or longer) timeframe. Most trees, for example, have generation times >50 years. Understanding the response of forested ecosystems to environmental perturbations and therefore the continuity of the ecosystem services they provide for human well-being - be it for example, carbon draw-down (regulating service) or timber (provisioning service) - requires datasets that reflect the typical replacement rates in these systems and the lifecycle of processes that alter their trajectories of change. Therefore, data are required that span decadal to millennial time-scales. Very rarely, however, is this information available from neo-ecological datasets and in many ecosystem service assessments, this lack of a temporal record is acknowledged as a significant information gap. This review aims to address this knowledge gap by examining the type and nature of palaeoecological

  7. The use of a new ecosystem services assessment tool, EPA H2O, for identifying, quantifying, and valuing ecosystem services production.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The task of estimating ecosystem service production and delivery deserves special attention. Assessment tools that incorporate both supply and delivery of ecosystem services are needed to better understand how ecosystem services production becomes realized benefits. Here, we de...

  8. Urbanization, Climate Change, and Changes to Ecosystem Services in Coastal Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutton, P. C.; Costanza, R.; Roman, J.; Kubiszewski, I.

    2011-12-01

    We examine the history and status of ecosystem services in low-lying coastal areas (LLCA's), how they might change in the future in particular because of urbanization and wider environmental and social changes, and what the implications of these changes might be for the migration of humans. We synthesized information from a number of sources on the status and value of ecosystem services in LLCA's, including information about key ecosystems that are likely to be particularly vulnerable to environmental change. We created maps of ecosystem and human population changes in LLCA's and then estimated changes in ecosystem services. We developed four scenarios for future ecosystem and ecosystem services conditions in 2060, based on the four SRES (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) scenarios with additional reference to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Great Transition Initiative scenarios. The two axes of the SRES scenarios are global vs. regional and material economy vs. environment foci. This allowed an assessment of the plausible range of future uncertainty about ecosystem services in LLCA's and the potential for changes in ecosystem services to drive human migration. Major findings include: 1) Coastal ecosystems are among the most productive on the planet. They provide more than 70% of total global ecosystem services; 2) At the same time, these systems are the most threatened by climate change, human settlement and potential coastward migration; 3) In the mid 1990's, approximately 25 million people were forced to leave their homelands due to the inability to secure a livelihood as ecosystem services declined; 4) In the coming decades, one estimate puts the number at 240-525 million people who may feel impelled to migrate due to loss of ecosystem services; 5) Risk factors for coastal populations include overexploitation of resources, including fisheries; destruction of mangroves, wetlands, and other natural infrastructure; increased storm activity and

  9. Going Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: An Index System of Human Dependence on Ecosystem Services

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wu; Dietz, Thomas; Liu, Wei; Luo, Junyan; Liu, Jianguo

    2013-01-01

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) estimated that two thirds of ecosystem services on the earth have degraded or are in decline due to the unprecedented scale of human activities during recent decades. These changes will have tremendous consequences for human well-being, and offer both risks and opportunities for a wide range of stakeholders. Yet these risks and opportunities have not been well managed due in part to the lack of quantitative understanding of human dependence on ecosystem services. Here, we propose an index of dependence on ecosystem services (IDES) system to quantify human dependence on ecosystem services. We demonstrate the construction of the IDES system using household survey data. We show that the overall index and sub-indices can reflect the general pattern of households' dependences on ecosystem services, and their variations across time, space, and different forms of capital (i.e., natural, human, financial, manufactured, and social capitals). We support the proposition that the poor are more dependent on ecosystem services and further generalize this proposition by arguing that those disadvantaged groups who possess low levels of any form of capital except for natural capital are more dependent on ecosystem services than those with greater control of capital. The higher value of the overall IDES or sub-index represents the higher dependence on the corresponding ecosystem services, and thus the higher vulnerability to the degradation or decline of corresponding ecosystem services. The IDES system improves our understanding of human dependence on ecosystem services. It also provides insights into strategies for alleviating poverty, for targeting priority groups of conservation programs, and for managing risks and opportunities due to changes of ecosystem services at multiple scales. PMID:23717634

  10. Going beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: an index system of human dependence on ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wu; Dietz, Thomas; Liu, Wei; Luo, Junyan; Liu, Jianguo

    2013-01-01

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) estimated that two thirds of ecosystem services on the earth have degraded or are in decline due to the unprecedented scale of human activities during recent decades. These changes will have tremendous consequences for human well-being, and offer both risks and opportunities for a wide range of stakeholders. Yet these risks and opportunities have not been well managed due in part to the lack of quantitative understanding of human dependence on ecosystem services. Here, we propose an index of dependence on ecosystem services (IDES) system to quantify human dependence on ecosystem services. We demonstrate the construction of the IDES system using household survey data. We show that the overall index and sub-indices can reflect the general pattern of households' dependences on ecosystem services, and their variations across time, space, and different forms of capital (i.e., natural, human, financial, manufactured, and social capitals). We support the proposition that the poor are more dependent on ecosystem services and further generalize this proposition by arguing that those disadvantaged groups who possess low levels of any form of capital except for natural capital are more dependent on ecosystem services than those with greater control of capital. The higher value of the overall IDES or sub-index represents the higher dependence on the corresponding ecosystem services, and thus the higher vulnerability to the degradation or decline of corresponding ecosystem services. The IDES system improves our understanding of human dependence on ecosystem services. It also provides insights into strategies for alleviating poverty, for targeting priority groups of conservation programs, and for managing risks and opportunities due to changes of ecosystem services at multiple scales.

  11. Economic valuation of ecosystem services: discussion and application.

    PubMed

    Lazo, Jeffrey K

    2002-11-01

    Ecosystems provide a wide range of services that improve human welfare. Changes in ecosystems imply potential changes in the generation of these ecosystem services and thus changes in welfare. In the lingo of economists, these welfare changes are measured as changes in economic values--increases in welfare being benefits and decreases in welfare being costs. For instance, individuals may benefit from, and thus value, reductions in risks to endangered species. Yet values for many changes in ecosystem services are not captured in market transactions, and thus measuring these values requires nonmarket valuation methods. This paper discusses ecosystem services and values from the viewpoint of an economist, explains what is meant by the valuation of ecosystems, and provides an overview of methods for valuation of ecosystem services. An example is presented from a recent natural resource damage assessment--the Green Bay total value equivalency study. Resources in the Lower Fox River and Green Bay in Wisconsin have been injured by polychlorinated biphenyl contamination from numerous paper mills along the river over several decades. The Green Bay study examines individuals' preferences and values for reducing ecosystem risks and improving ecosystem services and how these values are related to individuals' awareness of and use of ecosystem services in the area. The study uses methods from nonmarket valuation to scale potential restoration projects.

  12. Sustainable development level evaluation based on ecosystem services welfare index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, W.; Shi, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Rapidly economic development makes global ecosystem degradation and ecosystem services descent, which aroused people's concern increasingly. A serious of disastrous weather such as sandstorm, haze, and floods become the focus of public. Take an example of the impact on natural ecosystems, firstly, human are over-dependence on the supply services provided by ecosystem, especially the grain, fibers, forest and so on, resulting other ecosystem services decline. Secondly, the raising artificial ecosystems lead to the simplification of system structure and function. End up with environment pollution and habitat fragmentation, which endanger human well-being. Ecosystem Services Welfare Index was introduced into this study. Evaluating the sustainable development level of regional ecology and society by calculating the efficiency of per unit ecosystem services consumption contributes to the human welfare. Welfare is the degree of human satisfaction, including not only the economic level, but also the education, health, and housing. This study will select the human development index (HDI) as the representation of human welfare, and ecosystem services footprint index (ESFI) presenting the ecosystem services consumption. According the results, 31 province in China could be divided into several different type, "high development- low efficiency- high consumption", "low development - high efficiency- low consumption" and "low development- high efficiency- low consumption", which could be evidence for decision makers.

  13. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  14. Multiple ecosystem services in a working landscape.

    PubMed

    Eastburn, Danny J; O'Geen, Anthony T; Tate, Kenneth W; Roche, Leslie M

    2017-01-01

    Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services-specifically agricultural production, biodiversity and habitat, and soil health-across human created vegetation states in a managed oak woodland landscape in a Mediterranean climate. We found clear tradeoffs and synergies in management outcomes. Grassland states maximized agricultural productivity at a loss of soil health, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. Synergies existed among multiple ecosystem services in savanna and woodland states with significantly larger nutrient pools, more diversity and native plant richness, and less invasive species. This integrative approach can be adapted to a diversity of working landscapes to provide useful information for science-based ecosystem service valuations, conservation decision making, and management effectiveness assessments.

  15. Facing uncertainty in ecosystem services-based resource management.

    PubMed

    Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne; Brunner, Sibyl H; Altwegg, Jürg; Bebi, Peter

    2013-09-01

    The concept of ecosystem services is increasingly used as a support for natural resource management decisions. While the science for assessing ecosystem services is improving, appropriate methods to address uncertainties in a quantitative manner are missing. Ignoring parameter uncertainties, modeling uncertainties and uncertainties related to human-environment interactions can modify decisions and lead to overlooking important management possibilities. In this contribution, we present a new approach for mapping the uncertainties in the assessment of multiple ecosystem services. The spatially explicit risk approach links Bayesian networks to a Geographic Information System for forecasting the value of a bundle of ecosystem services and quantifies the uncertainties related to the outcomes in a spatially explicit manner. We demonstrate that mapping uncertainties in ecosystem services assessments provides key information for decision-makers seeking critical areas in the delivery of ecosystem services in a case study in the Swiss Alps. The results suggest that not only the total value of the bundle of ecosystem services is highly dependent on uncertainties, but the spatial pattern of the ecosystem services values changes substantially when considering uncertainties. This is particularly important for the long-term management of mountain forest ecosystems, which have long rotation stands and are highly sensitive to pressing climate and socio-economic changes.

  16. Toward a standard lexicon for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Rea, Anne W; Mazzotta, Marisa J; Wainger, Lisa A; Saterson, Kathryn

    2015-10-01

    The complex, widely dispersed, and cumulative environmental challenges currently facing society require holistic, transdisciplinary approaches to resolve. The concept of ecosystem services (ES) has become more widely accepted as a framework that fosters a broader systems perspective of sustainability and can make science more responsive to the needs of decision makers and the public. Successful transdisciplinary approaches require a common language and understanding of key concepts. Our primary objective is to encourage the ES research and policy communities to standardize terminology and definitions, to facilitate mutual understanding by multidisciplinary researchers and policy makers. As an important step toward standardization, we present a lexicon developed to inform ES research conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and its partners. We describe a straightforward conceptualization of the relationships among environmental decisions, their effects on ecological systems and the services they provide, and human well-being. This provides a framework for common understanding and use of ES terminology. We encourage challenges to these definitions and attempts to advance standardization of a lexicon in ways that might be more meaningful to our ultimate objective: informing environmental decisions in ways that promote the sustainability of the environment upon which we all depend.

  17. Comparative review of multifunctionality and ecosystem services in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiao; Tichit, Muriel; Poulot, Monique; Darly, Ségolène; Li, Shuangcheng; Petit, Caroline; Aubry, Christine

    2015-02-01

    Two scientific communities with broad interest in sustainable agriculture independently focus on multifunctional agriculture or ecosystem services. These communities have limited interaction and exchange, and each group faces research challenges according to independently operating paradigms. This paper presents a comparative review of published research in multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. The motivation for this work is to improve communication, integrate experimental approaches, and propose areas of consensus and dialog for the two communities. This extensive analysis of publication trends, ideologies, and approaches enables formulation of four main conclusions. First, the two communities are closely related through their use of the term "function." However, multifunctional agriculture considers functions as agricultural activity outputs and prefers farm-centred approaches, whereas ecosystem services considers ecosystem functions in the provision of services and prefers service-centred approaches. Second, research approaches to common questions in these two communities share some similarities, and there would be great value in integrating these approaches. Third, the two communities have potential for dialog regarding the bundle of ecosystem services and the spectrum of multifunctional agriculture, or regarding land sharing and land sparing. Fourth, we propose an integrated conceptual framework that distinguishes six groups of ecosystem services and disservices in the agricultural landscape, and combines the concepts of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. This integrated framework improves applications of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services for operational use. Future research should examine if the framework can be readily adapted for modelling specific problems in agricultural management.

  18. Modelling impacts of second generation bioenergy production on Ecosystem Services in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henner, Dagmar N.; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; McNamara, Niall P.

    2015-04-01

    Bioenergy crops are an important source of renewable energy and are a possible mechanism to mitigate global climate warming, by replacing fossil fuel energy with higher greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, uncertainty about the impacts of the growth of bioenergy crops on ecosystem services. This uncertainty is further enhanced by the unpredictable climate change currently going on. The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive model that covers as many ecosystem services as possible at a Continental level including biodiversity, water, GHG emissions, soil, and cultural services. The distribution and production of second generation energy crops, such as Miscanthus, Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF), is currently being modelled, and ecosystem models will be used to examine the impacts of these crops on ecosystem services. The project builds on models of energy crop production, biodiversity, soil impacts, greenhouse gas emissions and other ecosystem services, and on work undertaken in the UK on the ETI-funded ELUM project (www.elum.ac.uk). In addition, methods like water footprint tools, tourism value maps and ecosystem valuation tools and models (e.g. InVest, TEEB database, GREET LCA Model, World Business Council for Sustainable Development corporate ecosystem valuation, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Ecosystem Services Framework) will be utilised. Research will focus on optimisation of land use change feedbacks on ecosystem services and biodiversity, and weighting of the importance of the individual ecosystem services. Energy crops will be modelled using low, medium and high climate change scenarios for the years between 2015 and 2050. We will present first results for GHG emissions and soil organic carbon change after different land use change scenarios (e.g. arable to Miscanthus, forest to SRF), and with different climate warming scenarios. All this will be complemented by the presentation of a matrix

  19. Ecosystem services impacts associated with environmental ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nitrogen release to the environment from human activities can have important and costly impacts on human health, recreation, transportation, fisheries, and ecosystem health. Recent efforts to quantify these damage costs have identified annual damages associated with reactive nitrogen release to the EU and US in the hundreds of billions of US dollars (USD). The general approach used to estimate these damages associated with reactive nitrogen are derived from a variety of methods to estimate economic damages, for example, impacts to human respiratory health in terms of hospital visits and mortality, willingness to pay to improve a water body and costs to replace or treat drinking water systems affected by nitrate or cyanotoxin contamination. These values are then extrapolated to other areas to develop the damage cost estimates that are probably best seen as potential damage costs, particularly for aquatic ecosystems. We seek to provide an additional verification of these potential damages using data assembled by the US EPA for case studies of measured costs of nutrient impacts across the US from 2000-2012. We compare the spatial distribution and the magnitude of these costs with the spatial distribution and magnitude of costs from HUC8 watershed units across the US by Sobota et al. (2015). We anticipate that this analysis will provide a ground truthing of existing damage cost estimates, and continue to support the incorporation of cost and benefit informatio

  20. Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Considerations for ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Freshwater habitats provide fishable, swimmable and drinkable resources and are a nexus of geophysical and biological processes. These processes in turn influence the persistence and sustainability of populations, communities and ecosystems. Climate change and landuse change encompass numerous stressors of potential exposure, including the introduction of toxic contaminants, invasive species, and disease in addition to physical drivers such as temperature and hydrologic regime. A systems approach that includes the scientific and technologic basis of assessing the health of ecosystems is needed to effectively protect human health and the environment. The Integrated Environmental Modeling Framework “iemWatersheds” has been developed as a consistent and coherent means of forecasting the cumulative impact of co-occurring stressors. The Framework consists of three facilitating technologies: Data for Environmental Modeling (D4EM) that automates the collection and standardization of input data; the Framework for Risk Assessment of Multimedia Environmental Systems (FRAMES) that manages the flow of information between linked models; and the Supercomputer for Model Uncertainty and Sensitivity Evaluation (SuperMUSE) that provides post-processing and analysis of model outputs, including uncertainty and sensitivity analysis. Five models are linked within the Framework to provide multimedia simulation capabilities for hydrology and water quality processes: the Soil Water

  1. Contributions of cultural services to the ecosystem services agenda

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, Terry C.; Muhar, Andreas; Arnberger, Arne; Aznar, Olivier; Boyd, James W.; Chan, Kai M. A.; Costanza, Robert; Elmqvist, Thomas; Flint, Courtney G.; Gobster, Paul H.; Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne; Lave, Rebecca; Muhar, Susanne; Penker, Marianne; Ribe, Robert G.; Schauppenlehner, Thomas; Sikor, Thomas; Soloviy, Ihor; Spierenburg, Marja; Taczanowska, Karolina; Tam, Jordan; von der Dunk, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services (ES) are consistently recognized but not yet adequately defined or integrated within the ES framework. A substantial body of models, methods, and data relevant to cultural services has been developed within the social and behavioral sciences before and outside of the ES approach. A selective review of work in landscape aesthetics, cultural heritage, outdoor recreation, and spiritual significance demonstrates opportunities for operationally defining cultural services in terms of socioecological models, consistent with the larger set of ES. Such models explicitly link ecological structures and functions with cultural values and benefits, facilitating communication between scientists and stakeholders and enabling economic, multicriterion, deliberative evaluation and other methods that can clarify tradeoffs and synergies involving cultural ES. Based on this approach, a common representation is offered that frames cultural services, along with all ES, by the relative contribution of relevant ecological structures and functions and by applicable social evaluation approaches. This perspective provides a foundation for merging ecological and social science epistemologies to define and integrate cultural services better within the broader ES framework. PMID:22615401

  2. Regional Modeling of Ecosystem Services Provided by Stream Fishes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fish habitat and biodiversity for fish are valuable ecosystem services provided by rivers. Future land development and climate change will likely alter these services, and an understanding of these responses can guide management and restoration priorities. We used hierarchical mo...

  3. Potential indicators of final ecosystem services in wetlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous and inconsistent lists of wetland ecosystem services exist because services are identified using ambiguous definitions or categorization schemes based around divergent or ambiguous objectives. A consistent and scientific approach would provide clarity and provide greater...

  4. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Garman, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  5. Determining the Ecosystem Services Important for Urban Landscapes-Slides

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation consists of introductory slides on ecosystem services in urban landscapes and then a discussion of two case studies concerning the provision of water quality in urban landscapes. The introductory slides will explore the range of ecosystem services provided by u...

  6. The challenges of incorporating cultural ecosystem services into environmental assessment.

    PubMed

    Satz, Debra; Gould, Rachelle K; Chan, Kai M A; Guerry, Anne; Norton, Bryan; Satterfield, Terre; Halpern, Benjamin S; Levine, Jordan; Woodside, Ulalia; Hannahs, Neil; Basurto, Xavier; Klain, Sarah

    2013-10-01

    The ecosystem services concept is used to make explicit the diverse benefits ecosystems provide to people, with the goal of improving assessment and, ultimately, decision-making. Alongside material benefits such as natural resources (e.g., clean water, timber), this concept includes-through the 'cultural' category of ecosystem services-diverse non-material benefits that people obtain through interactions with ecosystems (e.g., spiritual inspiration, cultural identity, recreation). Despite the longstanding focus of ecosystem services research on measurement, most cultural ecosystem services have defined measurement and inclusion alongside other more 'material' services. This gap in measurement of cultural ecosystem services is a product of several perceived problems, some of which are not real problems and some of which can be mitigated or even solved without undue difficulty. Because of the fractured nature of the literature, these problems continue to plague the discussion of cultural services. In this paper we discuss several such problems, which although they have been addressed singly, have not been brought together in a single discussion. There is a need for a single, accessible treatment of the importance and feasibility of integrating cultural ecosystem services alongside others.

  7. Habitat scale mapping of fisheries ecosystem services values in estuaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Little is known about the variability of ecosystem service values at spatial scales most relevant to local decision makers. Competing definitions of ecosystem services, the paucity of ecological and economic information and the lack of standardization in methodology are major ob...

  8. Ecosystem Services Valuation as an Opportunity for Inquiry Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Zachary P.; Bennett, Drew E.

    2016-01-01

    Teaching ecosystem services provides an ideal opportunity to use inquiry-based learning to help students make connections between ecological, geological, and social systems. The idea of ecosystem services, or the benefits nature provides to society, has emerged as a key concept in a host of environmental fields and is just beginning to gain…

  9. Space-time modeling in EPA's Ecosystem Services Research Program

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA is conducting a long-term research program on the effects of human actions on ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are defined in this program as “the products of ecological functions or processes that directly or indirectly contribute to human well-being.” Modelin...

  10. VALUING AN INTERVENTION: MARSH MIGRATION AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is growing interest in valuing ecosystem services provided by marsh systems. Ecosystem services represent a flow of benefits to society from the existence or functioning of the marsh. Therefore, to “put a value on” the marsh itself, or estimate a value of the na...

  11. Designing a systematic landscape monitoring approach for quantifying ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    A key problem encountered early on by governments striving to incorporate the ecosystem services concept into decision making is quantifying ecosystem services across large landscapes. Basically, they are faced with determining what to measure, how to measure it and how to aggre...

  12. Neighborhood scale quantification of ecosystem goods and services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem goods and services are those ecological structures and functions that humans can directly relate to their state of well-being. Ecosystem goods and services include, but are not limited to, a sufficient fresh water supply, fertile lands to produce agricultural products, ...

  13. Identifying spatial priorities for protecting ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Luck, Gary W; Chan, Kai Ma; Klien, Carissa J

    2012-01-01

    Priorities for protecting ecosystem services must be identified to ensure future human well-being. Approaches to broad-scale spatial prioritization of ecosystem services are becoming increasingly popular and are a vital precursor to identifying locations where further detailed analyses of the management of ecosystem services is required (e.g., examining trade-offs among management actions). Prioritization approaches often examine the spatial congruence between priorities for protecting ecosystem services and priorities for protecting biodiversity; therefore, the spatial prioritization method used is crucial because it will influence the alignment of service protection and conservation goals. While spatial prioritization of ecosystem services and prioritization for conservation share similarities, such as the need to document threats and costs, the former differs substantially from the latter owing to the requirement to measure the following components: supply of services; availability of human-derived alternatives to service provision; capacity to meet beneficiary demand; and site dependency in and scale of service delivery. We review studies that identify broad-scale spatial priorities for managing ecosystem services and demonstrate that researchers have used different approaches and included various measures for identifying priorities, and most studies do not consider all of the components listed above. We describe a conceptual framework for integrating each of these components into spatial prioritization of ecosystem services and illustrate our approach using a worked example for water provision. A fuller characterization of the biophysical and social context for ecosystem services that we call for should improve future prioritization and the identification of locations where ecosystem-service management is especially important or cost effective.

  14. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service) were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing) had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health. PMID:26067989

  15. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-06-09

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service) were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing) had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health.

  16. Decoding ecosystem services in the neighborhood through ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Remediation to Restoration to Revitalization (R2R2R) is a place-based practice that requires ongoing communication amongst agencies, local governments, and citizens. One of the challenges is that each of these entities have different relationships with and responsibilities to sites where R2R2R unfolds. Sediment remediation and habitat restoration project goals, community planning, and lived experiences diverge in scale, focus, and interaction depending on the agency or individual. In order to address this disconnect, we developed a framework to sort and classify data and identify ecosystem services collected through inductive methods like participant observation and document analysis. Data were collected between June 2015 and December 2016 and analyzed through content analysis as a first step. Participant observation was conducted in relation to the City of Duluth St. Louis River Corridor planning process at park planning public meetings, community group meetings, and City of Duluth technical advisory meetings. Document analysis was conducted on a variety of City of Duluth plans. The framework that emerged from the analysis includes neighborhood components that individuals, organizations, and local governments may discuss in the context of their community. The characteristics are a mix of built environment types, structural dimensions, personal experiences, and human-environment relationships and include: parks/open spaces, trails or connections, housing, schoo

  17. Policy impacts of ecosystem services knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Posner, Stephen M.; McKenzie, Emily; Ricketts, Taylor H.

    2016-01-01

    Research about ecosystem services (ES) often aims to generate knowledge that influences policies and institutions for conservation and human development. However, we have limited understanding of how decision-makers use ES knowledge or what factors facilitate use. Here we address this gap and report on, to our knowledge, the first quantitative analysis of the factors and conditions that explain the policy impact of ES knowledge. We analyze a global sample of cases where similar ES knowledge was generated and applied to decision-making. We first test whether attributes of ES knowledge themselves predict different measures of impact on decisions. We find that legitimacy of knowledge is more often associated with impact than either the credibility or salience of the knowledge. We also examine whether predictor variables related to the science-to-policy process and the contextual conditions of a case are significant in predicting impact. Our findings indicate that, although many factors are important, attributes of the knowledge and aspects of the science-to-policy process that enhance legitimacy best explain the impact of ES science on decision-making. Our results are consistent with both theory and previous qualitative assessments in suggesting that the attributes and perceptions of scientific knowledge and process within which knowledge is coproduced are important determinants of whether that knowledge leads to action. PMID:26831101

  18. Indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services: A synthesis across ecosystems and spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feld, C.K.; Da Silva, P.M.; Sousa, J.P.; De Bello, F.; Bugter, R.; Grandin, U.; Hering, D.; Lavorel, S.; Mountford, O.; Pardo, I.; Partel, M.; Rombke, J.; Sandin, Leonard; Bruce, Jones K.; Harrison, P.

    2009-01-01

    According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, common indicators are needed to monitor the loss of biodiversity and the implications for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. However, a variety of indicators are already being used resulting in many, mostly incompatible, monitoring systems. In order to synthesise the different indicator approaches and to detect gaps in the development of common indicator systems, we examined 531 indicators that have been reported in 617 peer-reviewed journal articles between 1997 and 2007. Special emphasis was placed on comparing indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services across ecosystems (forests, grass- and shrublands, wetlands, rivers, lakes, soils and agro-ecosystems) and spatial scales (from patch to global scale). The application of biological indicators was found most often focused on regional and finer spatial scales with few indicators applied across ecosystem types. Abiotic indicators, such as physico-chemical parameters and measures of area and fragmentation, are most frequently used at broader (regional to continental) scales. Despite its multiple dimensions, biodiversity is usually equated with species richness only. The functional, structural and genetic components of biodiversity are poorly addressed despite their potential value across habitats and scales. Ecosystem service indicators are mostly used to estimate regulating and supporting services but generally differ between ecosystem types as they reflect ecosystem-specific services. Despite great effort to develop indicator systems over the past decade, there is still a considerable gap in the widespread use of indicators for many of the multiple components of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and a need to develop common monitoring schemes within and across habitats. Filling these gaps is a prerequisite for linking biodiversity dynamics with ecosystem service delivery and to achieving the goals of global and sub-global initiatives to halt

  19. Paying for Forest Ecosystem Services: Voluntary Versus Mandatory Payments.

    PubMed

    Roesch-McNally, Gabrielle E; Rabotyagov, Sergey S

    2016-03-01

    The emergence of new markets for forest ecosystem services can be a compelling opportunity for market diversification for private forest landowners, while increasing the provision of public goods from private lands. However, there is limited information available on the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for specific forest ecosystem services, particularly across different ecosystem market mechanisms. We utilize survey data from Oregon and Washington households to compare marginal WTP for forest ecosystem services and the total WTP for cost-effective bundles of forest ecosystem services obtained from a typical Pacific Northwest forest across two value elicitation formats representing two different ecosystem market mechanisms: an incentive-compatible choice experiment involving mandatory tax payments and a hypothetical private provision scenario modeled as eliciting contributions to the preferred forest management alternative via a provision point mechanism with a refund. A representative household's total WTP for the average forest management program was estimated at $217.59 per household/year under a mandatory tax mechanism and $160.44 per household/per year under a voluntary, crowdfunding-style, contribution mechanism; however, these estimates are not statistically different. Marginal WTP estimates were assessed for particular forest ecosystem service attributes including water quality, carbon storage, mature forest habitat, and public recreational access. This study finds that survey respondents place significant economic value on forest ecosystem services in both elicitation formats and that the distributions of the marginal WTP are not statistically significantly different.

  20. [Assessment of ecosystem and its services conservation: indicators and methods].

    PubMed

    Lü, Yi-He; Zhang, Li-Wei; Wang, Jiang-Lei

    2013-05-01

    To conserve ecosystem and its services is a frontier and hot topic in the researches of conservation ecology. This paper reviewed the newest concepts and methods in the assessment of ecosystem and its services conservation, with the focus on the indicators and criteria for assessing the conservation status and the endangerment level of ecosystem as well as the main methods of ecosystem services assessment and conservation (including benefit transfer, systematic modeling, and quantitative indicator-based estimation). With the consideration of the research progress and the demands of ecological conservation in China, some issues to be urgently solved were put forward: 1) formulating the indicators, criteria, and methods suitable for the assessment of ecosystem conservation in China, 2) developing the methodologies for the quantitative assessment of ecosystem services, 3) determining the demands and optimal spatial arrangement of ecosystem and its services conservation in China, and 4) establishing the policies and incentive mechanisms for ecosystem and its services conservation. The resolution of these issues would supply important guarantee to the development of ecological civilization in China.

  1. Paying for Forest Ecosystem Services: Voluntary Versus Mandatory Payments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roesch-McNally, Gabrielle E.; Rabotyagov, Sergey S.

    2016-03-01

    The emergence of new markets for forest ecosystem services can be a compelling opportunity for market diversification for private forest landowners, while increasing the provision of public goods from private lands. However, there is limited information available on the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for specific forest ecosystem services, particularly across different ecosystem market mechanisms. We utilize survey data from Oregon and Washington households to compare marginal WTP for forest ecosystem services and the total WTP for cost-effective bundles of forest ecosystem services obtained from a typical Pacific Northwest forest across two value elicitation formats representing two different ecosystem market mechanisms: an incentive-compatible choice experiment involving mandatory tax payments and a hypothetical private provision scenario modeled as eliciting contributions to the preferred forest management alternative via a provision point mechanism with a refund. A representative household's total WTP for the average forest management program was estimated at 217.59 per household/year under a mandatory tax mechanism and 160.44 per household/per year under a voluntary, crowdfunding-style, contribution mechanism; however, these estimates are not statistically different. Marginal WTP estimates were assessed for particular forest ecosystem service attributes including water quality, carbon storage, mature forest habitat, and public recreational access. This study finds that survey respondents place significant economic value on forest ecosystem services in both elicitation formats and that the distributions of the marginal WTP are not statistically significantly different.

  2. Bringing ecosystem services into integrated water resources management.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuang; Crossman, Neville D; Nolan, Martin; Ghirmay, Hiyoba

    2013-11-15

    In this paper we propose an ecosystem service framework to support integrated water resource management and apply it to the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin have been over-allocated for irrigation use with the consequent degradation of freshwater ecosystems. In line with integrated water resource management principles, Australian Government reforms are reducing the amount of water diverted for irrigation to improve ecosystem health. However, limited understanding of the broader benefits and trade-offs associated with reducing irrigation diversions has hampered the planning process supporting this reform. Ecosystem services offer an integrative framework to identify the broader benefits associated with integrated water resource management in the Murray-Darling Basin, thereby providing support for the Government to reform decision-making. We conducted a multi-criteria decision analysis for ranking regional potentials to provide ecosystem services at river basin scale. We surveyed the wider public about their understanding of, and priorities for, managing ecosystem services and then integrated the results with spatially explicit indicators of ecosystem service provision. The preliminary results of this work identified the sub-catchments with the greatest potential synergies and trade-offs of ecosystem service provision under the integrated water resources management reform process. With future development, our framework could be used as a decision support tool by those grappling with the challenge of the sustainable allocation of water between irrigation and the environment.

  3. Urban forests and pollution mitigation: analyzing ecosystem services and disservices.

    PubMed

    Escobedo, Francisco J; Kroeger, Timm; Wagner, John E

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to integrate the concepts of ecosystem services and disservices when assessing the efficacy of using urban forests for mitigating pollution. A brief review of the literature identifies some pollution mitigation ecosystem services provided by urban forests. Existing ecosystem services definitions and typologies from the economics and ecological literature are adapted and applied to urban forest management and the concepts of ecosystem disservices from natural and semi-natural systems are discussed. Examples of the urban forest ecosystem services of air quality and carbon dioxide sequestration are used to illustrate issues associated with assessing their efficacy in mitigating urban pollution. Development of urban forest management alternatives that mitigate pollution should consider scale, contexts, heterogeneity, management intensities and other social and economic co-benefits, tradeoffs, and costs affecting stakeholders and urban sustainability goals.

  4. Science for the sustainable use of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Elena M.; Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca

    2016-01-01

    Sustainability is a key challenge for humanity in the 21st century. Ecosystem services—the benefits that people derive from nature and natural capital—is a concept often used to help explain human reliance on nature and frame the decisions we make in terms of the ongoing value of nature to human wellbeing. Yet ecosystem service science has not always lived up to the promise of its potential. Despite advances in the scientific literature, ecosystem service science has not yet answered some of the most critical questions posed by decision-makers in the realm of sustainability. Here, we explore the history of ecosystem service science, discuss advances in conceptualization and measurement, and point toward further work needed to improve the use of ecosystem service in decisions about sustainable development. PMID:27853527

  5. Selecting cost-effective areas for restoration of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Adame, M F; Hermoso, V; Perhans, K; Lovelock, C E; Herrera-Silveira, J A

    2015-04-01

    Selection of areas for restoration should be based on cost-effectiveness analysis to attain the maximum benefit with a limited budget and overcome the traditional ad hoc allocation of funds for restoration projects. Restoration projects need to be planned on the basis of ecological knowledge and economic and social constraints. We devised a novel approach for selecting cost-effective areas for restoration on the basis of biodiversity and potential provision of 3 ecosystem services: carbon storage, water depuration, and coastal protection. We used Marxan, a spatial prioritization tool, to balance the provision of ecosystem services against the cost of restoration. We tested this approach in a mangrove ecosystem in the Caribbean. Our approach efficiently selected restoration areas that at low cost were compatible with biodiversity targets and that maximized the provision of one or more ecosystem services. Choosing areas for restoration of mangroves on the basis carbon storage potential, largely guaranteed the restoration of biodiversity and other ecosystem services.

  6. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Munns, Wayne R; Rea, Anne W; Suter, Glenn W; Martin, Lawrence; Blake-Hedges, Lynne; Crk, Tanja; Davis, Christine; Ferreira, Gina; Jordan, Steve; Mahoney, Michele; Barron, Mace G

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem services are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future. Those outputs include food and drinking water, clean air and water, and pollinated crops. The need to protect the services provided by natural systems has been recognized previously, but ecosystem services have not been formally incorporated into ecological risk assessment practice in a general way in the United States. Endpoints used conventionally in ecological risk assessment, derived directly from the state of the ecosystem (e.g., biophysical structure and processes), and endpoints based on ecosystem services serve different purposes. Conventional endpoints are ecologically important and susceptible entities and attributes that are protected under US laws and regulations. Ecosystem service endpoints are a conceptual and analytical step beyond conventional endpoints and are intended to complement conventional endpoints by linking and extending endpoints to goods and services with more obvious benefit to humans. Conventional endpoints can be related to ecosystem services even when the latter are not considered explicitly during problem formulation. To advance the use of ecosystem service endpoints in ecological risk assessment, the US Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Assessment Forum has added generic endpoints based on ecosystem services (ES-GEAE) to the original 2003 set of generic ecological assessment endpoints (GEAEs). Like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are defined by an entity and an attribute. Also like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are broadly described and will need to be made specific when applied to individual assessments. Adoption of ecosystem services as a type of assessment endpoint is intended to improve the value of risk assessment to environmental decision making, linking ecological risk to human well-being, and providing an improved means of communicating those risks. Integr Environ Assess Manag

  7. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-01-01

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha(-1) y(-1) from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0-10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha(-1) y(-1) and 159 kg ha(-1), respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha(-1) y(-1) and 114 kg ha(-1), respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. However, large effect sizes at low N

  8. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-01-01

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. However, large effect sizes at low N addition

  9. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-08-14

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. With most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration

  10. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    DOE PAGES

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; ...

    2015-08-14

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces betweenmore » plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. With most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. The large effect sizes at low N

  11. Spatial covariance between aesthetic value & other ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Casalegno, Stefano; Inger, Richard; Desilvey, Caitlin; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-01-01

    Mapping the spatial distribution of ecosystem goods and services represents a burgeoning field of research, although how different services covary with one another remains poorly understood. This is particularly true for the covariation of supporting, provisioning and regulating services with cultural services (the non-material benefits people gain from nature). This is largely because of challenges associated with the spatially specific quantification of cultural ecosystem services. We propose an innovative approach for evaluating a cultural service, the perceived aesthetic value of ecosystems, by quantifying geo-tagged digital photographs uploaded to social media resources. Our analysis proceeds from the premise that images will be captured by greater numbers of people in areas that are more highly valued for their aesthetic attributes. This approach was applied in Cornwall, UK, to carry out a spatial analysis of the covariation between ecosystem services: soil carbon stocks, agricultural production, and aesthetic value. Our findings suggest that online geo-tagged images provide an effective metric for mapping a key component of cultural ecosystem services. They also highlight the non-stationarity in the spatial relationships between patterns of ecosystem services.

  12. Spatial Covariance between Aesthetic Value & Other Ecosystem Services

    PubMed Central

    Casalegno, Stefano; Inger, Richard; DeSilvey, Caitlin; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Mapping the spatial distribution of ecosystem goods and services represents a burgeoning field of research, although how different services covary with one another remains poorly understood. This is particularly true for the covariation of supporting, provisioning and regulating services with cultural services (the non-material benefits people gain from nature). This is largely because of challenges associated with the spatially specific quantification of cultural ecosystem services. We propose an innovative approach for evaluating a cultural service, the perceived aesthetic value of ecosystems, by quantifying geo-tagged digital photographs uploaded to social media resources. Our analysis proceeds from the premise that images will be captured by greater numbers of people in areas that are more highly valued for their aesthetic attributes. This approach was applied in Cornwall, UK, to carry out a spatial analysis of the covariation between ecosystem services: soil carbon stocks, agricultural production, and aesthetic value. Our findings suggest that online geo-tagged images provide an effective metric for mapping a key component of cultural ecosystem services. They also highlight the non-stationarity in the spatial relationships between patterns of ecosystem services. PMID:23840853

  13. Ecosystem services and the protection, restoration, and management of ecosystems exposed to chemical stressors.

    PubMed

    Maltby, Lorraine

    2013-04-01

    Ecosystem services-the benefits people obtain from ecosystem structures and processes-are essential for human survival and well-being. Chemicals are also an essential component of modern life; however, they may cause adverse ecological effects and reduce ecosystem service provision. Environmental policy makers are increasingly adopting the ecosystem services concept, but applying this approach to the protection, restoration, and management of ecosystems requires the development of new understanding, tools, and frameworks. There is an urgent need to understand and predict the effect of single and multiple stressors on ecosystem service delivery across different spatial scales (local to global), to develop indicators that can be used to quantify and map services and identify synergies and trade-offs between them, to establish protection goals and restoration targets defined in terms of the types and levels of service delivery required, and to develop approaches for the assessment and management of chemical risk to ecosystem services that consider the whole life cycle of products and processes. These are major research challenges for the environmental science community in general and for ecotoxicologists and risk assessors in particular.

  14. Adaptive management for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Birgé, Hannah E; Allen, Craig R; Garmestani, Ahjond S; Pope, Kevin L

    2016-12-01

    Management of natural resources for the production of ecosystem services, which are vital for human well-being, is necessary even when there is uncertainty regarding system response to management action. This uncertainty is the result of incomplete controllability, complex internal feedbacks, and non-linearity that often interferes with desired management outcomes, and insufficient understanding of nature and people. Adaptive management was developed to reduce such uncertainty. We present a framework for the application of adaptive management for ecosystem services that explicitly accounts for cross-scale tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services. Our framework focuses on identifying key spatiotemporal scales (plot, patch, ecosystem, landscape, and region) that encompass dominant structures and processes in the system, and includes within- and cross-scale dynamics, ecosystem service tradeoffs, and management controllability within and across scales. Resilience theory recognizes that a limited set of ecological processes in a given system regulate ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes is poorly understood. If management actions erode or remove these processes, the system may shift into an alternative state unlikely to support the production of desired services. Adaptive management provides a process to assess the underlying within and cross-scale tradeoffs associated with production of ecosystem services while proceeding with management designed to meet the demands of a growing human population.

  15. Adaptive management for ecosystem services (j/a) | Science ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Management of natural resources for the production of ecosystem services, which are vital for human well-being, is necessary even when there is uncertainty regarding system response to management action. This uncertainty is the result of incomplete controllability, complex internal feedbacks, and non-linearity that often interferes with desired management outcomes, and insufficient understanding of nature and people. Adaptive management was developed to reduce such uncertainty. We present a framework for the application of adaptive management for ecosystem services that explicitly accounts for cross-scale tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services. Our framework focuses on identifying key spatiotemporal scales (plot, patch, ecosystem, landscape, and region) that encompass dominant structures and processes in the system, and includes within- and cross-scale dynamics, ecosystem service tradeoffs, and management controllability within and across scales. Resilience theory recognizes that a limited set of ecological processes in a given system regulate ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes is poorly understood. If management actions erode or remove these processes, the system may shift into an alternative state unlikely to support the production of desired services. Adaptive management provides a process to assess the underlying within and cross-scale tradeoffs associated with production of ecosystem services while proceeding with manage

  16. Quantifying changes in multiple ecosystem services during 1992-2012 in the Sanjiang Plain of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zongming; Mao, Dehua; Li, Lin; Jia, Mingming; Dong, Zhangyu; Miao, Zhenghong; Ren, Chunying; Song, Changchun

    2015-05-01

    Rapid and periodic assessment of the impact of land cover changes on ecosystem services at regional levels is essential to understanding services and sustainability of ecosystems. This study focused on quantifying and assessing changes of multiple ecosystem services in the Sanjiang Plain of China as a result of land cover changes over the period of 1992-2012. This region is important for its large area of natural wetlands and intensive agriculture. The ecosystem services that were assessed for this region included its regulating services (water yield and ecosystem carbon stocks), supporting services (suitable waterbird habitats), and provisioning services (food production), and the approach to the assessment was composed of the surface energy balance algorithms for land (SEBAL), soil survey re-sampling method and an empirical waterbird habitat suitability model. This large scale and integrated investigation represents the first systematic evaluation on the status of ecosystem carbon stocks in the Sanjiang Plain in addition to the development of an effective model for analysis of waterbird habitat suitability with the use of both remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS). More importantly, the result from this study has confirmed trade-offs between ecosystem services and negative consequences to environment in this region. The trade-offs were typically manifested by increased water yield and significantly grown food production, which is in contrast with significant losses in ecosystem carbon stocks (-14%) and suitable waterbird habitats (-23%) mainly due to the conversion of land cover from wetland to farmland. This finding implies that land use planning and policy making for this economically important region should take ecosystem service losses into account in order to preserve its natural ecosystems in the best interest of society.

  17. Ecosystem Services Deserve Better than “Dirty Paper” ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This letter presents our rationale for promoting pluralism in methods to capture peoples values associated with changes in ecosystems services, some of which do not involve monetization. This Letter to the Editor is in response to a Letter submitted to the journal that questions why an earlier paper (Selck et al. 2016; ORD-015297) hadn’t lobbied harder for monetization of ecosystem services to inform decisions. We present our rationale for promoting pluralism in methods to capture peoples values associated with changes in ecosystems services, some of which do not involve monetization.

  18. 75 FR 55598 - Proposed Information Collection; The State of Ecosystem Services Implementation Survey

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-13

    ....S. Geological Survey Proposed Information Collection; The State of Ecosystem Services Implementation...: I. Abstract Ecosystem goods and services are defined by ecologists as the biophysical processes that... regulation, pollination, and seed dispersal are considered ecosystem services. Indirect benefits are...

  19. [Forest ecosystem service and its evaluation in China].

    PubMed

    Fang, Jin; Lu, Shaowei; Yu, Xinxiao; Rao, Liangyi; Niu, Jianzhi; Xie, Yuanyuan; Zhag, Zhenming

    2005-08-01

    Facing the relative lag of forest ecosystem service and estimation in China, this paper proposed to quickly carry out the research on the evaluation of forest ecosystem service. On the basis of the classification of forest ecosystem types in China, the service of artificial and semi-artificial forest ecosystems was investigated, which was divided into eight types, i.e., timber and other products, recreation and eco-tourism, water storage, C fixation and O2 release, nutrient cycling, air quality purifying, erosion control, and habitat provision. According to the assessment index system for global ecosystem service proposed by Costanza et al., a series of assessment index system suitable for Chinese forest ecosystem service was set up, by which, the total value of forest ecosystem service in China was estimated to be 30 601.20 x 10(8) yuan x yr(-1), including direct and indirect economic value about 1 920.23 x 10(8) and 28 680.97 x 10(8) yuan x yr(-1), respectively. The indirect value was as 14.94 times as the direct one. The research aimed to bring natural resources and environment factors into the account system of national economy quickly, and to realize the green GDP at last, which would be helpful to realize sustainable development and environment protection.

  20. Integrating ecosystem services in terrestrial conservation planning.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Mei-Hua; Lo, Shang-Lien; Yang, Chih-Kai

    2017-03-28

    The purpose of this study is to estimate the benefits of ecosystem services for prioritization of land use conservation and to highlight the importance of ecosystem services by comparison between ecosystem service value and green GDP accounting. Based on land use pattern and benefit transfer method, this research estimated value of ecosystem services in Taiwan. Scientific information of land use and land cover change is accessed through multi-year satellite imagery moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), and geographic information system (GIS) technology. Combined with benefit transfer method, this research estimated the ecosystem service valuation of forest, grassland, cropland, wetland, water, and urban for the period of 2000 to 2015 in Taiwan. It is found that forest made the greatest contribution and the significant increasing area of wetland has huge potential benefit for environmental conservation in Taiwan. We recommend placing maintaining wetland ecosystem in Taiwan with higher priority. This research also compared ecosystem service value with natural capital consumption which would essentially facilitate policy makers to understand the relationship between benefits gained from natural capital and the loss from human-made capital.

  1. Nature as capital: Advancing and incorporating ecosystem services in United States federal policies and programs

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Mark; Goldman, Erica; Bartuska, Ann M.; Sutton-Grier, Ariana; Lubchenco, Jane

    2015-01-01

    The concept of nature as capital is gaining visibility in policies and practices in both the public and private sectors. This change is due to an improved ability to assess and value ecosystem services, as well as to a growing recognition of the potential of an ecosystem services approach to make tradeoffs in decision making more transparent, inform efficient use of resources, enhance resilience and sustainability, and avoid unintended negative consequences of policy actions. Globally, governments, financial institutions, and corporations have begun to incorporate natural capital accounting in their policies and practices. In the United States, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and federal agencies are actively collaborating to develop and apply ecosystem services concepts to further national environmental and economic objectives. Numerous federal agencies have begun incorporating these concepts into land use planning, water resources management, and preparations for, and responses to, climate change. Going forward, well-defined policy direction will be necessary to institutionalize ecosystem services approaches in federal agencies, as well as to guide intersector and interdisciplinary collaborative research and development efforts. In addition, a new generation of decision support tools are needed to further the practical application of ecosystem services principles in policymaking and commercial activities. Improved performance metrics are needed, as are mechanisms to monitor the status of ecosystem services and assess the environmental and economic impacts of policies and programs. A greater national and international financial commitment to advancing ecosystem services and natural capital accounting would likely have broad, long-term economic and environmental benefits. PMID:26082544

  2. Nature as capital: Advancing and incorporating ecosystem services in United States federal policies and programs.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Mark; Goldman, Erica; Bartuska, Ann M; Sutton-Grier, Ariana; Lubchenco, Jane

    2015-06-16

    The concept of nature as capital is gaining visibility in policies and practices in both the public and private sectors. This change is due to an improved ability to assess and value ecosystem services, as well as to a growing recognition of the potential of an ecosystem services approach to make tradeoffs in decision making more transparent, inform efficient use of resources, enhance resilience and sustainability, and avoid unintended negative consequences of policy actions. Globally, governments, financial institutions, and corporations have begun to incorporate natural capital accounting in their policies and practices. In the United States, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and federal agencies are actively collaborating to develop and apply ecosystem services concepts to further national environmental and economic objectives. Numerous federal agencies have begun incorporating these concepts into land use planning, water resources management, and preparations for, and responses to, climate change. Going forward, well-defined policy direction will be necessary to institutionalize ecosystem services approaches in federal agencies, as well as to guide intersector and interdisciplinary collaborative research and development efforts. In addition, a new generation of decision support tools are needed to further the practical application of ecosystem services principles in policymaking and commercial activities. Improved performance metrics are needed, as are mechanisms to monitor the status of ecosystem services and assess the environmental and economic impacts of policies and programs. A greater national and international financial commitment to advancing ecosystem services and natural capital accounting would likely have broad, long-term economic and environmental benefits.

  3. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services.

  4. Optimal advanced credit releases in ecosystem service markets.

    PubMed

    BenDor, Todd K; Guo, Tianshu; Yates, Andrew J

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystem service markets are popular policy tools for ecosystem protection. Advanced credit releases are an important factor affecting the supply side of ecosystem markets. Under an advanced credit release policy, regulators give ecosystem suppliers a fraction of the total ecosystem credits generated by a restoration project before it is verified that the project actually achieves the required ecological thresholds. In spite of their prominent role in ecosystem markets, there is virtually no regulatory or research literature on the proper design of advanced credit release policies. Using U.S. aquatic ecosystem markets as an example, we develop a principal-agent model of the behavior of regulators and wetland/stream mitigation bankers to determine and explore the optimal degree of advance credit release. The model highlights the tension between regulators' desire to induce market participation, while at the same time ensuring that bankers successfully complete ecological restoration. Our findings suggest several simple guidelines for strengthening advanced credit release policy.

  5. Optimal Advanced Credit Releases in Ecosystem Service Markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    BenDor, Todd K.; Guo, Tianshu; Yates, Andrew J.

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystem service markets are popular policy tools for ecosystem protection. Advanced credit releases are an important factor affecting the supply side of ecosystem markets. Under an advanced credit release policy, regulators give ecosystem suppliers a fraction of the total ecosystem credits generated by a restoration project before it is verified that the project actually achieves the required ecological thresholds. In spite of their prominent role in ecosystem markets, there is virtually no regulatory or research literature on the proper design of advanced credit release policies. Using U.S. aquatic ecosystem markets as an example, we develop a principal-agent model of the behavior of regulators and wetland/stream mitigation bankers to determine and explore the optimal degree of advance credit release. The model highlights the tension between regulators' desire to induce market participation, while at the same time ensuring that bankers successfully complete ecological restoration. Our findings suggest several simple guidelines for strengthening advanced credit release policy.

  6. Determining the Ecosystem Services Important for Urban Landscapes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Urban ecosystems present special considerations and challenges in researching and evaluating ecosystem functions and services. A case study of nitrate retention and loss in forested, urban wetlands illustrates these challenges. Water table dynamics, in situ nitrogen cy...

  7. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T Matthew

    2007-12-26

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.

  8. Economic Valuation Tools and their Applications to Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many of the ecosystem services that people value are not normally bought and sold; yet, this does not mean they have no measurable economic value. Economists have developed a set of approaches and tools for valuing the full range of both market and “non-market” ecosystem goods an...

  9. Rangeland Ecosystem Services: Nature's Supply and Human's Demands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystem services are the benefits that society receives from nature and they include the regulation of climate, the pollination of crops, the provisioning of intellectual inspiration and recreational environment, as well as many essential goods such as food, fiber, and wood. Rangeland ecosystem se...

  10. [Evaluation of forest ecosystem services value in Liaoning Province].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bing; Lu, Shao-wei; You, Wen-zhong; Ren, Xiao-xu; Xing, Zhao-kai; Wang, Shi-ming

    2010-07-01

    Based on the long-term located observation of forest ecosystem, and by using the 2006 forest resources inventory data of Liaoning Province and the forest industry standard of the People's Republic of China( LY/T 1721-2008, specification for assessment of forest ecosystem services in China), an evaluation was made on the material quantity and services value of main forest ecosystems in fourteen cities of Liaoning Province. In this province, the forest ecosystem services value supplied by water storage, soil conservation, C fixation, O2 release, nutrients accumulation, environment purification, biodiversity conservation, and forest recreation in 2006 was 2591.72 x 10(8) yuan, which was 8.54 times of the forestry production value and 28.02% in the GDP of the province. The services value of water storage, biodiversity conservation, C fixation, and O2 release occupied 79.09% of the total, being the main forest ecosystem services in the province. Economic forest and shrub had smaller per unit services value but larger area, and hence, their ecosystem services value should not be ignored. Abies fargesii forest, Phellodendron amurense forest, Juglans mandshurica forest, and Fraxinus mandshurica forest were the representative zonal vegetations in Liaoning Province, which had high value in biodiversity conservation. Under the effects of climate and other factors, the forest area and forest quality in west Liaoning were lower than those in east Liaoning.

  11. Digging Deeper: A Case Study of Farmer Conceptualization of Ecosystem Services in the American South.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Courtney E; Quinn, John E; Halfacre, Angela C

    2015-10-01

    The interest in improved environmental sustainability of agriculture via biodiversity provides an opportunity for placed-based research on the conceptualization and articulation of ecosystem services. Yet, few studies have explored how farmers conceptualize the relationship between their farm and nature and by extension ecosystem services. Examining how farmers in the Southern Piedmont of South Carolina discuss and explain the role of nature on their farm, we create a detail-rich picture of how they perceive ecosystem services and their contributions to the agroeconomy. Using 34 semi-structured interviews, we developed a detail-rich qualitative portrait of these farmers' conceptualizations of ecosystem services. Farmers' conceptualization of four ecosystem services: provisioning, supporting, regulating, and cultural are discussed, as well as articulation of disservices. Results of interviews show that most interviewees expressed a basic understanding of the relationship between nature and agriculture and many articulated benefits provided by nature to their farm. Farmers referred indirectly to most services, though they did not attribute services to biodiversity or ecological function. While farmers have a general understanding and appreciation of nature, they lack knowledge on specific ways biodiversity benefits their farm. This lack of knowledge may ultimately limit farmer decision-making and land management to utilize ecosystem services for environmental and economic benefits. These results suggest that additional communication with farmers about ecosystem services is needed as our understanding of these benefits increases. This change may require collaboration between conservation biology professionals and extension and agriculture professionals to extended successful biomass provisioning services to other ecosystem services.

  12. Digging Deeper: A Case Study of Farmer Conceptualization of Ecosystem Services in the American South

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, Courtney E.; Quinn, John E.; Halfacre, Angela C.

    2015-10-01

    The interest in improved environmental sustainability of agriculture via biodiversity provides an opportunity for placed-based research on the conceptualization and articulation of ecosystem services. Yet, few studies have explored how farmers conceptualize the relationship between their farm and nature and by extension ecosystem services. Examining how farmers in the Southern Piedmont of South Carolina discuss and explain the role of nature on their farm, we create a detail-rich picture of how they perceive ecosystem services and their contributions to the agroeconomy. Using 34 semi-structured interviews, we developed a detail-rich qualitative portrait of these farmers' conceptualizations of ecosystem services. Farmers' conceptualization of four ecosystem services: provisioning, supporting, regulating, and cultural are discussed, as well as articulation of disservices. Results of interviews show that most interviewees expressed a basic understanding of the relationship between nature and agriculture and many articulated benefits provided by nature to their farm. Farmers referred indirectly to most services, though they did not attribute services to biodiversity or ecological function. While farmers have a general understanding and appreciation of nature, they lack knowledge on specific ways biodiversity benefits their farm. This lack of knowledge may ultimately limit farmer decision-making and land management to utilize ecosystem services for environmental and economic benefits. These results suggest that additional communication with farmers about ecosystem services is needed as our understanding of these benefits increases. This change may require collaboration between conservation biology professionals and extension and agriculture professionals to extended successful biomass provisioning services to other ecosystem services.

  13. A proposed ecosystem services classification system to support green accounting

    EPA Science Inventory

    There are a multitude of actual or envisioned, complete or incomplete, ecosystem service classification systems being proposed to support Green Accounting. Green Accounting is generally thought to be the formal accounting attempt to factor environmental production into National ...

  14. Assessing the transferability of ecosystem service production estimates and functions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estimates of ecosystem service (ES) production, and their responses to stressors or policy actions, may be obtained by direct measurement, other empirical studies, or modeling. Direct measurement is costly and often impractical, and thus many studies transfer ES production estim...

  15. Ecosystem services provided by pacific NW Estuaries: State of knowledge

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal regions in the United States are rapidly developing areas, with increasing urbanization and growing populations. Estuarine and nearshore coastal marine waters provide valuable ecosystem services to resident and transient human communities. In the Pacific Northwest (PNW)...

  16. A framework for the social valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Felipe-Lucia, María R; Comín, Francisco A; Escalera-Reyes, Javier

    2015-05-01

    Methods to assess ecosystem services using ecological or economic approaches are considerably better defined than methods for the social approach. To identify why the social approach remains unclear, we reviewed current trends in the literature. We found two main reasons: (i) the cultural ecosystem services are usually used to represent the whole social approach, and (ii) the economic valuation based on social preferences is typically included in the social approach. Next, we proposed a framework for the social valuation of ecosystem services that provides alternatives to economics methods, enables comparison across studies, and supports decision-making in land planning and management. The framework includes the agreements emerged from the review, such as considering spatial-temporal flows, including stakeholders from all social ranges, and using two complementary methods to value ecosystem services. Finally, we provided practical recommendations learned from the application of the proposed framework in a case study.

  17. Agroecology: the key role of arbuscular mycorrhizas in ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Gianinazzi, Silvio; Gollotte, Armelle; Binet, Marie-Noëlle; van Tuinen, Diederik; Redecker, Dirk; Wipf, Daniel

    2010-11-01

    The beneficial effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi on plant performance and soil health are essential for the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems. Nevertheless, since the 'first green revolution', less attention has been given to beneficial soil microorganisms in general and to AM fungi in particular. Human society benefits from a multitude of resources and processes from natural and managed ecosystems, to which AM make a crucial contribution. These resources and processes, which are called ecosystem services, include products like food and processes like nutrient transfer. Many people have been under the illusion that these ecosystem services are free, invulnerable and infinitely available; taken for granted as public benefits, they lack a formal market and are traditionally absent from society's balance sheet. In 1997, a team of researchers from the USA, Argentina and the Netherlands put an average price tag of US $33 trillion a year on these fundamental ecosystem services. The present review highlights the key role that the AM symbiosis can play as an ecosystem service provider to guarantee plant productivity and quality in emerging systems of sustainable agriculture. The appropriate management of ecosystem services rendered by AM will impact on natural resource conservation and utilisation with an obvious net gain for human society.

  18. Managing bay and estuarine ecosystems for multiple services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Needles, Lisa A.; Lester, Sarah E.; Ambrose, Richard; Andren, Anders; Beyeler, Marc; Connor, Michael S.; Eckman, James E.; Costa-Pierce, Barry A.; Gaines, Steven D.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Lenihan, Junter S.; Parrish, Julia; Peterson, Mark S.; Scaroni, Amy E.; Weis, Judith S.; Wendt, Dean E.

    2013-01-01

    Managers are moving from a model of managing individual sectors, human activities, or ecosystem services to an ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach which attempts to balance the range of services provided by ecosystems. Applying EBM is often difficult due to inherent tradeoffs in managing for different services. This challenge particularly holds for estuarine systems, which have been heavily altered in most regions and are often subject to intense management interventions. Estuarine managers can often choose among a range of management tactics to enhance a particular service; although some management actions will result in strong tradeoffs, others may enhance multiple services simultaneously. Management of estuarine ecosystems could be improved by distinguishing between optimal management actions for enhancing multiple services and those that have severe tradeoffs. This requires a framework that evaluates tradeoff scenarios and identifies management actions likely to benefit multiple services. We created a management action-services matrix as a first step towards assessing tradeoffs and providing managers with a decision support tool. We found that management actions that restored or enhanced natural vegetation (e.g., salt marsh and mangroves) and some shellfish (particularly oysters and oyster reef habitat) benefited multiple services. In contrast, management actions such as desalination, salt pond creation, sand mining, and large container shipping had large net negative effects on several of the other services considered in the matrix. Our framework provides resource managers a simple way to inform EBM decisions and can also be used as a first step in more sophisticated approaches that model service delivery.

  19. The role of benefit transfer in ecosystem service valuation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richardson, Leslie A.; Loomis, John; Kroeger, Timm; Casey, Frank

    2015-01-01

    The demand for timely monetary estimates of the economic value of nonmarket ecosystem goods and services has steadily increased over the last few decades. This article describes the use of benefit transfer to generate monetary value estimates of ecosystem services specifically. The article provides guidance for conducting such benefit transfers and summarizes advancements in benefit transfer methods, databases and analysis tools designed to facilitate its application.

  20. Advances and challenges of incorporating ecosystem services into impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Josianne Claudia Sales; Sánchez, Luis E

    2016-09-15

    An ecosystem services approach (ESA) to assess the environmental and social impacts of projects is a conceptual innovation that contributes to overcome two widely acknowledged deficiencies of impact assessment (IA): integration of knowledge areas and participation of affected communities. This potential was demonstrated through a practical application to a large mining project, showing evidence of advances in relation to current practice and identifying challenges. Data was obtained from the environmental impact study of the reviewed project and its supplements; additional data to fulfill the needs of the ESA were collected using rapid appraisal techniques. Results show that the ESA provides: (i) a more effective scoping; (ii) a contribution to delimitate the study area; (iii) a more detailed identification of impacts; (iv) a determination of significance inclusive of the perspective of affected communities; (v) a design of mitigation focused on human well-being. The challenges of using the ESA fall into two groups: the limitations inherent to the concept and those that can be overcome by furthering research and advancing practical applications. This research added evidence to previous studies showing that incorporating ecosystem services into IA can improve practice.

  1. Spatial covariation between freshwater and terrestrial ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Holland, Robert A; Eigenbrod, Felix; Armsworth, Paul R; Anderson, Barbara J; Thomas, Chris D; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Gillings, Simon; Roy, David B; Gaston, Kevin J

    2011-09-01

    To inform the design and implementation of land-use policies that consider the variety of goods and services people derive from ecosystems, it is essential to understand spatial patterns of individual services, how multiple services relate to each other, and how these relationships vary across spatial scales and localities. Despite the importance of freshwater as a determinant of regional economic and human demographic patterns, there are surprisingly few studies that map the provision of a range of services associated with the quality of the aquatic environment. Here we examine relationships between indicators of riverine water and associated habitat quality, freshwater biodiversity, three terrestrial ecosystem services, and terrestrial biodiversity across England and Wales. The results indicate strong associations between our indicators of freshwater services. However, a comparison of these indicators of freshwater services with other ecosystem services (carbon storage, agricultural production, recreation) and biodiversity of species of conservation concern in the surrounding terrestrial landscape shows no clear relationships. While there are potential policy "win-wins" for the protection of multiple services shown by associations between indicators of freshwater services and carbon storage in upland areas of Britain, the other ecosystem services showed either negative or no relationships with the indicators of freshwater services. We also consider the influence that spatial scale has on these relationships using River Basin Districts. Our results indicate that relationships between indicators of services can change dramatically depending on the societal pressures and other regional conditions. Thus, the delivery of multiple ecosystem services requires the development of regional strategies, or of national strategies that take account of regional variation.

  2. Impacts of land-use change to ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Tom; Holcombe, Tracy R.

    2013-01-01

    Increasing human populations on the landscape and globe coincide with increasing demands for food, energy, and other natural resources, with generally negative impacts to wildlife habitat, air and water quality, and natural scenery. Here we define and describe the impacts of land-use change on ecosystem services – the services that ecosystems provide humans such as filtering air and water, providing food, resources, recreation, and esthetics. We show how the human footprint is rapidly expanding due to population growth, demand for resources, and globalization. Increased trade and transportation has brought all the continents back together, creating new challenges for conserving native species and ecosystems.

  3. US Federal Agency Research on Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the last decade, research and policy institutions across the globe have shown a dramatic increase in attention to the benefits that human society receives from ecosystems. In the U.S., a broad range of Federal resource management and environmental agencies are conducting r...

  4. Maintaining ecosystem function and services in logged tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Tobias, Joseph A; Sheil, Douglas; Meijaard, Erik; Laurance, William F

    2014-09-01

    Vast expanses of tropical forests worldwide are being impacted by selective logging. We evaluate the environmental impacts of such logging and conclude that natural timber-production forests typically retain most of their biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, as well as their carbon, climatic, and soil-hydrological ecosystem services. Unfortunately, the value of production forests is often overlooked, leaving them vulnerable to further degradation including post-logging clearing, fires, and hunting. Because logged tropical forests are extensive, functionally diverse, and provide many ecosystem services, efforts to expand their role in conservation strategies are urgently needed. Key priorities include improving harvest practices to reduce negative impacts on ecosystem functions and services, and preventing the rapid conversion and loss of logged forests.

  5. Geographic variations of ecosystem service intensity in Fuzhou City, China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xisheng; Hong, Wei; Qiu, Rongzu; Hong, Tao; Chen, Can; Wu, Chengzhen

    2015-04-15

    Ecosystem services are strongly influenced by the landscape configuration of natural and human systems. So they are heterogeneous across landscapes. However lack of the knowledge of spatial variations of ecosystem services constrains the effective management and conservation of ecosystems. We presented a spatially explicit and quantitative assessment of the geographic variations in ecosystem services for the Fuzhou City in 2009 using exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) and semivariance analysis. Results confirmed a significant and positive spatial autocorrelation, and revealed several hot-spots and cold-spots for the spatial distribution of ecosystem service intensity (ESI) in the study area. Also the trend surface analysis indicated that the level of ESI tended to be reduced gradually from north to south and from west to east, with a trough in the urban central area, which was quite in accordance with land-use structure. A more precise cluster map was then developed using the range of lag distance, deriving from semivariance analysis, as neighborhood size instead of default value in the software of ESRI ArcGIS 10.0, and geographical clusters where population growth and land-use pressure varied significantly and positively with ESI across the city were also created by geographically weighted regression (GWR). This study has good policy implications applicable to prioritize areas for conservation or construction, and design ecological corridor to improve ecosystem service delivery to benefiting areas.

  6. Urban Forest Ecosystem Service Optimization, Tradeoffs, and Disparities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodnaruk, E.; Kroll, C. N.; Endreny, T. A.; Hirabayashi, S.; Yang, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Urban land area and the proportion of humanity living in cities is growing, leading to increased urban air pollution, temperature, and stormwater runoff. These changes can exacerbate respiratory and heat-related illnesses and affect ecosystem functioning. Urban trees can help mitigate these threats by removing air pollutants, mitigating urban heat island effects, and infiltrating and filtering stormwater. The urban environment is highly heterogeneous, and there is no tool to determine optimal locations to plant or protect trees. Using spatially explicit land cover, weather, and demographic data within biophysical ecosystem service models, this research expands upon the iTree urban forest tools to produce a new decision support tool (iTree-DST) that will explore the development and impacts of optimal tree planting. It will also heighten awareness of environmental justice by incorporating the Atkinson Index to quantify disparities in health risks and ecosystem services across vulnerable and susceptible populations. The study area is Baltimore City, a location whose urban forest and environmental justice concerns have been studied extensively. The iTree-DST is run at the US Census block group level and utilizes a local gradient approach to calculate the change in ecosystem services with changing tree cover across the study area. Empirical fits provide ecosystem service gradients for possible tree cover scenarios, greatly increasing the speed and efficiency of the optimization procedure. Initial results include an evaluation of the performance of the gradient method, optimal planting schemes for individual ecosystem services, and an analysis of tradeoffs and synergies between competing objectives.

  7. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on human well-being and ecosystem function. Biodiversity is valued by humans in varied ways, and thus is an important input to include in assessing the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics more clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., game species, threatened and endangered species), whereas others may indicate indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., taxa richness and cultural value). In the present study, we identify and map reptile biodiversity and ecosystem services metrics. The importance of reptiles to biodiversity and ecosystems services is not often described. We used species distribution models for reptiles in the conterminous United States from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gap Analysis Program. We focus on species richness metrics including all reptile species richness, taxa groupings of lizards, snakes and turtles, NatureServe conservation status (G1, G2, G3) species, IUCN listed reptiles, threatened and endangered species, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation listed reptiles, and rare species. These metrics were analyzed with the Protected Areas Database of the United States to

  8. Prioritising Mangrove Ecosystem Services Results in Spatially Variable Management Priorities

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Scott C.; Jupiter, Stacy D.; Adams, Vanessa M.; Ingram, J. Carter; Narayan, Siddharth; Klein, Carissa J.; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2016-01-01

    Incorporating the values of the services that ecosystems provide into decision making is becoming increasingly common in nature conservation and resource management policies, both locally and globally. Yet with limited funds for conservation of threatened species and ecosystems there is a desire to identify priority areas where investment efficiently conserves multiple ecosystem services. We mapped four mangrove ecosystems services (coastal protection, fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon storage) across Fiji. Using a cost-effectiveness analysis, we prioritised mangrove areas for each service, where the effectiveness was a function of the benefits provided to the local communities, and the costs were associated with restricting specific uses of mangroves. We demonstrate that, although priority mangrove areas (top 20%) for each service can be managed at relatively low opportunity costs (ranging from 4.5 to 11.3% of overall opportunity costs), prioritising for a single service yields relatively low co-benefits due to limited geographical overlap with priority areas for other services. None-the-less, prioritisation of mangrove areas provides greater overlap of benefits than if sites were selected randomly for most ecosystem services. We discuss deficiencies in the mapping of ecosystems services in data poor regions and how this may impact upon the equity of managing mangroves for particular services across the urban-rural divide in developing countries. Finally we discuss how our maps may aid decision-makers to direct funding for mangrove management from various sources to localities that best meet funding objectives, as well as how this knowledge can aid in creating a national mangrove zoning scheme. PMID:27008421

  9. Prioritising Mangrove Ecosystem Services Results in Spatially Variable Management Priorities.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Scott C; Jupiter, Stacy D; Adams, Vanessa M; Ingram, J Carter; Narayan, Siddharth; Klein, Carissa J; Possingham, Hugh P

    2016-01-01

    Incorporating the values of the services that ecosystems provide into decision making is becoming increasingly common in nature conservation and resource management policies, both locally and globally. Yet with limited funds for conservation of threatened species and ecosystems there is a desire to identify priority areas where investment efficiently conserves multiple ecosystem services. We mapped four mangrove ecosystems services (coastal protection, fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon storage) across Fiji. Using a cost-effectiveness analysis, we prioritised mangrove areas for each service, where the effectiveness was a function of the benefits provided to the local communities, and the costs were associated with restricting specific uses of mangroves. We demonstrate that, although priority mangrove areas (top 20%) for each service can be managed at relatively low opportunity costs (ranging from 4.5 to 11.3% of overall opportunity costs), prioritising for a single service yields relatively low co-benefits due to limited geographical overlap with priority areas for other services. None-the-less, prioritisation of mangrove areas provides greater overlap of benefits than if sites were selected randomly for most ecosystem services. We discuss deficiencies in the mapping of ecosystems services in data poor regions and how this may impact upon the equity of managing mangroves for particular services across the urban-rural divide in developing countries. Finally we discuss how our maps may aid decision-makers to direct funding for mangrove management from various sources to localities that best meet funding objectives, as well as how this knowledge can aid in creating a national mangrove zoning scheme.

  10. EnviroAtlas - Ecosystem Service Market and Project Locations, U.S., 2015, Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This EnviroAtlas dataset contains points depicting the location of market-based programs, referred to herein as markets, and projects addressing ecosystem services protection in the United States. The data were collected via surveys and desk research conducted by Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace from 2008 to 2016 on biodiversity (i.e., imperiled species/habitats; wetlands and streams), carbon, and water markets. Additional biodiversity data were obtained from the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) database in 2015. Points represent the centroids (i.e., center points) of market coverage areas, project footprints, or project primary impact areas in which ecosystem service markets or projects operate. National-level markets are an exception to this norm with points representing administrative headquarters locations. Attribute data include information regarding the methodology, design, and development of biodiversity, carbon, and water markets and projects. This dataset was produced by Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace for EnviroAtlas in order to support public access to and use of information related to environmental markets. EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas) allows the user to interact with a web-based, easy-to-use, mapping application to view and analyze multiple ecosystem services for the contiguous United States. The dataset is available as downloadable data (https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/EnviroAtlas) o

  11. A GIS application for assessing, mapping, and quantifying the social values of ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherrouse, Benson C.; Clement, Jessica M.; Semmens, Darius J.

    2011-01-01

    As human pressures on ecosystems continue to increase, research involving the effective incorporation of social values information into the context of comprehensive ecosystem services assessments is becoming more important. Including quantified, spatially explicit social value metrics in such assessments will improve the analysis of relative tradeoffs among ecosystem services. This paper describes a GIS application, Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES), developed to assess, map, and quantify the perceived social values of ecosystem services by deriving a non-monetary Value Index from responses to a public attitude and preference survey. SolVES calculates and maps the Value Index for social values held by various survey subgroups, as distinguished by their attitudes regarding ecosystem use. Index values can be compared within and among survey subgroups to explore the effect of social contexts on the valuation of ecosystem services. Index values can also be correlated and regressed against landscape metrics SolVES calculates from various environmental data layers. Coefficients derived through these analyses were applied to their corresponding data layers to generate a predicted social value map. This map compared favorably with other SolVES output and led to the addition of a predictive mapping function to SolVES for value transfer to areas where survey data are unavailable. A more robust application is being developed as a public domain tool for decision makers and researchers to map social values of ecosystem services and to facilitate discussions among diverse stakeholders involving relative tradeoffs among different ecosystem services in a variety of physical and social contexts.

  12. Global drivers and tradeoffs of three urban vegetation ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Dobbs, Cynnamon; Nitschke, Craig R; Kendal, Dave

    2014-01-01

    Our world is increasingly urbanizing which is highlighting that sustainable cities are essential for maintaining human well-being. This research is one of the first attempts to globally synthesize the effects of urbanization on ecosystem services and how these relate to governance, social development and climate. Three urban vegetation ecosystem services (carbon storage, recreation potential and habitat potential) were quantified for a selection of a hundred cities. Estimates of ecosystem services were obtained from the analysis of satellite imagery and the use of well-known carbon and structural habitat models. We found relationships between ecosystem services, social development, climate and governance, however these varied according to the service studied. Recreation potential was positively related to democracy and negatively related to population. Carbon storage was weakly related to temperature and democracy, while habitat potential was negatively related to democracy. We found that cities under 1 million inhabitants tended to have higher levels of recreation potential than larger cities and that democratic countries have higher recreation potential, especially if located in a continental climate. Carbon storage was higher in full democracies, especially in a continental climate, while habitat potential tended to be higher in authoritarian and hybrid regimes. Similar to other regional or city studies we found that the combination of environment conditions, socioeconomics, demographics and politics determines the provision of ecosystem services. Results from this study showed the existence of environmental injustice in the developing world.

  13. Global Drivers and Tradeoffs of Three Urban Vegetation Ecosystem Services

    PubMed Central

    Dobbs, Cynnamon; Nitschke, Craig R.; Kendal, Dave

    2014-01-01

    Our world is increasingly urbanizing which is highlighting that sustainable cities are essential for maintaining human well-being. This research is one of the first attempts to globally synthesize the effects of urbanization on ecosystem services and how these relate to governance, social development and climate. Three urban vegetation ecosystem services (carbon storage, recreation potential and habitat potential) were quantified for a selection of a hundred cities. Estimates of ecosystem services were obtained from the analysis of satellite imagery and the use of well-known carbon and structural habitat models. We found relationships between ecosystem services, social development, climate and governance, however these varied according to the service studied. Recreation potential was positively related to democracy and negatively related to population. Carbon storage was weakly related to temperature and democracy, while habitat potential was negatively related to democracy. We found that cities under 1 million inhabitants tended to have higher levels of recreation potential than larger cities and that democratic countries have higher recreation potential, especially if located in a continental climate. Carbon storage was higher in full democracies, especially in a continental climate, while habitat potential tended to be higher in authoritarian and hybrid regimes. Similar to other regional or city studies we found that the combination of environment conditions, socioeconomics, demographics and politics determines the provision of ecosystem services. Results from this study showed the existence of environmental injustice in the developing world. PMID:25402184

  14. Applying the Ecosystem Services Concept to Public Land Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examine the challenges opportunities involved in applying ecosystem services to public lands management, with an emphasis on the work of the USDA Forest Service. We review the history of economics approaches to landscape management, outline a conceptual framework defining the ...

  15. A systematic approach for quantifying final ecosystems services at regional and national scales

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since the development of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), there have been a myriad of proposals regarding how to apply ecosystem services concepts in routine, systematic ways to support standards, markets and assessments of ecosystems services. The key question being ...

  16. Large animal grazing and temporal patterns in ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The shortgrass steppe ecosystem has a long evolutionary history of large animal grazing by bison, which were replaced by domesticated livestock in the mid 1800s. In addition, this ecosystem is characterized by a semi-arid environment with low annual precipitation amounts, but high inter- and intra-a...

  17. Combining ecosystem service relationships and DPSIR framework to manage multiple ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Xue, Hui; Li, Shiyu; Chang, Jie

    2015-03-01

    Ecosystem service (ES) relationship occurs due to two types of mechanisms: (1) interact directly or (2) interact through the impact of a shared factor. Identifying such mechanisms behind ES relationship within a single land-use/land-cover category and combining it with a system thinking framework is especially necessary for effective decision-making to manage multiple ESs generated by this land-use/land-cover. In this study, we use tea plantations in China to investigate mechanisms behind ES relationships. We find that tea production is positively correlated with four regulating services (i.e., carbon sequestration, soil N protection, soil P protection, and water conservation). Several regulating services, such as carbon sequestration and soil N, P, and K protection, have positive correlations with each other. Tea production, carbon sequestration, and soil retention are significantly correlated with local annual mean temperature and precipitation. We then establish driver-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) framework for tea plantations, which has been widely used for environmental management issues. Integrating our findings of ES relationship into DPSIR framework, we can estimate how ES change is responding to two types of responses: response to control drivers and response to maintain or restore state. Scenario analysis showed that the responses to control drivers have a larger impact on ES. We discuss that DPSIR would favor managing multiple ES because it enables a more precise understanding of how ES interacts through the effects of factors from various hierarchies. Finally, we suggest integrating ES direct interaction into DPSIR framework. We think such integration could improve the ability of DPSIR framework to support decision-making in multiple ES management, specifically in at least three aspects: (1) favor to identify all possible response alternatives, (2) enable us to evaluate ES which cannot be assessed if without such combining, and (3) help to

  18. A Regional Multi-permit Market for Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernknopf, R.; Amos, P.; Zhang, E.

    2014-12-01

    Regional cap and trade programs have been in operation since the 1970's to reduce environmental externalities (NOx and SOx emissions) and have been shown to be beneficial. Air quality and water quality limits are enforced through numerous Federal and State laws and regulations while local communities are seeking ways to protect regional green infrastructure and their ecosystems services. Why not combine them in a market approach to reduce many environmental externalities simultaneously? In a multi-permit market program reforestation (land offsets) as part of a nutrient or carbon sequestration trading program would provide a means to reduce agrochemical discharges into streams, rivers, and groundwater. Land conversions also improve the quality and quantity of other environmental externalities such as air pollution. Collocated nonmarket ecosystem services have societal benefits that can expand the crediting system into a multi-permit trading program. At a regional scale it is possible to combine regulation of water quality, air emissions and quality, and habitat conservation and restoration into one program. This research is about the economic feasibility of a Philadelphia regional multi-permit (cap and trade) program for ecosystem services. Instead of establishing individual markets for ecosystem services, the assumption of the spatial portfolio approach is that it is based on the interdependence of ecosystem functions so that market credits encompasses a range of ecosystem services. Using an existing example the components of the approach are described in terms of scenarios of land portfolios and the calculation of expected return on investment and risk. An experiment in the Schuylkill Watershed will be described for ecosystem services such as nutrients in water and populations of bird species along with Green House Gases. The Philadelphia regional market includes the urban - nonurban economic and environmental interactions and impacts.

  19. Assessing Dryland Ecosystem Services in Xinjiang, Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siew, T. F.; Brauman, K. A.; Zuo, L.; Doll, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    Dryland ecosystems, including grassland, forest, and irrigated cropland, cover about 41% of earth's land area and are inhabited by over two billion people. In drylands, particularly arid and semiarid areas, the production of ecosystem services is primarily constrained by freshwater availability. Often, water allocated to production by one ecosystem or of one ecosystem service negatively impacts other ecosystems or ecosystem services (ESS). The challenge is to determine how much water should be allocated to which ecosystems (natural and manmade) such that multiple ESS are maximized, thus improving overall well-being. This strategic management decision must be supported by knowledge about spatial and temporal availability of water and its relationship to production (location and scale) of ESS that people receive. We assess the spatial and temporal relationships between water availability and ESS production in Xinjiang, Northwest China. We address four questions: (1) What services are produced by which ecosystems with water available? (2) Where are these services produced? (3) Who uses the services produced? (4) How the production of services changes with variability of water available? Using existing global, national, and regional spatial and statistical data, we assess food, fiber, livestock, and wood production as well as unique forest landscapes (as a proxy for aesthetic appreciation and habitats for unique animals and plants) and protection from dust storms. Irrigation is necessary for crop production in Xinjiang. The production of about 4.2 million tons of wheat and 500,000 tons of cotton requires more than 2 km3 of water each year. This is an important source of food and income for local residents, but the diverted water has negative and potentially costly impacts on downstream forests that potentially provide aesthetic services and protection from dust. Our analyses also show that cropland had increased by about 1.6 million ha from 1987 to 2010, while

  20. Freshwater ecology. Experimental nutrient additions accelerate terrestrial carbon loss from stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rosemond, Amy D; Benstead, Jonathan P; Bumpers, Phillip M; Gulis, Vladislav; Kominoski, John S; Manning, David W P; Suberkropp, Keller; Wallace, J Bruce

    2015-03-06

    Nutrient pollution of freshwater ecosystems results in predictable increases in carbon (C) sequestration by algae. Tests of nutrient enrichment on the fates of terrestrial organic C, which supports riverine food webs and is a source of CO2, are lacking. Using whole-stream nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) additions spanning the equivalent of 27 years, we found that average terrestrial organic C residence time was reduced by ~50% as compared to reference conditions as a result of nutrient pollution. Annual inputs of terrestrial organic C were rapidly depleted via release of detrital food webs from N and P co-limitation. This magnitude of terrestrial C loss can potentially exceed predicted algal C gains with nutrient enrichment across large parts of river networks, diminishing associated ecosystem services.

  1. Habitat loss, trophic collapse, and the decline of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Andrew; Lodge, David; Alder, Jackie; Cumming, Graeme S; Keymer, Juan; McGlade, Jacquie; Mooney, Hal; Rusak, James A; Sala, Osvaldo; Wolters, Volkmar; Wall, Diana; Winfree, Rachel; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A

    2006-08-01

    The provisioning of sustaining goods and services that we obtain from natural ecosystems is a strong economic justification for the conservation of biological diversity. Understanding the relationship between these goods and services and changes in the size, arrangement, and quality of natural habitats is a fundamental challenge of natural resource management. In this paper, we describe a new approach to assessing the implications of habitat loss for loss of ecosystem services by examining how the provision of different ecosystem services is dominated by species from different trophic levels. We then develop a mathematical model that illustrates how declines in habitat quality and quantity lead to sequential losses of trophic diversity. The model suggests that declines in the provisioning of services will initially be slow but will then accelerate as species from higher trophic levels are lost at faster rates. Comparison of these patterns with empirical examples of ecosystem collapse (and assembly) suggest similar patterns occur in natural systems impacted by anthropogenic change. In general, ecosystem goods and services provided by species in the upper trophic levels will be lost before those provided by species lower in the food chain. The decrease in terrestrial food chain length predicted by the model parallels that observed in the oceans following overexploitation. The large area requirements of higher trophic levels make them as susceptible to extinction as they are in marine systems where they are systematically exploited. Whereas the traditional species-area curve suggests that 50% of species are driven extinct by an order-of-magnitude decline in habitat abundance, this magnitude of loss may represent the loss of an entire trophic level and all the ecosystem services performed by the species on this trophic level.

  2. Revealing Invisible Water: Moisture Recycling as an Ecosystem Service

    PubMed Central

    Keys, Patrick W.; Wang-Erlandsson, Lan; Gordon, Line J.

    2016-01-01

    An ecosystem service is a benefit derived by humanity that can be traced back to an ecological process. Although ecosystem services related to surface water have been thoroughly described, the relationship between atmospheric water and ecosystem services has been mostly neglected, and perhaps misunderstood. Recent advances in land-atmosphere modeling have revealed the importance of terrestrial ecosystems for moisture recycling. In this paper, we analyze the extent to which vegetation sustains the supply of atmospheric moisture and precipitation for downwind beneficiaries, globally. We simulate land-surface evaporation with a global hydrology model and track changes to moisture recycling using an atmospheric moisture budget model, and we define vegetation-regulated moisture recycling as the difference in moisture recycling between current vegetation and a hypothetical desert world. Our results show that nearly a fifth of annual average precipitation falling on land is from vegetation-regulated moisture recycling, but the global variability is large, with many places receiving nearly half their precipitation from this ecosystem service. The largest potential impacts for changes to this ecosystem service are land-use changes across temperate regions in North America and Russia. Likewise, in semi-arid regions reliant on rainfed agricultural production, land-use change that even modestly reduces evaporation and subsequent precipitation, could significantly affect human well-being. We also present a regional case study in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, where we identify the specific moisture recycling ecosystem services associated with the vegetation in Mato Grosso. We find that Mato Grosso vegetation regulates some internal precipitation, with a diffuse region of benefit downwind, primarily to the south and east, including the La Plata River basin and the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We synthesize our global and regional results into a generalized

  3. Revealing Invisible Water: Moisture Recycling as an Ecosystem Service.

    PubMed

    Keys, Patrick W; Wang-Erlandsson, Lan; Gordon, Line J

    2016-01-01

    An ecosystem service is a benefit derived by humanity that can be traced back to an ecological process. Although ecosystem services related to surface water have been thoroughly described, the relationship between atmospheric water and ecosystem services has been mostly neglected, and perhaps misunderstood. Recent advances in land-atmosphere modeling have revealed the importance of terrestrial ecosystems for moisture recycling. In this paper, we analyze the extent to which vegetation sustains the supply of atmospheric moisture and precipitation for downwind beneficiaries, globally. We simulate land-surface evaporation with a global hydrology model and track changes to moisture recycling using an atmospheric moisture budget model, and we define vegetation-regulated moisture recycling as the difference in moisture recycling between current vegetation and a hypothetical desert world. Our results show that nearly a fifth of annual average precipitation falling on land is from vegetation-regulated moisture recycling, but the global variability is large, with many places receiving nearly half their precipitation from this ecosystem service. The largest potential impacts for changes to this ecosystem service are land-use changes across temperate regions in North America and Russia. Likewise, in semi-arid regions reliant on rainfed agricultural production, land-use change that even modestly reduces evaporation and subsequent precipitation, could significantly affect human well-being. We also present a regional case study in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, where we identify the specific moisture recycling ecosystem services associated with the vegetation in Mato Grosso. We find that Mato Grosso vegetation regulates some internal precipitation, with a diffuse region of benefit downwind, primarily to the south and east, including the La Plata River basin and the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We synthesize our global and regional results into a generalized

  4. Linking biophysical models and public preferences for ecosystem service assessments: a case study for the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Reed, James; Semmens, Darius J.; Sherrouse, Ben C.; Troy, Austin

    2016-01-01

    Through extensive research, ecosystem services have been mapped using both survey-based and biophysical approaches, but comparative mapping of public values and those quantified using models has been lacking. In this paper, we mapped hot and cold spots for perceived and modeled ecosystem services by synthesizing results from a social-values mapping study of residents living near the Pike–San Isabel National Forest (PSI), located in the Southern Rocky Mountains, with corresponding biophysically modeled ecosystem services. Social-value maps for the PSI were developed using the Social Values for Ecosystem Services tool, providing statistically modeled continuous value surfaces for 12 value types, including aesthetic, biodiversity, and life-sustaining values. Biophysically modeled maps of carbon sequestration and storage, scenic viewsheds, sediment regulation, and water yield were generated using the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services tool. Hotspots for both perceived and modeled services were disproportionately located within the PSI’s wilderness areas. Additionally, we used regression analysis to evaluate spatial relationships between perceived biodiversity and cultural ecosystem services and corresponding biophysical model outputs. Our goal was to determine whether publicly valued locations for aesthetic, biodiversity, and life-sustaining values relate meaningfully to results from corresponding biophysical ecosystem service models. We found weak relationships between perceived and biophysically modeled services, indicating that public perception of ecosystem service provisioning regions is limited. We believe that biophysical and social approaches to ecosystem service mapping can serve as methodological complements that can advance ecosystem services-based resource management, benefitting resource managers by showing potential locations of synergy or conflict between areas supplying ecosystem services and those valued by the public.

  5. Adaptive management of ecosystem services across different land use regimes.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, J B

    2016-12-01

    Using adaptive management to manage desired flows of ecosystem services may seem on the surface to be a good fit, but many social, economic, environmental, legal, and political factors influence how good a fit. One strongly influential factor is the land use regime within which the profile of ecosystem services is being managed. Shaped largely by legal mandates, market forces, and social and cultural practices, different land use regimes present different opportunities for and constraints on goals for ecosystem services and pose different decision making environments. Even where all other conditions appear amenable to using adaptive management, therefore, it is essential to consider the constraining (or liberating) effects of different land use regimes when deciding whether to adopt adaptive management to achieve those goals and, if so, how to implement it.

  6. Crowd-sourcing relative preferences for ecosystem services in ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Analysis of ecosystem service tradeoffs among project scenarios is more reliable when valuation data are available. Empirical valuation data are expensive and difficult to collect. As a possible alternative or supplement to empirical data, we downloaded and classified images from social media sites (SMS) Panoramio (n= 639), Instagram (n=2086), and Flickr (n=6644) for the AOC and 100 m buffer. We classified each image from the perspective of the beneficiary (photographer) according to US EPA’s Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) classification system. After removing images not in the AOC or with bad links, 58 (10%), 361 (24%), and 1035 (16%) of the images from Panoramio, Instagram, and Flickr, respectively, depicted an ecosystem service. The most frequently occurring non ecosystem services depicted were bridges, ships, indoor scenes, and people. Across SMS with repeat images removed, AOC services were percentage ranked as follows: recreational scene viewers, 28%; boaters, 24%, flora and fauna viewers, 20%; other recreation experiencers (e.g., dog walkers, beach goers, bikers, trail and greenspace users), 15%; angling, 7%; learners, 1%, inspirational/sacred experiencers, 1%. Across SMS, recreational services were ranked as follows: scene viewing, 28%; boating, 24%, birding, 16%; fauna and flora viewing, 8%; trail and greenspace use, 7%; angling 7%; dog walking, 3%; swimming, beach and ice use, 3%; biking, 1%; excursion rail, 1%. Potential biases include S

  7. Effects of water and nitrogen addition on ecosystem carbon exchange in a meadow steppe.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yunbo; Jiang, Qi; Yang, Zhiming; Sun, Wei; Wang, Deli

    2015-01-01

    A changing precipitation regime and increasing nitrogen deposition are likely to have profound impacts on arid and semiarid ecosystem C cycling, which is often constrained by the timing and availability of water and nitrogen. However, little is known about the effects of altered precipitation and nitrogen addition on grassland ecosystem C exchange. We conducted a 3-year field experiment to assess the responses of vegetation composition, ecosystem productivity, and ecosystem C exchange to manipulative water and nitrogen addition in a meadow steppe. Nitrogen addition significantly stimulated aboveground biomass and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), which suggests that nitrogen availability is a primary limiting factor for ecosystem C cycling in the meadow steppe. Water addition had no significant impacts on either ecosystem C exchange or plant biomass, but ecosystem C fluxes showed a strong correlation with early growing season precipitation, rather than whole growing season precipitation, across the 3 experimental years. After we incorporated water addition into the calculation of precipitation regimes, we found that monthly average ecosystem C fluxes correlated more strongly with precipitation frequency than with precipitation amount. These results highlight the importance of precipitation distribution in regulating ecosystem C cycling. Overall, ecosystem C fluxes in the studied ecosystem are highly sensitive to nitrogen deposition, but less sensitive to increased precipitation.

  8. Effects of Water and Nitrogen Addition on Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in a Meadow Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yunbo; Jiang, Qi; Yang, Zhiming; Sun, Wei; Wang, Deli

    2015-01-01

    A changing precipitation regime and increasing nitrogen deposition are likely to have profound impacts on arid and semiarid ecosystem C cycling, which is often constrained by the timing and availability of water and nitrogen. However, little is known about the effects of altered precipitation and nitrogen addition on grassland ecosystem C exchange. We conducted a 3-year field experiment to assess the responses of vegetation composition, ecosystem productivity, and ecosystem C exchange to manipulative water and nitrogen addition in a meadow steppe. Nitrogen addition significantly stimulated aboveground biomass and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), which suggests that nitrogen availability is a primary limiting factor for ecosystem C cycling in the meadow steppe. Water addition had no significant impacts on either ecosystem C exchange or plant biomass, but ecosystem C fluxes showed a strong correlation with early growing season precipitation, rather than whole growing season precipitation, across the 3 experimental years. After we incorporated water addition into the calculation of precipitation regimes, we found that monthly average ecosystem C fluxes correlated more strongly with precipitation frequency than with precipitation amount. These results highlight the importance of precipitation distribution in regulating ecosystem C cycling. Overall, ecosystem C fluxes in the studied ecosystem are highly sensitive to nitrogen deposition, but less sensitive to increased precipitation. PMID:26010888

  9. Engineering a plant community to deliver multiple ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Storkey, Jonathan; Döring, Thomas; Baddeley, John; Collins, Rosemary; Roderick, Stephen; Jones, Hannah; Watson, Christine

    2015-06-01

    The sustainable delivery of multiple ecosystem services requires the management of functionally diverse biological communities. In an agricultural context, an emphasis on food production has often led to a loss of biodiversity to the detriment of other ecosystem services such as the maintenance of soil health and pest regulation. In scenarios where multiple species can be grown together, it may be possible to better balance environmental and agronomic services through the targeted selection of companion species. We used the case study of legume-based cover crops to engineer a plant community that delivered the optimal balance of six ecosystem services: early productivity, regrowth following mowing, weed suppression, support of invertebrates, soil fertility building (measured as yield of following crop), and conservation of nutrients in the soil. An experimental species pool of 12 cultivated legume species was screened for a range of functional traits and ecosystem services at five sites across a geographical gradient in the United Kingdom. All possible species combinations were then analyzed, using a process-based model of plant competition, to identify the community that delivered the best balance of services at each site. In our system, low to intermediate levels of species richness (one to four species) that exploited functional contrasts in growth habit and phenology were identified as being optimal. The optimal solution was determined largely by the number of species and functional diversity represented by the starting species pool, emphasizing the importance of the initial selection of species for the screening experiments. The approach of using relationships between functional traits and ecosystem services to design multifunctional biological communities has the potential to inform the design of agricultural systems that better balance agronomic and environmental services and meet the current objective of European agricultural policy to maintain viable food

  10. Invasive species, ecosystem services and human well-being.

    PubMed

    Pejchar, Liba; Mooney, Harold A

    2009-09-01

    Although the effects of invasive alien species (IAS) on native species are well documented, the many ways in which such species impact ecosystem services are still emerging. Here we assess the costs and benefits of IAS for provisioning, regulating and cultural services, and illustrate the synergies and tradeoffs associated with these impacts using case studies that include South Africa, the Great Lakes and Hawaii. We identify services and interactions that are the least understood and propose a research and policy framework for filling the remaining knowledge gaps. Drawing on ecology and economics to incorporate the impacts of IAS on ecosystem services into decision making is key to restoring and sustaining those life-support services that nature provides and all organisms depend upon.

  11. Soil carbon sequestration: Quantifying this ecosystem service

    EPA Science Inventory

    Soils have a crucial role in supplying many goods and services that society depends upon on a daily basis. These include food and fiber production, water cleansing and supply, nutrient cycling, waste isolation and degradation. Soils also provide a significant amount of carbon s...

  12. Safeguarding the provision of ecosystem services in catchment systems.

    PubMed

    Everard, Mark

    2013-04-01

    A narrow technocentric focus on a few favored ecosystem services (generally provisioning services) has led to ecosystem degradation globally, including catchment systems and their capacities to support human well-being. Increasing recognition of the multiple benefits provided by ecosystems is slowly being translated into policy and some areas of practice, although there remains a significant shortfall in the incorporation of a systemic perspective into operation management and decision-making tools. Nevertheless, a range of ecosystem-based solutions to issues as diverse as flooding and green space provision in the urban environment offers hope for improving habitat and optimization of beneficial services. The value of catchment ecosystem processes and their associated services is also being increasingly recognized and internalized by the water industry, improving water quality and quantity through catchment land management rather than at greater expense in the treatment costs of contaminated water abstracted lower in catchments. Parallel recognition of the value of working with natural processes, rather than "defending" built assets when catchment hydrology is adversely affected by unsympathetic upstream development, is being progressively incorporated into flood risk management policy. This focus on wider catchment processes also yields a range of cobenefits for fishery, wildlife, amenity, flood risk, and other interests, which may be optimized if multiple stakeholders and their diverse value systems are included in decision-making processes. Ecosystem services, particularly implemented as a central element of the ecosystem approach, provide an integrated framework for building in these different perspectives and values, many of them formerly excluded, into commercial and resource management decision-making processes, thereby making tractable the integrative aspirations of sustainable development. This can help redress deeply entrenched inherited assumptions

  13. Use of the ecosystem services concept in ecological risk assessment of chemicals.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Valery E; Calow, Peter

    2013-04-01

    The reason for expressing ecological protection goals in terms of ecosystem services is to make a connection between ecosystems and what people get out of them in terms of marketed goods and nonmarketed welfare. Here our focus will be on how the ecosystem services framework is and can be applied to the ecological risk assessment (ERA) of chemicals. We provide 2 contrasting examples of how the ecosystem services framework is currently being applied in regulatory risk assessment, and we discuss the challenges and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed if such a framework is to substantially improve ERAs and their ability to inform management decisions. We make the point that formulating protection goals in terms of ecosystem services only makes sense if they can be used in managing environmental impacts and if they are useful in informing the risk assessments behind these. Ecosystem services can make a contribution to management by connecting ecosystem structure and process to what is valued, and analyzing risk in this context is a way of making risk assessment more policy- and value-relevant. Using an ecosystem services framework to its fullest potential to support ERA will require the successful development of a suite of coupled Valuation Methods, Ecological Production Functions, and Mechanistic Effect Models that will require the establishment of strong multidisciplinary collaborations among ecologists, computer scientists, social scientists, and possibly others. In addition, buy-in from environmental decision makers and other stakeholders will be crucial. Some progress is being made on the research front, and the implementation of new legislation is providing incentives for developing risk assessment outputs that are much more directly related to environmental protection goals than those used currently.

  14. Ecosystem Services of Rivers: The Don River (Russian Federation) and the Roanoke River (USA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept of ecosystem services recognizes the services, and benefits, provided to people by ecosystems. River systems provide many services to people, including freshwater provisioning, carbon storage, fisheries, recreation, transportation, and biodiversity. Here, we review th...

  15. A National Approach to Quantify and Map Biodiversity Conservation Metrics within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services, i.e., "services provided to humans from natural systems," have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have be...

  16. Identifying high-value regions for hydrologic ecosystem services around the globe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauman, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Demand is growing for global inventories and valuations of ecosystem services, and several studies have attempted this quantification. Most have used land cover as a proxy, identifying wetlands, for example, as providers of clean water. In response, it has been argued that the value of hydrologic services rests in their additionally - the ecosystem service value of a watershed lies not in the value of the water captured by it but in the change in water quantity, quality, or timing if the watershed ecosystem were to change. Determining value is thus challenging, because hydrologic response to vegetation varies based on state factors such as climate and geology. In addition, value stems from the demand for water-related services, not only from the supply of those services, so beneficiaries must be accounted for. A set of criteria were identified with the aim of identifying places where hydrologic services are likely to be valuable. The primary biophysical criterion is that vegetation be an important control on hydrologic processes. Based on a set of ecohydrologic processes known to affect potentially valuable hydrologic attributes, characteristics of places where those processes are important were identified. Proxies for likelihood of land use change are an attempt to account for additionally. Density and development status of potential downstream water users were considered as a proxy for likely ecosystem service use. Preliminary mapping of these characteristics indicates regions likely to benefit from management of hydrologic ecosystem services. The overlap between areas likely to have high-value services and regions where Watershed Investment programs are active is evaluated.

  17. Joint analysis of stressors and ecosystem services to enhance restoration effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Allan, J. David; McIntyre, Peter B.; Smith, Sigrid D. P.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Boyer, Gregory L.; Buchsbaum, Andy; Burton, G. A.; Campbell, Linda M.; Chadderton, W. Lindsay; Ciborowski, Jan J. H.; Doran, Patrick J.; Eder, Tim; Infante, Dana M.; Johnson, Lucinda B.; Joseph, Christine A.; Marino, Adrienne L.; Prusevich, Alexander; Read, Jennifer G.; Rose, Joan B.; Rutherford, Edward S.; Sowa, Scott P.; Steinman, Alan D.

    2013-01-01

    With increasing pressure placed on natural systems by growing human populations, both scientists and resource managers need a better understanding of the relationships between cumulative stress from human activities and valued ecosystem services. Societies often seek to mitigate threats to these services through large-scale, costly restoration projects, such as the over one billion dollar Great Lakes Restoration Initiative currently underway. To help inform these efforts, we merged high-resolution spatial analyses of environmental stressors with mapping of ecosystem services for all five Great Lakes. Cumulative ecosystem stress is highest in near-shore habitats, but also extends offshore in Lakes Erie, Ontario, and Michigan. Variation in cumulative stress is driven largely by spatial concordance among multiple stressors, indicating the importance of considering all stressors when planning restoration activities. In addition, highly stressed areas reflect numerous different combinations of stressors rather than a single suite of problems, suggesting that a detailed understanding of the stressors needing alleviation could improve restoration planning. We also find that many important areas for fisheries and recreation are subject to high stress, indicating that ecosystem degradation could be threatening key services. Current restoration efforts have targeted high-stress sites almost exclusively, but generally without knowledge of the full range of stressors affecting these locations or differences among sites in service provisioning. Our results demonstrate that joint spatial analysis of stressors and ecosystem services can provide a critical foundation for maximizing social and ecological benefits from restoration investments. PMID:23248308

  18. Ecosystem service provision by stormwater wetlands and ponds - a means for evaluation?

    PubMed

    Moore, Trisha L C; Hunt, William F

    2012-12-15

    Stormwater control measures (SCMs) such as constructed stormwater ponds and constructed stormwater wetlands (CSWs) are designed to regulate runoff hydrology and quality. However, these created ecosystems also provide a range of other benefits, or ecosystem services, which are often acknowledged but rarely quantified. In this study, additional ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and cultural services, were assessed and compared between 20 ponds and 20 CSWs in North Carolina, USA. Carbon sequestration was estimated through the carbon content of pond and wetland sediments across a gradient of system age. Biodiversity was quantified in terms of the richness and Shannon diversity index of vegetative and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. Cultural services were qualitatively assessed based on the potential for recreational and educational opportunities at each site. Ponds and wetlands were found to support similar levels of macroinvertebrate diversity, though differences community composition arose between the two habitat types. CSWs demonstrated greater potential to provide carbon sequestration, vegetative diversity, and cultural ecosystem services. This assessment provides an initial framework upon which future assessments of ecosystem service provision by SCMs can build.

  19. The value of producing food, energy, and ecosystem services within an agro-ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Porter, John; Costanza, Robert; Sandhu, Harpinder; Sigsgaard, Lene; Wratten, Steve

    2009-06-01

    Agricultural ecosystems produce food, fiber, and non-marketed ecosystem services (ES). Agriculture also typically involves high negative external costs associated with, for example, fossil fuel use. We estimated, via field-scale ecological monitoring and economic value-transfer methods, the market and nonmarket ES value of a combined food and energy (CFE) agro-ecosystem that simultaneously produces food, fodder, and bioenergy. Such novel CFE agro-ecosystems can provide a significantly increased net crop, energy, and nonmarketed ES compared with conventional agriculture, and require markedly less fossil-based inputs. Extrapolated to the European scale, the value of nonmarket ES from the CFE system exceeds current European farm subsidy payments. Such integrated food and bioenergy systems can thus provide environmental value for money for European Union farming and nonfarming communities.

  20. Ecosystem Services Connect Environmental Change to Human Health Outcomes

    SciTech Connect

    Bayles, Brett R.; Brauman, Kate A.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Allan, Brian F.; Ellis, Alicia M.; Goldberg, Tony L.; Golden, Christopher D.; Grigsby-Toussaint, Diana S.; Myers, Samuel S.; Osofsky, Steven A.; Ricketts, Taylor H.; Ristaino, Jean B.

    2016-06-29

    Global environmental change, driven in large part by human activities, profoundly impacts the structure and functioning of Earth’s ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). We are beginning to push beyond planetary boundaries (Steffan et al. 2015), and the consequences for human health remain largely unknown (Myers et al. 2013). Growing evidence suggests that ecological transformations can dramatically affect human health in ways that are both obvious and obscure (Myers and Patz 2009; Myers et al. 2013). The framework of ecosystem services, designed to evaluate the benefits that people derive from ecosystem products and processes, provides a compelling framework for integrating the many factors that influence the human health response to global change, as well as for integrating health impacts into broader analyses of the impacts of this change

  1. Estimating the effects of toxicants on ecosystem services.

    PubMed Central

    Cairns, J; Niederlehner, B R

    1994-01-01

    Numerous functions of ecosystems are essential to the quality of human life, including the provision of food, the decomposition of sewage, the provision of portable water, and the replacement of breathable air. Although attributes of ecosystems directly of use to human societies are not the only ones worth protecting, emphasizing their services may be the most effective means of communicating risks of toxicants to the general public. However, although spatial and temporal scales of experiments to assess risk vary relatively little, actual spatial scales vary considerably, from local environments to global ecosystems. Generally, models are used to bridge these gaps in scale. In this paper, we examine ways in which toxicity test endpoints have been developed to describe effects of pollutants on essential ecosystem functions and the ways in which results are then extrapolated to scales that risk managers can use. Images p936-a PMID:9738207

  2. [Values of marine ecosystem services in Sanggou Bay].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-hui; Lü, Ji-bin; Ye, Shu-feng; Zhu, Ming-yuan

    2007-11-01

    A valuation study was conducted in Sanggou Bay, a typical and intensive coastal aquaculture area in China Yellow Sea. The results showed that the total value of ecosystem services (VES) in Sanggou Bay was 6.07 x 10(8) Yen in 2003, with an average unit VES being 4.24 x 10(6) Yen x km(-2). Within the total VES, the provision services, regulation services, and culture services accounted for 51.29%, 17.34%, and 31.37%, respectively. Among the eight primary and secondary services valuated in Sanggou Bay, food provision services held the highest value (50.45%), followed by tourism and entertainment services (29.89%) and climate regulation services (9.18%). Harmful organism and disease control services have the lowest value (0.0017%). The aquaculture activities had greater contributions to the local social economy, environmental regulation, and social culture. Aquaculture activities, especially macro-algae farming, are of significance in maintaining and enhancing the ecosystem services.

  3. Modelling impacts of second generation bioenergy production on Ecosystem Services in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henner, Dagmar; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; McNamara, Niall

    2016-04-01

    Bioenergy crops are an important source of renewable energy and are a possible mechanism to mitigate global climate warming, by replacing fossil fuel energy with higher greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, uncertainty about the impacts of the growth of bioenergy crops on ecosystem services. This uncertainty is further enhanced by the unpredictable climate change currently going on. The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive model that covers high impact, policy relevant ecosystem services at a Continental scale including biodiversity and pollination, water and air security, erosion control and soil security, GHG emissions, soil C and cultural services like tourism value. The technical distribution potential and likely yield of second generation energy crops, such as Miscanthus, Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) with willow, poplar, eucalyptus and other broadleaf species and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF), is currently being modelled using ECOSSE, DayCent, SalixFor and MiscanFor, and ecosystem models will be used to examine the impacts of these crops on ecosystem services. The project builds on models of energy crop production, biodiversity, soil impacts, greenhouse gas emissions and other ecosystem services, and on work undertaken in the UK on the ETI-funded ELUM project (www.elum.ac.uk). In addition, methods like water footprint tools, tourism value maps and ecosystem valuation tools and models (e.g. InVest, TEEB database, GREET LCA Model, World Business Council for Sustainable Development corporate ecosystem valuation, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Ecosystem Services Framework) will be utilised. Research will focus on optimisation of land use change feedbacks on above named ecosystem services, impact on food security, land management practices and impacts from climate change. We will present results for GHG emissions and soil organic carbon change after different land use change scenarios (e.g. arable to Miscanthus, forest to SRF), and

  4. Prototyping an online wetland ecosystem services model using open model sharing standards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feng, M.; Liu, S.; Euliss, N.H.; Young, Caitlin; Mushet, D.M.

    2011-01-01

    Great interest currently exists for developing ecosystem models to forecast how ecosystem services may change under alternative land use and climate futures. Ecosystem services are diverse and include supporting services or functions (e.g., primary production, nutrient cycling), provisioning services (e.g., wildlife, groundwater), regulating services (e.g., water purification, floodwater retention), and even cultural services (e.g., ecotourism, cultural heritage). Hence, the knowledge base necessary to quantify ecosystem services is broad and derived from many diverse scientific disciplines. Building the required interdisciplinary models is especially challenging as modelers from different locations and times may develop the disciplinary models needed for ecosystem simulations, and these models must be identified and made accessible to the interdisciplinary simulation. Additional difficulties include inconsistent data structures, formats, and metadata required by geospatial models as well as limitations on computing, storage, and connectivity. Traditional standalone and closed network systems cannot fully support sharing and integrating interdisciplinary geospatial models from variant sources. To address this need, we developed an approach to openly share and access geospatial computational models using distributed Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques and open geospatial standards. We included a means to share computational models compliant with Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Processing Services (WPS) standard to ensure modelers have an efficient and simplified means to publish new models. To demonstrate our approach, we developed five disciplinary models that can be integrated and shared to simulate a few of the ecosystem services (e.g., water storage, waterfowl breeding) that are provided by wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America.

  5. Estimating the impacts of conservation on ecosystem services and poverty by integrating modeling and evaluation.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M; Miteva, Daniela A; Nelson, Joanna L; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K; Nolte, Christoph; Sims, Katharine R E

    2015-06-16

    Scholars have made great advances in modeling and mapping ecosystem services, and in assigning economic values to these services. This modeling and valuation scholarship is often disconnected from evidence about how actual conservation programs have affected ecosystem services, however. Without a stronger evidence base, decision makers find it difficult to use the insights from modeling and valuation to design effective policies and programs. To strengthen the evidence base, scholars have advanced our understanding of the causal pathways between conservation actions and environmental outcomes, but their studies measure impacts on imperfect proxies for ecosystem services (e.g., avoidance of deforestation). To be useful to decision makers, these impacts must be translated into changes in ecosystem services and values. To illustrate how this translation can be done, we estimated the impacts of protected areas in Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Thailand on carbon storage in forests. We found that protected areas in these conservation hotspots have stored at least an additional 1,000 Mt of CO2 in forests and have delivered ecosystem services worth at least $5 billion. This aggregate impact masks important spatial heterogeneity, however. Moreover, the spatial variability of impacts on carbon storage is the not the same as the spatial variability of impacts on avoided deforestation. These findings lead us to describe a research program that extends our framework to study other ecosystem services, to uncover the mechanisms by which ecosystem protection benefits humans, and to tie cost-benefit analyses to conservation planning so that we can obtain the greatest return on scarce conservation funds.

  6. Estimating the impacts of conservation on ecosystem services and poverty by integrating modeling and evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Paul J.; Hanauer, Merlin M.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Nelson, Joanna L.; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; Nolte, Christoph; Sims, Katharine R. E.

    2015-01-01

    Scholars have made great advances in modeling and mapping ecosystem services, and in assigning economic values to these services. This modeling and valuation scholarship is often disconnected from evidence about how actual conservation programs have affected ecosystem services, however. Without a stronger evidence base, decision makers find it difficult to use the insights from modeling and valuation to design effective policies and programs. To strengthen the evidence base, scholars have advanced our understanding of the causal pathways between conservation actions and environmental outcomes, but their studies measure impacts on imperfect proxies for ecosystem services (e.g., avoidance of deforestation). To be useful to decision makers, these impacts must be translated into changes in ecosystem services and values. To illustrate how this translation can be done, we estimated the impacts of protected areas in Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Thailand on carbon storage in forests. We found that protected areas in these conservation hotspots have stored at least an additional 1,000 Mt of CO2 in forests and have delivered ecosystem services worth at least $5 billion. This aggregate impact masks important spatial heterogeneity, however. Moreover, the spatial variability of impacts on carbon storage is the not the same as the spatial variability of impacts on avoided deforestation. These findings lead us to describe a research program that extends our framework to study other ecosystem services, to uncover the mechanisms by which ecosystem protection benefits humans, and to tie cost-benefit analyses to conservation planning so that we can obtain the greatest return on scarce conservation funds. PMID:26082549

  7. Modelling ecosystem service flows under uncertainty with stochiastic SPAN

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Gary W.; Snapp, Robert R.; Villa, Ferdinando; Bagstad, Kenneth J.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem service models are increasingly in demand for decision making. However, the data required to run these models are often patchy, missing, outdated, or untrustworthy. Further, communication of data and model uncertainty to decision makers is often either absent or unintuitive. In this work, we introduce a systematic approach to addressing both the data gap and the difficulty in communicating uncertainty through a stochastic adaptation of the Service Path Attribution Networks (SPAN) framework. The SPAN formalism assesses ecosystem services through a set of up to 16 maps, which characterize the services in a study area in terms of flow pathways between ecosystems and human beneficiaries. Although the SPAN algorithms were originally defined deterministically, we present them here in a stochastic framework which combines probabilistic input data with a stochastic transport model in order to generate probabilistic spatial outputs. This enables a novel feature among ecosystem service models: the ability to spatially visualize uncertainty in the model results. The stochastic SPAN model can analyze areas where data limitations are prohibitive for deterministic models. Greater uncertainty in the model inputs (including missing data) should lead to greater uncertainty expressed in the model’s output distributions. By using Bayesian belief networks to fill data gaps and expert-provided trust assignments to augment untrustworthy or outdated information, we can account for uncertainty in input data, producing a model that is still able to run and provide information where strictly deterministic models could not. Taken together, these attributes enable more robust and intuitive modelling of ecosystem services under uncertainty.

  8. Forest Ecosystem Services and Eco-Compensation Mechanisms in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Hongbing; Zheng, Peng; Liu, Tianxing; Liu, Xin

    2011-12-01

    Forests are a major terrestrial ecosystem providing multiple ecosystem services. However, the importance of forests is frequently underestimated from an economic perspective because of the externalities and public good properties of these services. Forest eco-compensation is a transfer mechanism that serves to internalize the externalities of forest ecosystem services by compensating individuals or companies for the losses or costs resulting from the provision of these services. China's current forest eco-compensation system is centered mainly on noncommercial forest. The primary measures associated with ecosystem services are (1) a charge on destructive activities, such as indiscriminate logging, and (2) compensation for individual or local activities and investments in forest conservation. The Compensation Fund System for Forest Ecological Benefits was first listed in the Forest Law of the People's Republic of China in 1998. In 2004, the Central Government Financial Compensation Fund, an important source for the Compensation Fund for Forest Ecological Benefits, was formally established. To improve the forest eco-compensation system, it is crucial to design and establish compensation criteria for noncommercial forests. These criteria should take both theoretical and practical concerns into account, and they should be based on the quantitative valuation of ecosystem services. Although some initial headway has been made on this task, the implementation of an effective forest eco-compensation system in China still has deficiencies and still faces problems. Implementing classification-based and dynamic management for key noncommercial forests and establishing an eco-compensation mechanism with multiple funding sources in the market economy are the key measures needed to conquer these problems and improve the forest eco-compensation system and China's forestry development in sequence.

  9. Forest ecosystem services and eco-compensation mechanisms in China.

    PubMed

    Deng, Hongbing; Zheng, Peng; Liu, Tianxing; Liu, Xin

    2011-12-01

    Forests are a major terrestrial ecosystem providing multiple ecosystem services. However, the importance of forests is frequently underestimated from an economic perspective because of the externalities and public good properties of these services. Forest eco-compensation is a transfer mechanism that serves to internalize the externalities of forest ecosystem services by compensating individuals or companies for the losses or costs resulting from the provision of these services. China's current forest eco-compensation system is centered mainly on noncommercial forest. The primary measures associated with ecosystem services are (1) a charge on destructive activities, such as indiscriminate logging, and (2) compensation for individual or local activities and investments in forest conservation. The Compensation Fund System for Forest Ecological Benefits was first listed in the Forest Law of the People's Republic of China in 1998. In 2004, the Central Government Financial Compensation Fund, an important source for the Compensation Fund for Forest Ecological Benefits, was formally established. To improve the forest eco-compensation system, it is crucial to design and establish compensation criteria for noncommercial forests. These criteria should take both theoretical and practical concerns into account, and they should be based on the quantitative valuation of ecosystem services. Although some initial headway has been made on this task, the implementation of an effective forest eco-compensation system in China still has deficiencies and still faces problems. Implementing classification-based and dynamic management for key noncommercial forests and establishing an eco-compensation mechanism with multiple funding sources in the market economy are the key measures needed to conquer these problems and improve the forest eco-compensation system and China's forestry development in sequence.

  10. Ecosystem services in urban landscapes: practical applications and governance implications.

    PubMed

    Haase, Dagmar; Frantzeskaki, Niki; Elmqvist, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Urban landscapes are the everyday environment for the majority of the global population, and almost 80 % of the Europeans live in urban areas. The continuous growth in the number and size of urban areas along with an increasing demand on resources and energy poses great challenges for ensuring human welfare in cities while preventing an increasing loss of biodiversity. The understanding of how urban ecosystems function, provide goods and services for urban dwellers; and how they change and what allows and limits their performance can add to the understanding of ecosystem change and governance in general in an ever more human-dominated world. This Special Issue aims at bridging the knowledge gap among urbanization, demand creation, and provisioning of ecosystem services in urban regions on the one hand and schemes of urban governance and planning on the other.

  11. Ecological role and services of tropical mangrove ecosystems: a reassessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Shing Yip; Primavera, Jurgene H.; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; McKee, Karen; Bosire, Jared O.; Cannicci, Stefano; Diele, Karen; Fromard, Francois; Koedam, Nico; Marchand, Cyril; Mendelssohn, Irving; Mukherjee, Nibedita; Record, Sydne

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of thresholds, spatio-temporal scaling and variability due to geographic, biogeographic and socio-economic settings will improve the management of mangrove ecosystem services. Many drivers respond to global trends in climate change and local changes such as urbanization. While mangroves have traditionally been managed for subsistence, future governance models must involve partnerships between local custodians of mangroves and offsite beneficiaries of the services.

  12. Strengthening protected areas for biodiversity and ecosystem services in China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Weihua; Xiao, Yi; Zhang, Jingjing; Yang, Wu; Zhang, Lu; Hull, Vanessa; Wang, Zhi; Zheng, Hua; Liu, Jianguo; Polasky, Stephen; Jiang, Ling; Xiao, Yang; Shi, Xuewei; Rao, Enming; Lu, Fei; Wang, Xiaoke; Daily, Gretchen C; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2017-02-14

    Recent expansion of the scale of human activities poses severe threats to Earth's life-support systems. Increasingly, protected areas (PAs) are expected to serve dual goals: protect biodiversity and secure ecosystem services. We report a nationwide assessment for China, quantifying the provision of threatened species habitat and four key regulating services-water retention, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, and carbon sequestration-in nature reserves (the primary category of PAs in China). We find that China's nature reserves serve moderately well for mammals and birds, but not for other major taxa, nor for these key regulating ecosystem services. China's nature reserves encompass 15.1% of the country's land surface. They capture 17.9% and 16.4% of the entire habitat area for threatened mammals and birds, but only 13.1% for plants, 10.0% for amphibians, and 8.5% for reptiles. Nature reserves encompass only 10.2-12.5% of the source areas for the four key regulating services. They are concentrated in western China, whereas much threatened species' habitat and regulating service source areas occur in eastern provinces. Our analysis illuminates a strategy for greatly strengthening PAs, through creating the first comprehensive national park system of China. This would encompass both nature reserves, in which human activities are highly restricted, and a new category of PAs for ecosystem services, in which human activities not impacting key services are permitted. This could close the gap in a politically feasible way. We also propose a new category of PAs globally, for sustaining the provision of ecosystems services and achieving sustainable development goals.

  13. [Ecosystem services supply and consumption and their relationships with human well-being].

    PubMed

    Wang, Da-Shang; Zheng, Hua; Ouyang, Zhi-Yun

    2013-06-01

    Sustainable ecosystem services supply is the basis of regional sustainable development, and human beings can satisfy and improve their well-being through ecosystem services consumption. To understand the relationships between ecosystem services supply and consumption and human well-being is of vital importance for coordinating the relationships between the conservation of ecosystem services and the improvement of human well-being. This paper summarized the diversity, complexity, and regionality of ecosystem services supply, the diversity and indispensability of ecosystem services consumption, and the multi-dimension, regionality, and various evaluation indices of human well-being, analyzed the uncertainty and multi-scale correlations between ecosystem services supply and consumption, and elaborated the feedback and asynchronous relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being. Some further research directions for the relationships between ecosystem services supply and consumption and human well-being were recommended.

  14. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future, and include the production of food and drinking water, purification of air and water, pollination, and nutrient cycling. The n...

  15. Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Demonstration Pilot Phase 2 web site

    EPA Science Inventory

    The value of nature's benefits is difficult to consider in environmental decision-making since ecosystem goods and services are usually not well measured or quantified in economic terms. The Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the U.S. Environmental Pr...

  16. The costs of climate change: ecosystem services and wildland fires

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper we use Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) to monetize the avoided ecosystem services losses due to climate change-induced wildland fires in the U.S. Specifically, we use the U.S. Forest Service’s MC1 dynamic global vegetation model to forecast changes in wildland fi...

  17. FINAL ECOSYSTEM GOODS AND SERVICES CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM (FEGS-CS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document defines and classifies 338 Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS), each defined and uniquely numbered by a combination of environmental class or sub-class and a beneficiary category or sub-category. The introductory section provides the rationale and conceptual ...

  18. Integrated Modeling for Watershed Ecosystem Services Assessment and Forecasting

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regional scale watershed management decisions must be informed by the science-based relationship between anthropogenic activities on the landscape and the change in ecosystem structure, function, and services that occur as a result. We applied process-based models that represent...

  19. Adaptive management for ecosystem services (j/a)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Management of natural resources for the production of ecosystem services, which are vital for human well-being, is necessary even when there is uncertainty regarding system response to management action. This uncertainty is the result of incomplete controllability, complex intern...

  20. Estimating ecosystem service changes as a precursor to modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Future Midwestern Landscapes Study will project changes in ecosystem services (ES) for alternative future policy scenarios in the Midwestern U.S. Doing so for detailed landscapes over large spatial scales will require serial application of economic and ecological models. W...

  1. Wetland Ecosystem Services Vary With Climate for Prairie Pothole Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydrology is the primary mechanism for the cyclic vegetation dynamics collectively known as the wetland cover cycle, which drives ecosystem services for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). These palustrine, depressional basin waters vacillate with regional drought and deluge, so surface water fluctuat...

  2. The impact of projected increases in urbanization on ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Eigenbrod, F; Bell, V A; Davies, H N; Heinemeyer, A; Armsworth, P R; Gaston, K J

    2011-11-07

    Alteration in land use is likely to be a major driver of changes in the distribution of ecosystem services before 2050. In Europe, urbanization will probably be the main cause of land-use change. This increase in urbanization will result in spatial shifts in both supplies of ecosystem services and the beneficiaries of those services; the net outcome of such shifts remains to be determined. Here, we model changes in urban land cover in Britain based on large (16%) projected increases in the human population by 2031, and the consequences for three different services--flood mitigation, agricultural production and carbon storage. We show that under a scenario of densification of urban areas, the combined effect of increasing population and loss of permeable surfaces is likely to result in 1.7 million people living within 1 km of rivers with at least 10 per cent increases in projected peak flows, but that increasing suburban 'sprawl' will have little effect on flood mitigation services. Conversely, losses of stored carbon and agricultural production are over three times as high under the sprawl as under the 'densification' urban growth scenarios. Our results illustrate the challenges of meeting, but also of predicting, future demands and patterns of ecosystem services in the face of increasing urbanization.

  3. Sensitivity analysis of ecosystem service valuation in a Mediterranean watershed.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Canales, María; López Benito, Alfredo; Passuello, Ana; Terrado, Marta; Ziv, Guy; Acuña, Vicenç; Schuhmacher, Marta; Elorza, F Javier

    2012-12-01

    The services of natural ecosystems are clearly very important to our societies. In the last years, efforts to conserve and value ecosystem services have been fomented. By way of illustration, the Natural Capital Project integrates ecosystem services into everyday decision making around the world. This project has developed InVEST (a system for Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs). The InVEST model is a spatially integrated modelling tool that allows us to predict changes in ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation and commodity production levels. Here, InVEST model is applied to a stakeholder-defined scenario of land-use/land-cover change in a Mediterranean region basin (the Llobregat basin, Catalonia, Spain). Of all InVEST modules and sub-modules, only the behaviour of the water provisioning one is investigated in this article. The main novel aspect of this work is the sensitivity analysis (SA) carried out to the InVEST model in order to determine the variability of the model response when the values of three of its main coefficients: Z (seasonal precipitation distribution), prec (annual precipitation) and eto (annual evapotranspiration), change. The SA technique used here is a One-At-a-Time (OAT) screening method known as Morris method, applied over each one of the one hundred and fifty four sub-watersheds in which the Llobregat River basin is divided. As a result, this method provides three sensitivity indices for each one of the sub-watersheds under consideration, which are mapped to study how they are spatially distributed. From their analysis, the study shows that, in the case under consideration and between the limits considered for each factor, the effect of the Z coefficient on the model response is negligible, while the other two need to be accurately determined in order to obtain precise output variables. The results of this study will be applicable to the others watersheds assessed in the Consolider Scarce Project.

  4. Mapping Ecosystem Services in the Jordan Valley, Jordan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luz, Ana; Marques, Ana; Ribeiro, Inês; Alho, Maria; Catarina Afonso, Ana; Almeida, Erika; Branquinho, Cristina; Talozi, Samer; Pinho, Pedro

    2016-04-01

    In the last decade researchers started using ecosystem services as a new framework to understand the relationships between environment and society. Habitat quality and water quality are related with ecosystem services regulation and maintenance, or even provision. According to the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) both habitat quality and water quality are associated with lifecycle maintenance, habitat and gene pool protection, and water conditions, among others. As there is increased pressure on habitats and rivers especially for agricultural development, mapping and evaluating habitat and water quality has important implications for resource management and conservation, as well as for rural development. Here, we model and map habitat and water quality in the Jordan Valley, Jordan. In this study, we aim to identify and analyse ecosystem services both through 1) habitat quality and 2) water quality modelling using InVest, an integrated valuation of ecosystem services and tradeoffs. The data used in this study mainly includes the LULC, Jordan River watershed and main threats and pollutants in the study area, such as agriculture, industry, fish farms and urbanization. Results suggest a higher pressure on natural habitats in the Northern region of the Jordan Valley, where industry is dominant. Agriculture is present along the Jordan Valley and limits the few natural forested areas. Further, water pollution is mainly concentrated in disposal sites due to the low flow of the Jordan River. Our results can help to identify areas where natural resources and water resource management is most needed in the Jordan Valley. Acknowledgements: Transbasin FP7 project

  5. Strengthening protected areas for biodiversity and ecosystem services in China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Weihua; Xiao, Yi; Zhang, Jingjing; Zhang, Lu; Hull, Vanessa; Wang, Zhi; Zheng, Hua; Polasky, Stephen; Jiang, Ling; Xiao, Yang; Shi, Xuewei; Rao, Enming; Lu, Fei; Wang, Xiaoke; Daily, Gretchen C.; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2017-01-01

    Recent expansion of the scale of human activities poses severe threats to Earth’s life-support systems. Increasingly, protected areas (PAs) are expected to serve dual goals: protect biodiversity and secure ecosystem services. We report a nationwide assessment for China, quantifying the provision of threatened species habitat and four key regulating services—water retention, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, and carbon sequestration—in nature reserves (the primary category of PAs in China). We find that China’s nature reserves serve moderately well for mammals and birds, but not for other major taxa, nor for these key regulating ecosystem services. China’s nature reserves encompass 15.1% of the country’s land surface. They capture 17.9% and 16.4% of the entire habitat area for threatened mammals and birds, but only 13.1% for plants, 10.0% for amphibians, and 8.5% for reptiles. Nature reserves encompass only 10.2–12.5% of the source areas for the four key regulating services. They are concentrated in western China, whereas much threatened species’ habitat and regulating service source areas occur in eastern provinces. Our analysis illuminates a strategy for greatly strengthening PAs, through creating the first comprehensive national park system of China. This would encompass both nature reserves, in which human activities are highly restricted, and a new category of PAs for ecosystem services, in which human activities not impacting key services are permitted. This could close the gap in a politically feasible way. We also propose a new category of PAs globally, for sustaining the provision of ecosystems services and achieving sustainable development goals. PMID:28137858

  6. The impact of chemical pollution on biodiversity and ecosystem services: the need for an improved understanding

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) provided a framework that acknowledges biodiversity as one key factor for ensuring the continuous supply of ecosystem services, facilitating ecosystem stability and consequently as a critical basis for sustainable development. The close...

  7. [Evaluation of ecosystem provisioning service and its economic value].

    PubMed

    Wu, Nan; Gao, Ji-Xi; Sudebilige; Ricketts, Taylor H; Olwero, Nasser; Luo, Zun-Lan

    2010-02-01

    Aiming at the fact that the current approaches of evaluating the efficacy of ecosystem provisioning service were lack of spatial information and did not take the accessibility of products into account, this paper established an evaluation model to simulate the spatial distribution of ecosystem provisioning service and its economic value, based on ArcGIS 9. 2 and taking the supply and demand factors of ecosystem products into account. The provision of timber product in Laojunshan in 2000 was analyzed with the model. In 2000, the total physical quantity of the timber' s provisioning service in Laojunshan was 11.12 x 10(4) m3 x a(-1), occupying 3.2% of the total increment of timber stock volume. The total provisioning service value of timber was 6669.27 x 10(4) yuan, among which, coniferous forest contributed most (90.41%). Due to the denser distribution of populations and roads in the eastern area of Laojunshan, some parts of the area being located outside of conservancy district, and forests being in scattered distribution, the spatial distribution pattern of the physical quantity of timber's provisioning service was higher in the eastern than in the western area.

  8. Adaptive governance to promote ecosystem services in urban ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Managing urban green space as part of an ongoing social-ecological transformationposes novel governance issues, particularly in post-industrial settings. Urban green spaces operate as small-scale nodes in larger networks of ecological reserves that provide and maintain key ecosystem services such as pollination, water retention and infiltration, and sustainable food production. In an urban mosaic, a myriad of social and ecological components factor into aggregating and managing land to maintain or increase the flow of ecosystem services associated with green spaces. Vacant lots (a form of urban green space) are being repurposed for multiple functions, such as habitat for biodiversity, including arthropods that provide pollination services to other green areas; to capture urban runoff that eases the burden on ageing wastewater systems and other civic infrastructure; and to reduce urban heat island effects. Urban green spaces provide vital ecosystem services at varying degrees, depending on the size, function, and management of these spaces. Governance of linked social-ecological systems to maximize those services poses unique challenges given the uncertainty of ecological responses and the social political complexity of managing ecological resources in an urban context where fiscal and human resources are strained. In North America, many cities are facing fiscal austerity because of shrinkage in manufacturing and industrial sectors and the foreclosure crisis. As

  9. The impact of projected increases in urbanization on ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Eigenbrod, F.; Bell, V. A.; Davies, H. N.; Heinemeyer, A.; Armsworth, P. R.; Gaston, K. J.

    2011-01-01

    Alteration in land use is likely to be a major driver of changes in the distribution of ecosystem services before 2050. In Europe, urbanization will probably be the main cause of land-use change. This increase in urbanization will result in spatial shifts in both supplies of ecosystem services and the beneficiaries of those services; the net outcome of such shifts remains to be determined. Here, we model changes in urban land cover in Britain based on large (16%) projected increases in the human population by 2031, and the consequences for three different services—flood mitigation, agricultural production and carbon storage. We show that under a scenario of densification of urban areas, the combined effect of increasing population and loss of permeable surfaces is likely to result in 1.7 million people living within 1 km of rivers with at least 10 per cent increases in projected peak flows, but that increasing suburban ‘sprawl’ will have little effect on flood mitigation services. Conversely, losses of stored carbon and agricultural production are over three times as high under the sprawl as under the ‘densification’ urban growth scenarios. Our results illustrate the challenges of meeting, but also of predicting, future demands and patterns of ecosystem services in the face of increasing urbanization. PMID:21389035

  10. The current state of knowledge of ecosystems and ecosystem services in Russia: A status report.

    PubMed

    Bukvareva, Elena N; Grunewald, Karsten; Bobylev, Sergey N; Zamolodchikov, Dimitry G; Zimenko, Alexey V; Bastian, Olaf

    2015-10-01

    This paper focusses on a conceptual overview of ways to address a comprehensive analysis of ecosystem services (ES) in a country as large and heterogeneous as Russia. As a first step, a methodology for assessing the services for the federal subjects of Russia was chosen, i.e., its constituent provinces and similar entities, in physical terms. Russia harbors a great diversity of natural conditions and ecosystems which are suppliers of ES, and likewise a variety of the socio-economic conditions that shape the demand for these services and their consumption. The methodological approach described permits several important tasks to be addressed: the evaluation of the degree of satisfaction of people's needs for ES, the identification of ecological donor and acceptor regions, and zoning of the country's territory for ES assessment. The next step is to prepare a prototype of a National Report on ES in Russia, for which we are presenting the planned structure.

  11. Marine regime shifts: drivers and impacts on ecosystems services

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, J.; Yletyinen, J.; Biggs, R.; Blenckner, T.; Peterson, G.

    2015-01-01

    Marine ecosystems can experience regime shifts, in which they shift from being organized around one set of mutually reinforcing structures and processes to another. Anthropogenic global change has broadly increased a wide variety of processes that can drive regime shifts. To assess the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to such shifts and their potential consequences, we reviewed the scientific literature for 13 types of marine regime shifts and used networks to conduct an analysis of co-occurrence of drivers and ecosystem service impacts. We found that regime shifts are caused by multiple drivers and have multiple consequences that co-occur in a non-random pattern. Drivers related to food production, climate change and coastal development are the most common co-occurring causes of regime shifts, while cultural services, biodiversity and primary production are the most common cluster of ecosystem services affected. These clusters prioritize sets of drivers for management and highlight the need for coordinated actions across multiple drivers and scales to reduce the risk of marine regime shifts. Managerial strategies are likely to fail if they only address well-understood or data-rich variables, and international cooperation and polycentric institutions will be critical to implement and coordinate action across the scales at which different drivers operate. By better understanding these underlying patterns, we hope to inform the development of managerial strategies to reduce the risk of high-impact marine regime shifts, especially for areas of the world where data are not available or monitoring programmes are not in place.

  12. Representation of ecosystem services by terrestrial protected areas: Chile as a case study.

    PubMed

    Durán, América P; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species' distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system.

  13. Representation of Ecosystem Services by Terrestrial Protected Areas: Chile as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Durán, América P.; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species’ distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system. PMID:24376559

  14. Bundling ecosystem services in the Panama Canal watershed.

    PubMed

    Simonit, Silvio; Perrings, Charles

    2013-06-04

    Land cover change in watersheds affects the supply of a number of ecosystem services, including water supply, the production of timber and nontimber forest products, the provision of habitat for forest species, and climate regulation through carbon sequestration. The Panama Canal watershed is currently being reforested to protect the dry-season flows needed for Canal operations. Whether reforestation of the watershed is desirable depends on its impacts on all services. We develop a spatially explicit model to evaluate the implications of reforestation both for water flows and for other services. We find that reforestation does not necessarily increase water supply, but does increase carbon sequestration and timber production.

  15. Bundling ecosystem services in the Panama Canal watershed

    PubMed Central

    Simonit, Silvio; Perrings, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Land cover change in watersheds affects the supply of a number of ecosystem services, including water supply, the production of timber and nontimber forest products, the provision of habitat for forest species, and climate regulation through carbon sequestration. The Panama Canal watershed is currently being reforested to protect the dry-season flows needed for Canal operations. Whether reforestation of the watershed is desirable depends on its impacts on all services. We develop a spatially explicit model to evaluate the implications of reforestation both for water flows and for other services. We find that reforestation does not necessarily increase water supply, but does increase carbon sequestration and timber production. PMID:23690598

  16. Geohazards and Poverty: An Ecosystem Services Approach in Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutton, C.; Nicholls, R. J.; Lazar, A.

    2014-12-01

    The Ecosystem Services (ES) of river deltas often support high population densities, estimated at over 500 million people globally, with particular concentrations in South, South-East and East Asia and Africa. Further, a large proportion of delta populations experience extremes of poverty and are highly vulnerable to the environmental and ecological stress and degradation that is occurring. A systems dynamics approach is adopted to provide policy makers with the knowledge and tools to enable them to evaluate the effects of Geohazards and environmental stressors and associated policy decisions on people's livelihoods (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation - ESPA Deltas). This is done by a multidisciplinary and multi-national team of policy analysts, social and natural scientists and engineers. The work presents a participatory approach to formally evaluating ecosystem services and poverty in the context of the wide range of environmetnal stressors and hazards. These changes include subsidence and sea level rise, land degradation and population pressure in delta regions. The approach will be developed, tested and applied in coastal Bangladesh. Rural livelihoods are inextricably linked with the natural ecosystems and low income farmers are highly vulnerable to changes in ecosystem services as they are impacted by geohazards and environmental stressors. Their health, wellbeing and financial security are under threat from many directions such as unreliable supplies of clean water, increasing salinisation of soils and flood, while in the longer term they are threatened by subsidence and sea-level rise. This study will contribute to the understanding of this present vulnerability and help the people who develop the relevant policy to make more informed choices about how best to reduce this vulnerability.

  17. Assessing the ecosystem service potential of Tucson AZ's urban forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M.

    2011-12-01

    Urbanization is arguably one of the most dramatic forms of landscape change, and an important anthropogenic influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Cities have obvious impacts on local ecologies and environments, such as shifts in species diversity and alteration of local microclimates. While scientists are now familiar with many of these localized impacts of urbanization, cities and suburban areas contribute to 10-15 % of surface land cover in the conterminous U.S., pointing to the potential, yet poorly understood, contribution of cities to regional, national, and global carbon (C) and energy budgets. As cities continue to expand urban ecologists place more emphasis on understanding the functions of urban ecosystems and the ecosystem services (e.g. habitat, air, and water quality) that cities provide. While studies demonstrate that the urban environment alters the structure and function of remnant patches of native ecosystems relative to their non-urban counterparts, the ability of restoration, planning, and design to improve the provision of ecosystem services is a new approach within ecology. One strategy involves green urban design, or using ecological principles for planning or reinvigorating certain ecological processes, in cities. Increasing the amount of vegetative cover can reduce this effect by reinforcing ecosystem services in cities, including shading of surfaces, promotion of cooling through evapotranspiration, and the sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in plant tissues and soils. However, the on-the-ground reality of such strategies is relatively unknown. A pilot study is being conducted in Tucson, AZ to investigate the impact of increasing the cover of trees in the urban landscape on local microclimates and the urban heat island. Trees (Velvet Mesquite, Chilean Mesquite, and Desert Willow) were planted in two neighborhoods in Tucson in 1990. We are collecting data during the summer 2011 monsoon (DBH, crown volume, and hemispherical

  18. Earth Observation Data for Mapping and Evaluation of Ecosystem Services to Improve Human Livelihoods and Conserve Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Aurelie C.; Bhagabati, Nirmal

    2010-12-01

    Mapping and evaluating ecosystem services is of increasing concern and urgency for conservation organizations such as WWF. Coupling biodiversity assessments with ecosystem services e.g., carbon sequestration, water regulation, sediment reduction, is an effective way to visualize additional financial and human benefits of conservation for decision makers. WWF is eager to apply various Earth Observation data to conservation applications for consistent mapping and monitoring of natural ecosystems and the potential impacts of their loss on humans and wildlife alike. Such examples include forest carbon mapping, integrated evaluation of ecosystem services (via the InVEST tool) and bundling endangered Tiger habitat with various ecosystem services for bundled benefits.

  19. Strategic Communication and its Utility in Ecosystem Service ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The field of Strategic Communication involves a focused effort to identify, develop, and present multiple types of communication media on a given subject. A Strategic Communication program recognizes the limitations of the most common communication models (primarily “one size fits all” and “presenting everything and letting the audience decide what is important”) and specifically focuses on building a communication framework that is composed of three interlinked pillars: message – Identifying the right content for a given audience and a vehicle; audience – Identify the right target group for a given message and vehicle; vehicle – Identifying the right types of media for a given message and audience. In addition to serving as an organizational framework, the physical structure of a Strategic Communication plan also can serve as a way to show an audience where they, the message, and vehicle fit into the larger picture (i.e., “you are here”). This presentation will explore the process of designing a Strategic Communication plan and examine some examples of its utility in the field of ecosystem services science. Ideally, a strategic communication matrix can be utilized to identify and access the materials of interest for any given activity (i.e., avoids the need to recreate materials or use the wrong materials for the wrong audience). Challenges in implementation will also be explored. Abstract for ACES conference

  20. Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Pérez-García, Juan M.; Moleón, Marcos; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Lazcano, Carolina; Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Margalida, Antoni; Donázar, José A.; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Global warming due to human-induced increments in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) is one of the most debated topics among environmentalists and politicians worldwide. In this paper we assess a novel source of GHG emissions emerged following a controversial policy decision. After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Europe, the sanitary regulation required that livestock carcasses were collected from farms and transformed or destroyed in authorised plants, contradicting not only the obligations of member states to conserve scavenger species but also generating unprecedented GHG emission. However, how much of this emission could be prevented in the return to traditional and natural scenario in which scavengers freely remove livestock carcasses is largely unknown. Here we show that, in Spain (home of 95% of European vultures), supplanting the natural removal of dead extensive livestock by scavengers with carcass collection and transport to intermediate and processing plants meant the emission of 77,344 metric tons of CO2 eq. to the atmosphere per year, in addition to annual payments of ca. $50 million to insurance companies. Thus, replacing the ecosystem services provided by scavengers has not only conservation costs, but also important and unnecessary environmental and economic costs.

  1. Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Pérez-García, Juan M.; Moleón, Marcos; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Lazcano, Carolina; Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Margalida, Antoni; Donázar, José A.; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Global warming due to human-induced increments in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) is one of the most debated topics among environmentalists and politicians worldwide. In this paper we assess a novel source of GHG emissions emerged following a controversial policy decision. After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Europe, the sanitary regulation required that livestock carcasses were collected from farms and transformed or destroyed in authorised plants, contradicting not only the obligations of member states to conserve scavenger species but also generating unprecedented GHG emission. However, how much of this emission could be prevented in the return to traditional and natural scenario in which scavengers freely remove livestock carcasses is largely unknown. Here we show that, in Spain (home of 95% of European vultures), supplanting the natural removal of dead extensive livestock by scavengers with carcass collection and transport to intermediate and processing plants meant the emission of 77,344 metric tons of CO2 eq. to the atmosphere per year, in addition to annual payments of ca. $50 million to insurance companies. Thus, replacing the ecosystem services provided by scavengers has not only conservation costs, but also important and unnecessary environmental and economic costs. PMID:25589381

  2. Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions.

    PubMed

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Pérez-García, Juan M; Moleón, Marcos; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Lazcano, Carolina; Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Margalida, Antoni; Donázar, José A; Sánchez-Zapata, José A

    2015-01-15

    Global warming due to human-induced increments in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) is one of the most debated topics among environmentalists and politicians worldwide. In this paper we assess a novel source of GHG emissions emerged following a controversial policy decision. After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Europe, the sanitary regulation required that livestock carcasses were collected from farms and transformed or destroyed in authorised plants, contradicting not only the obligations of member states to conserve scavenger species but also generating unprecedented GHG emission. However, how much of this emission could be prevented in the return to traditional and natural scenario in which scavengers freely remove livestock carcasses is largely unknown. Here we show that, in Spain (home of 95% of European vultures), supplanting the natural removal of dead extensive livestock by scavengers with carcass collection and transport to intermediate and processing plants meant the emission of 77,344 metric tons of CO2 eq. to the atmosphere per year, in addition to annual payments of ca. $50 million to insurance companies. Thus, replacing the ecosystem services provided by scavengers has not only conservation costs, but also important and unnecessary environmental and economic costs.

  3. Integrated modelling of ecosystem services and energy systems research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agarwala, Matthew; Lovett, Andrew; Bateman, Ian; Day, Brett; Agnolucci, Paolo; Ziv, Guy

    2016-04-01

    The UK Government is formally committed to reducing carbon emissions and protecting and improving natural capital and the environment. However, actually delivering on these objectives requires an integrated approach to addressing two parallel challenges: de-carbonising future energy system pathways; and safeguarding natural capital to ensure the continued flow of ecosystem services. Although both emphasise benefiting from natural resources, efforts to connect natural capital and energy systems research have been limited, meaning opportunities to improve management of natural resources and meet society's energy needs could be missed. The ecosystem services paradigm provides a consistent conceptual framework that applies in multiple disciplines across the natural and economic sciences, and facilitates collaboration between them. At the forefront of the field, integrated ecosystem service - economy models have guided public- and private-sector decision making at all levels. Models vary in sophistication from simple spreadsheet tools to complex software packages integrating biophysical, GIS and economic models and draw upon many fields, including ecology, hydrology, geography, systems theory, economics and the social sciences. They also differ in their ability to value changes in natural capital and ecosystem services at various spatial and temporal scales. Despite these differences, current models share a common feature: their treatment of energy systems is superficial at best. In contrast, energy systems research has no widely adopted, unifying conceptual framework that organises thinking about key system components and interactions. Instead, the literature is organised around modelling approaches, including life cycle analyses, econometric investigations, linear programming and computable general equilibrium models. However, some consistencies do emerge. First, often contain a linear set of steps, from exploration to resource supply, fuel processing, conversion

  4. Future scenarios of impacts to ecosystem services on California rangelands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Byrd, Kristin; Alvarez, Pelayo; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The 18 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley of California provide multiple benefits or “ecosystem services” to people—including wildlife habitat, water supply, open space, recreation, and cultural resources. Most of this land is privately owned and managed for livestock production. These rangelands are vulnerable to land-use conversion and climate change. To help resource managers assess the impacts of land-use change and climate change, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their cooperators developed scenarios to quantify and map changes to three main rangeland ecosystem services—wildlife habitat, water supply, and carbon sequestration. Project results will help prioritize strategies to conserve these rangelands and the ecosystem services that they provide.

  5. Ecosystem goods and services from Swedish coastal habitats: identification, valuation, and implications of ecosystem shifts.

    PubMed

    Rönnbäck, Patrik; Kautsky, Nils; Pihl, Leif; Troell, Max; Söderqvist, Tore; Wennhage, Håkan

    2007-11-01

    Coastal areas are exposed to a variety of threats due to high population densities and rapid economic development. How will this affect human welfare and our dependence on nature's capacity to provide ecosystem goods and services? This paper is original in evaluating this concern for major habitats (macroalgae, seagrasses, blue mussel beds, and unvegetated soft bottoms) in a temperate coastal setting. More than 40 categories of goods and services are classified into provisional, regulating, and cultural services. A wide variety of Swedish examples is described for each category, including accounts of economic values and the relative importance of different habitats. For example, distinguishing characteristics would be the exceptional importance of blue mussels for mitigation of eutrophication, sandy soft bottoms for recreational uses, and seagrasses and macroalgae for fisheries production and control of wave and current energy. Net changes in the provision of goods and services are evaluated for three cases of observed coastal ecosystem shifts: i) seagrass beds into unvegetated substrate; ii) unvegetated shallow soft bottoms into filamentous algal mat dominance; and iii) macroalgae into mussel beds on hard substrate. The results are discussed in a management context including accounts of biodiversity, interconnectedness of ecosystems, and potential of economic valuation.

  6. WHERE IS THE CONSENSUS? A PROPOSED FOUNDATION FOR MOVING ECOSYSTEM SERVICE CONCEPTS INTO PRACTICE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inconsistency with terms, definitions, and classifications hinders the advancement of the study and application of ecosystem services. A unified approach among the many disciplines that are involved in researching and implementing ecosystem services is imperative to moving conce...

  7. Content analysis to document publicly valued ecosystem services of rivers and streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    While much ecosystem services research focuses on analysis such as mapping and/or valuation, fewer research efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. Ecosystem service monitoring and analysis efforts and communications ...

  8. Quantifying and Mapping Habitat-Based Biodiversity Metrics Within an Ecosystem Services Framework

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with econom...

  9. Modeling ecosystem service tradeoffs for alternative land use and climate scenarios

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scientists, policymakers, community planners and others have discussed ecosystem services for decades, however, society is still in the early stages of developing methodologies to quantify and value the goods and services that ecosystems provide. Essential to this goal are highly...

  10. [Research progress on wetland ecosystem service and its valuation].

    PubMed

    Fu, Jiao-Yan; Ding, Zhen-Hua

    2007-03-01

    With the recognition on the significance of wetland, wetland ecosystem service was come under more and more attention, and its valuation could give the policymakers a scientific support in punishing wetland destroyers and compensating its losers. This paper introduced the definitions of wetland ecosystem service, its function and value, summarized their valuation approaches, including market value approach, production function method, opportunity cost approach, shadow project approach, productivity variety approach, human capital approach, travel cost approach, hedonic value approach, contingent value approach and ecological value approach, and discussed the factors affecting the valuation results of these approaches as well as the existing problems in related researches. The further research directions in these fields were also prospected.

  11. Identifying priority areas for ecosystem service management in South African grasslands.

    PubMed

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning.

  12. Exploring the Capacity of Water Framework Directive Indices to Assess Ecosystem Services in Fluvial and Riparian Systems: Towards a Second Implementation Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidal-Abarca, M. R.; Santos-Martín, F.; Martín-López, B.; Sánchez-Montoya, M. M.; Suárez Alonso, M. L.

    2016-06-01

    We explored the capacity of the biological and hydromorphological indices used in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) to assess ecosystem services by evaluating the ecological status of Spanish River Basins. This analysis relies on an exhaustive bibliography review which showed scientific evidence of the interlinkages between some ecosystem services and different hydromorphological and biological elements which have been used as indices in the WFD. Our findings indicate that, of a total of 38 ecosystem services analyzed, biological and hydromorphological indices can fully evaluate four ecosystem services. In addition, 18 ecosystem services can be partly evaluated by some of the analyzed indices, while 11 are not related with the indices. While Riparian Forest Quality was the index that was able to assess the largest number of ecosystem services ( N = 12), the two indices of macrophytes offered very poor guarantees. Finally, biological indices related to diatoms and aquatic invertebrates and the Fluvial Habitat Index can be related with 7, 6, and 6 ecosystem services, respectively. Because the WFD indices currently used in Spain are not able to assess most of the ecosystem services analyzed, we suggest that there is potential to develop the second phase of the WFD implementation taking this approach into consideration. The incorporation of the ecosystem services approach into the WFD could provide the framework for assess the impacts of human activities on the quality of fluvial ecosystems and could give insights for water and watershed management in order to guarantee the delivery of multiple ecosystem services.

  13. Ecosystem Decision Support: A Living Database of Existing Tools, Approaches and Techniques for Supporting Decisions Related to Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Planners and decision makers are challenged to consider not only direct market costs, but also ecological externalities. There is an increasing emphasis on ecosystem services in the context of human well-being, and therefore the valuation and accounting of ecosystem services is b...

  14. Linking ecosystem service supply to stakeholder concerns on ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Policies to protect coastal resources may lead to greater social, economic, and ecological returns when they consider potential co-benefits and trade-offs on land. In Guánica Bay watershed, Puerto Rico, a watershed management plan is being implemented to restore declining quality of coral reefs due to sediment and nutrient runoff. However, recent stakeholder workshops indicated uncertainty about benefits for the local community. A total of 19 metrics were identified to capture stakeholder concerns, including 15 terrestrial ecosystem services in the watershed and 4 metrics in the coastal zone. Ecosystem service production functions were applied to quantify and map ecosystem service supply in 1) the Guánica Bay watershed and 2) a highly engineered upper multi-watershed area connected to the lower watershed via a series of reservoirs and tunnels. These two watersheds were compared to other watersheds in Puerto Rico. Relative to other watersheds, the Upper Guánica watershed had high air pollutant removal rates, forest habitat area, biodiversity of charismatic and endangered species, but low farmland quality and low sediment retention. The Lower Guánica watershed had high rates of denitrification and high levels of marine-based recreational and fishing opportunities compared to other watersheds, but moderate to low air pollutant removal, soil carbon content, sediment and nutrient retention, and terrestrial biodiversity. Our results suggest that actions in the wat

  15. Realizing ecosystem services: wetland hydrologic function along a gradient of ecosystem condition.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Daniel L; Cohen, Matthew J

    2013-10-01

    Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, from habitat provision to pollutant removal, floodwater storage, and microclimate regulation. Delivery of particular services relies on specific ecological functions, and thus to varying degree on wetland ecological condition, commonly quantified as departure from minimally impacted reference sites. Condition assessments are widely adopted as regulatory indicators of ecosystem function, and for some services (e.g., habitat) links between condition and function are often direct. For others, however, links are more tenuous, and using condition alone to enumerate ecosystem value (e.g., for compensatory mitigation) may underestimate important services. Hydrologic function affects many services cited in support of wetland protection both directly (floodwater retention, microclimate regulation) and indirectly (biogeochemical cycling, pollutant removal). We investigated links between condition and hydrologic function to test the hypothesis, embedded in regulatory assessment of wetland value, that condition predicts function. Condition was assessed using rapid and intensive approaches, including Florida's official wetland assessment tool, in 11 isolated forested wetlands in north Florida (USA) spanning a land use intensity gradient. Hydrologic function was assessed using hydrologic regime (mean, variance, and rates of change of water depth), and measurements of groundwater exchange and evapotranspiration (ET). Despite a wide range in condition, no systematic variation in hydrologic regime was observed; indeed reference sites spanned the full range of variation. In contrast, ET was affected by land use, with higher rates in intensive (agriculture and urban) landscapes in response to higher leaf area. ET determines latent heat exchange, which regulates microclimate, a valuable service in urban heat islands. Higher ET also indicates higher productivity and thus carbon cycling. Groundwater exchange regularly reversed flow direction

  16. 76 FR 29783 - Agency Information Collection: Comment Request; The State of Ecosystem Services Implementation...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-23

    ... Geological Survey Agency Information Collection: Comment Request; The State of Ecosystem Services... (ICR) for a new collection of information: The State of Ecosystem Services Implementation Survey. This...). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract Ecosystem goods and services are defined by ecologists as the...

  17. A Binary Approach to Define and Classify Final Ecosystem Goods and Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services literature decries the lack of consistency and standards in the application of ecosystem services as well as the inability of current approaches to explicitly link ecosystem services to human well-being. Recently, SEEA and CICES have conceptually identifie...

  18. Modeling Ecosystem Services in an Arid Landscape Using the InVEST Tool

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper we describe the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Southwest Ecosystem Services Program (SwESP) initial efforts to use the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) tool to quantify and map the values of multiple ecosystem services in the S...

  19. The Influence of Groundwater Depletion from Irrigated Agriculture on the Tradeoffs between Ecosystem Services and Economic Returns.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Kent; West, Grant

    2016-01-01

    An irrigated agricultural landscape experiencing groundwater overdraft generates economic returns and a suite of ecosystem services (in particular, groundwater supply, greenhouse gases reduction, and surface water quality). Alternative land cover choices indicate tradeoffs among the value of ecosystem services created and the economic returns. These tradeoffs are explored using efficiency frontiers that determine the least value in ecosystem services that must be given up to generate additional economic returns. Agricultural producers may switch to irrigation with surface water using on-farm reservoirs and tail water recovery systems in response to groundwater overdraft, and this has consequences for the bundle of ecosystem service values and economic returns achievable from the landscape. Planning that accounts for both ecosystem service value and economic returns can achieve more value for society, as does the adoption of reservoirs though lowering the costs of irrigation, increasing groundwater levels, and reducing fuel combustion and associated GHG emissions from groundwater pumping. Sensitivity analyses of per unit value of ecosystem services, crop prices, and the groundwater and water purification model parameters indicate tradeoff among ecosystems service values, such as the use of a high-end social cost of carbon ultimately lowers groundwater supply and water purification value by more than 15%.

  20. The Influence of Groundwater Depletion from Irrigated Agriculture on the Tradeoffs between Ecosystem Services and Economic Returns

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Kent; West, Grant

    2016-01-01

    An irrigated agricultural landscape experiencing groundwater overdraft generates economic returns and a suite of ecosystem services (in particular, groundwater supply, greenhouse gases reduction, and surface water quality). Alternative land cover choices indicate tradeoffs among the value of ecosystem services created and the economic returns. These tradeoffs are explored using efficiency frontiers that determine the least value in ecosystem services that must be given up to generate additional economic returns. Agricultural producers may switch to irrigation with surface water using on-farm reservoirs and tail water recovery systems in response to groundwater overdraft, and this has consequences for the bundle of ecosystem service values and economic returns achievable from the landscape. Planning that accounts for both ecosystem service value and economic returns can achieve more value for society, as does the adoption of reservoirs though lowering the costs of irrigation, increasing groundwater levels, and reducing fuel combustion and associated GHG emissions from groundwater pumping. Sensitivity analyses of per unit value of ecosystem services, crop prices, and the groundwater and water purification model parameters indicate tradeoff among ecosystems service values, such as the use of a high-end social cost of carbon ultimately lowers groundwater supply and water purification value by more than 15%. PMID:28033405

  1. 42 CFR 410.64 - Additional preventive services.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Additional preventive services. 410.64 Section 410... Additional preventive services. (a) Medicare Part B pays for additional preventive services not described in paragraph (1) or (3) of the definition of “preventive services” under § 410.2, that identify...

  2. Web services for ecosystem services management and poverty alleviation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buytaert, W.; Baez, S.; Veliz Rosas, C.

    2011-12-01

    Over the last decades, near real-time environmental observation, technical advances in computer power and cyber-infrastructure, and the development of environmental software algorithms have increased dramatically. The integration of these evolutions is one of the major challenges of the next decade for environmental sciences. Worldwide, many coordinated activities are ongoing to make this integration a reality. However, far less attention is paid to the question of how these developments can benefit environmental services management in a poverty alleviation context. Such projects are typically faced with issues of large predictive uncertainties, limited resources, limited local scientific capacity. At the same time, the complexity of the socio-economic contexts requires a very strong bottom-up oriented and interdisciplinary approach to environmental data collection and processing. Here, we present the results of two projects on integrated environmental monitoring and scenario analysis aimed at poverty alleviation in the Peruvian Andes and Amazon. In the upper Andean highlands, farmers are monitoring the water cycle of headwater catchments to analyse the impact of land-use changes on stream flow and potential consequences for downstream irrigation. In the Amazon, local communities are monitoring the dynamics of turtle populations and their relations with river levels. In both cases, the use of online databases and web processing services enable real-time analysis of the data and scenario analysis. The system provides both physical and social indicators to assess the impact of land-use management options on local socio-economic development.

  3. 45 CFR 400.106 - Additional services.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM Refugee Medical... State or locality through public facilities, such as county hospitals, the State may provide to...

  4. 45 CFR 400.106 - Additional services.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM Refugee Medical... State or locality through public facilities, such as county hospitals, the State may provide to...

  5. 45 CFR 400.106 - Additional services.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM Refugee Medical... State or locality through public facilities, such as county hospitals, the State may provide to...

  6. 45 CFR 400.106 - Additional services.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM Refugee Medical... State or locality through public facilities, such as county hospitals, the State may provide to...

  7. 45 CFR 400.106 - Additional services.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT, ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM Refugee Medical... State or locality through public facilities, such as county hospitals, the State may provide to...

  8. Aiding GPS With Additional Satellite Navigation Services

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    10 FDMA Frequency Division Multiple Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 GBCC Ground Based Control Complex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11...Precision Service (HPS), which is like PPS in GPS. GLONASS uses Frequency Division Multiple Access ( FDMA ) unlike the CDMA used in GPS. Every GLONASS...GLONASS uses FDMA , its receiver design is more costly compared to GPS. The GLONASS user segment is small and located primarily in Russia. There are

  9. Ecohydrology frameworks for green infrastructure design and ecosystem service provision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Knerl, A.; Barron-Gafford, G.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization is a dominant form of landscape change that affects the structure and function of ecosystems and alters control points in biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. Green infrastructure (GI) has been proposed as a solution to many urban environmental challenges and may be a way to manage biogeochemical control points. Despite this promise, there has been relatively limited empirical focus to evaluate the efficacy of GI, relationships between design and function, and the ability of GI to provide ecosystem services in cities. This work has been driven by goals of adapting GI approaches to dryland cities and to harvest rain and storm water for providing ecosystem services related to storm water management and urban heat island mitigation, as well as other co-benefits. We will present a modification of ecohydrologic theory for guiding the design and function of green infrastructure for dryland systems that highlights how GI functions in context of Trigger - Transfer - Reserve - Pulse (TTRP) dynamic framework. Here we also apply this TTRP framework to observations of established street-scape green infrastructure in Tucson, AZ, and an experimental installation of green infrastructure basins on the campus of Biosphere 2 (Oracle, AZ) where we have been measuring plant performance and soil biogeochemical functions. We found variable sensitivity of microbial activity, soil respiration, N-mineralization, photosynthesis and respiration that was mediated both by elements of basin design (soil texture and composition, choice of surface mulches) and antecedent precipitation inputs and soil moisture conditions. The adapted TTRP framework and field studies suggest that there are strong connections between design and function that have implications for stormwater management and ecosystem service provision in dryland cities.

  10. Mapping Urban Ecosystem Services Using High Resolution Aerial Photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilant, A. N.; Neale, A.; Wilhelm, D.

    2010-12-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature: e.g., clean air and water, food and fiber, cultural-aesthetic-recreational benefits, pollination and flood control. The ES concept is emerging as a means of integrating complex environmental and economic information to support informed environmental decision making. The US EPA is developing a web-based National Atlas of Ecosystem Services, with a component for urban ecosystems. Currently, the only wall-to-wall, national scale land cover data suitable for this analysis is the National Land Cover Data (NLCD) at 30 m spatial resolution with 5 and 10 year updates. However, aerial photography is acquired at higher spatial resolution (0.5-3 m) and more frequently (1-5 years, typically) for most urban areas. Land cover was mapped in Raleigh, NC using freely available USDA National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) with 1 m ground sample distance to test the suitability of aerial photography for urban ES analysis. Automated feature extraction techniques were used to extract five land cover classes, and an accuracy assessment was performed using standard techniques. Results will be presented that demonstrate applications to mapping ES in urban environments: greenways, corridors, fragmentation, habitat, impervious surfaces, dark and light pavement (urban heat island). Automated feature extraction results mapped over NAIP color aerial photograph. At this scale, we can look at land cover and related ecosystem services at the 2-10 m scale. Small features such as individual trees and sidewalks are visible and mappable. Classified aerial photo of Downtown Raleigh NC Red: impervious surface Dark Green: trees Light Green: grass Tan: soil

  11. Ecosystem Services in the Restoration of Wetlands in the Humberhead Levels, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orgill, Katharine; Moggridge, Helen

    2016-04-01

    The Humberhead Levels (HHL) are undergoing landscape scale wetland restoration after decades of degradation, managed by a partnership involving a range of stakeholders. The concept of ecosystem services is one of the main drivers of where to restore wetlands in this landscape. Through the human lead restoration, specific ecosystem services will be delivered and protected within the landscape. A range of ecosystem services have been mapped and modelled for the HHL, using secondary data from a range of organisations and the InVEST model (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs). The services include carbon storage and flood mitigation. This information will then be used to inform potential restoration decisions for the landscape, whilst also improving the ecosystem services. This will provide valuable information not just for the Humberhead Levels Partnership, but increase the understanding of ecosystem services for wetland research and as a useful example for including ecosystem services in landscape scale restoration plans.

  12. Biodiversity, photosynthetic mode, and ecosystem services differ between native and novel ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Martin, Leanne M; Polley, H Wayne; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Harris, Mary A; Wilsey, Brian J

    2014-06-01

    Human activities have caused non-native plant species with novel ecological interactions to persist on landscapes, and it remains controversial whether these species alter multiple aspects of communities and ecosystems. We tested whether native and exotic grasslands differ in species diversity, ecosystem services, and an important aspect of functional diversity (C3:C4 proportions) by sampling 42 sites along a latitudinal gradient and conducting a controlled experiment. Exotic-dominated grasslands had drastically lower plant diversity and slightly higher tissue N concentrations and forage quality compared to native-dominated sites. Exotic sites were strongly dominated by C4 species at southern and C3 species at northern latitudes with a sharp transition at 36-38°, whereas native sites contained C3:C4 mixtures. Large differences in C3:C4 proportions and temporal niche partitioning were found between native and exotic mixtures in the experiment, implying that differences in C3:C4 proportions along the latitudinal gradient are caused partially by species themselves. Our results indicate that the replacement of native- by exotic-dominated grasslands has created a management tradeoff (high diversity versus high levels of certain ecosystem services) and that models of global change impacts and C3/C4 distribution should consider effects of exotic species.

  13. Optimising UK urban road verge contributions to biodiversity and ecosystem services with cost-effective management.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, Odhran S; Holt, Alison R; Warren, Philip H; Evans, Karl L

    2017-04-15

    Urban road verges can contain significant biodiversity, contribute to structural connectivity between other urban greenspaces, and due to their proximity to road traffic are well placed to provide ecosystem services. Using the UK as a case study we review and critically evaluate a broad range of evidence to assess how this considerable potential can be enhanced despite financial, contractual and public opinion constraints. Reduced mowing frequency and other alterations would enhance biodiversity, aesthetics and pollination services, whilst delivering costs savings and potentially being publically acceptable. Retaining mature trees and planting additional ones is favourable to residents and would enhance biodiversity, pollution and climate regulation, carbon storage, and stormwater management. Optimising these services requires improved selection of tree species, and creating a more diverse tree stock. Due to establishment costs additional tree planting and maintenance could benefit from payment for ecosystem service schemes. Verges could also provide areas for cultivation of biofuels and possibly food production. Maximising the contribution of verges to urban biodiversity and ecosystem services is economical and becoming an increasingly urgent priority as the road network expands and other urban greenspace is lost, requiring enhancement of existing greenspace to facilitate sustainable urban development.

  14. Measuring effectiveness, efficiency and equity in an experimental Payments for Ecosystem Services trial.

    PubMed

    Martin, Adrian; Gross-Camp, Nicole; Kebede, Bereket; McGuire, Shawn

    2014-09-01

    There is currently a considerable effort to evaluate the performance of Payments for Ecosystem Services as an environmental management tool. The research presented here contributes to this work by using an experimental design to evaluate Payments for Ecosystem Services as a tool for supporting biodiversity conservation in the context of an African protected area. The trial employed a 'before and after' and 'with and without' design. We present the results of social and ecological surveys to investigate the impacts of the trial in terms of its effectiveness, efficiency and equity. We find the scheme to be effective at bringing about additional conservation outcomes. However, we also found that increased monitoring is similarly effective in the short term, at lower cost. The major difference - and arguably the significant contribution of the Payments for Ecosystem Services - was that it changed the motives for protecting the park and improved local perceptions both of the park and its authority. We discuss the implications of these results for conservation efficiency, arguing that efficiency should not be defined in terms of short-term cost-effectiveness, but also in terms of the sustainability of behavioral motives in the long term. This insight helps us to resolve the apparent trade-off between goals of equity and efficiency in Payments for Ecosystem Services.

  15. Freshwater Detention by Oyster Reefs: Quantifying a Keystone Ecosystem Service.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, David A; Olabarrieta, Maitane; Frederick, Peter; Valle-Levinson, Arnoldo

    2016-01-01

    Oyster reefs provide myriad ecosystem services, including water quality improvement, fisheries and other faunal support, shoreline protection from erosion and storm surge, and economic productivity. However, their role in directing flow during non-storm conditions has been largely neglected. In regions where oyster reefs form near the mouth of estuarine rivers, they likely alter ocean-estuary exchange by acting as fresh water "dams". We hypothesize that these reefs have the potential to detain fresh water and influence salinity over extensive areas, thus providing a "keystone" ecosystem service by supporting estuarine functions that rely on the maintenance of estuarine (i.e., brackish) conditions in the near-shore environment. In this work, we investigated the effects of shore-parallel reefs on estuarine salinity using field data and hydrodynamic modeling in a degraded reef complex in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Results suggested that freshwater detention by long linear chains of oyster reefs plays an important role in modulating salinities, not only in the oysters' local environment, but over extensive estuarine areas (tens of square kilometers). Field data confirmed the presence of salinity differences between landward and seaward sides of the reef, with long-term mean salinity differences of >30% between sides. Modeled results expanded experimental findings by illustrating how oyster reefs affect the lateral and offshore extent of freshwater influence. In general, the effects of simulated reefs were most pronounced when they were highest in elevation, without gaps, and when riverine discharge was low. Taken together, these results describe a poorly documented ecosystem service provided by oyster reefs; provide an estimate of the magnitude and spatial extent of this service; and offer quantitative information to help guide future oyster reef restoration.

  16. Freshwater Detention by Oyster Reefs: Quantifying a Keystone Ecosystem Service

    PubMed Central

    Olabarrieta, Maitane; Frederick, Peter; Valle-Levinson, Arnoldo

    2016-01-01

    Oyster reefs provide myriad ecosystem services, including water quality improvement, fisheries and other faunal support, shoreline protection from erosion and storm surge, and economic productivity. However, their role in directing flow during non-storm conditions has been largely neglected. In regions where oyster reefs form near the mouth of estuarine rivers, they likely alter ocean-estuary exchange by acting as fresh water “dams”. We hypothesize that these reefs have the potential to detain fresh water and influence salinity over extensive areas, thus providing a “keystone” ecosystem service by supporting estuarine functions that rely on the maintenance of estuarine (i.e., brackish) conditions in the near-shore environment. In this work, we investigated the effects of shore-parallel reefs on estuarine salinity using field data and hydrodynamic modeling in a degraded reef complex in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Results suggested that freshwater detention by long linear chains of oyster reefs plays an important role in modulating salinities, not only in the oysters’ local environment, but over extensive estuarine areas (tens of square kilometers). Field data confirmed the presence of salinity differences between landward and seaward sides of the reef, with long-term mean salinity differences of >30% between sides. Modeled results expanded experimental findings by illustrating how oyster reefs affect the lateral and offshore extent of freshwater influence. In general, the effects of simulated reefs were most pronounced when they were highest in elevation, without gaps, and when riverine discharge was low. Taken together, these results describe a poorly documented ecosystem service provided by oyster reefs; provide an estimate of the magnitude and spatial extent of this service; and offer quantitative information to help guide future oyster reef restoration. PMID:27936184

  17. Networking Our Way to Better Ecosystem Service Provision.

    PubMed

    2016-02-01

    The ecosystem services (EcoS) concept is being used increasingly to attach values to natural systems and the multiple benefits they provide to human societies. Ecosystem processes or functions only become EcoS if they are shown to have social and/or economic value. This should assure an explicit connection between the natural and social sciences, but EcoS approaches have been criticized for retaining little natural science. Preserving the natural, ecological science context within EcoS research is challenging because the multiple disciplines involved have very different traditions and vocabularies (common-language challenge) and span many organizational levels and temporal and spatial scales (scale challenge) that define the relevant interacting entities (interaction challenge). We propose a network-based approach to transcend these discipline challenges and place the natural science context at the heart of EcoS research.

  18. Evaluating ecosystem services provided by non-native species: an experimental test in California grasslands.

    PubMed

    Stein, Claudia; Hallett, Lauren M; Harpole, W Stanley; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services--the benefits that nature provides to human's society--has gained increasing attention over the past decade. Increasing global abiotic and biotic change, including species invasions, is threatening the secure delivery of these ecosystem services. Efficient evaluation methods of ecosystem services are urgently needed to improve our ability to determine management strategies and restoration goals in face of these new emerging ecosystems. Considering a range of multiple ecosystem functions may be a useful way to determine such strategies. We tested this framework experimentally in California grasslands, where large shifts in species composition have occurred since the late 1700's. We compared a suite of ecosystem functions within one historic native and two non-native species assemblages under different grazing intensities to address how different species assemblages vary in provisioning, regulatory and supporting ecosystem services. Forage production was reduced in one non-native assemblage (medusahead). Cultural ecosystem services, such as native species diversity, were inherently lower in both non-native assemblages, whereas most other services were maintained across grazing intensities. All systems provided similar ecosystem services under the highest grazing intensity treatment, which simulated unsustainable grazing intensity. We suggest that applying a more comprehensive ecosystem framework that considers multiple ecosystem services to evaluate new emerging ecosystems is a valuable tool to determine management goals and how to intervene in a changing ecosystem.

  19. Sustainable wetland management and support of ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Loren M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Brinson, Mark M.

    2009-01-01

    This article is a follow-up on a previous piece in the National Wetlands Newsletter in which we outlined problems associated with a static, local approach to wetland management versus an alternative that proposes a temporal and geomorphic approach (Euliss et al. 2009). We extend that concept by drawing on companion papers recently published in the journal Wetlands (Euliss et al. 2008, Smith et al. 2008). Here we highlight reasons for the failure of many managed wetlands to provide a suite of ecosystem services (e.g., carbon storage, diodiversity, ground-water recharge, contaminant filtering, floodwater storage). Our principal theme is that wetland management is best approached by giving consideration to the hydrogeomorphic processes that maintain productive ecosystems and by removing physical and social impediments to those processes. Traditional management actions are often oriented toward maintaining static conditions in wetlands without considering the temporal cycles that wetlands need to undergo or achieve productivity for specific groups of wildlife, such as waterfowl. Possibly more often, a manager's ability to influence hydrogeomorphic processes is restricted by activities in surrounding watersheds. These could be dams, for example, which do not allow management of flood-pulse processes essential to productivity of riparian systems. In most cases, sediments and nutrients associated with land use in contributing watersheds complicate management of wetlands for a suite of services, including wildlife. Economic or policy forces far-removed from a wetland often interact to prevent occurrence of basic ecosystem processes. Our message is consistent with recommendation of supply-side sustainability of Allen et al. (2002) in which ecosystems are managed "for the system that produces outputs rather than the outputs themselves."

  20. [Evaluation of ecosystem service and emergy of Wanshan Waters in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China].

    PubMed

    Qin, Chuan-xin; Chen, Pi-mao; Zhang, An-kai; Yuan, Hua; Li, Guo-ying; Shu, Li-ming; Zhou, Yan-bo; Li, Xiao-guo

    2015-06-01

    The method for monetary value and emergy value analysis of ecosystem service was used in this paper to analyze the change in value of marine ecosystem service of Wanshan District, Zhuhai from 2007 to 2012. The result showed that the monetary value and emergy value of marine ecosystem service of Wanshan District, Zhuhai rose to 11512840000 yuan and 1.97 x 10(22) sej from 7721630000 yuan and 1.04 x 10(22) sej, respectively. Both monetary value and emergy value could forecast the change in the value of marine ecosystem service, but they reflected different value structures and ecological energy, which could be used to more objectively evaluate the ecosystem service. Ecological civilization development, as an inherent driving force to impel the development of marine ecosystem service structure, was important for rational exploitation of marine resources and optimization of marine ecosystem service.

  1. Natural disturbance impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

    In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P < 0.001). Indicators of biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P < 0.001). Our analyses thus

  2. Ecosystem-service tradeoffs associated with switching from annual to perennial energy crops in riparian zones of the US Midwest.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Timothy D; Gratton, Claudio; Diehl, Erica; Hunt, Natalie D; Mooney, Daniel F; Ventura, Stephen J; Barham, Bradford L; Jackson, Randall D

    2013-01-01

    Integration of energy crops into agricultural landscapes could promote sustainability if they are placed in ways that foster multiple ecosystem services and mitigate ecosystem disservices from existing crops. We conducted a modeling study to investigate how replacing annual energy crops with perennial energy crops along Wisconsin waterways could affect a variety of provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. We found that a switch from continuous corn production to perennial-grass production decreased annual income provisioning by 75%, although it increased annual energy provisioning by 33%, decreased annual phosphorous loading to surface water by 29%, increased below-ground carbon sequestration by 30%, decreased annual nitrous oxide emissions by 84%, increased an index of pollinator abundance by an average of 11%, and increased an index of biocontrol potential by an average of 6%. We expressed the tradeoffs between income provisioning and other ecosystem services as benefit-cost ratios. Benefit-cost ratios averaged 12.06 GJ of additional net energy, 0.84 kg of avoided phosphorus pollution, 18.97 Mg of sequestered carbon, and 1.99 kg of avoided nitrous oxide emissions for every $1,000 reduction in income. These ratios varied spatially, from 2- to 70-fold depending on the ecosystem service. Benefit-cost ratios for different ecosystem services were generally correlated within watersheds, suggesting the presence of hotspots--watersheds where increases in multiple ecosystem services would come at lower-than-average opportunity costs. When assessing the monetary value of ecosystem services relative to existing conservation programs and environmental markets, the overall value of enhanced services associated with adoption of perennial energy crops was far lower than the opportunity cost. However, when we monitized services using estimates for the social costs of pollution, the value of enhanced services far exceeded the opportunity cost. This disparity between

  3. Ecosystem-Service Tradeoffs Associated with Switching from Annual to Perennial Energy Crops in Riparian Zones of the US Midwest

    PubMed Central

    Meehan, Timothy D.; Gratton, Claudio; Diehl, Erica; Hunt, Natalie D.; Mooney, Daniel F.; Ventura, Stephen J.; Barham, Bradford L.; Jackson, Randall D.

    2013-01-01

    Integration of energy crops into agricultural landscapes could promote sustainability if they are placed in ways that foster multiple ecosystem services and mitigate ecosystem disservices from existing crops. We conducted a modeling study to investigate how replacing annual energy crops with perennial energy crops along Wisconsin waterways could affect a variety of provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. We found that a switch from continuous corn production to perennial-grass production decreased annual income provisioning by 75%, although it increased annual energy provisioning by 33%, decreased annual phosphorous loading to surface water by 29%, increased below-ground carbon sequestration by 30%, decreased annual nitrous oxide emissions by 84%, increased an index of pollinator abundance by an average of 11%, and increased an index of biocontrol potential by an average of 6%. We expressed the tradeoffs between income provisioning and other ecosystem services as benefit-cost ratios. Benefit-cost ratios averaged 12.06 GJ of additional net energy, 0.84 kg of avoided phosphorus pollution, 18.97 Mg of sequestered carbon, and 1.99 kg of avoided nitrous oxide emissions for every $1,000 reduction in income. These ratios varied spatially, from 2- to 70-fold depending on the ecosystem service. Benefit-cost ratios for different ecosystem services were generally correlated within watersheds, suggesting the presence of hotspots – watersheds where increases in multiple ecosystem services would come at lower-than-average opportunity costs. When assessing the monetary value of ecosystem services relative to existing conservation programs and environmental markets, the overall value of enhanced services associated with adoption of perennial energy crops was far lower than the opportunity cost. However, when we monitized services using estimates for the social costs of pollution, the value of enhanced services far exceeded the opportunity cost. This disparity between

  4. The provision of ecosystem services in response to global change: Evidences and applications.

    PubMed

    Lafortezza, Raffaele; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-05-01

    As a consequence of the global increase in economic and societal prosperity, ecosystems and natural resources have been substantially exploited, degraded, or even destroyed in the last century. To prevent further deprivation of the quality of ecosystems, the ecosystem services concept has become a central issue in environmental studies. A growing number of environmental agencies and organizations worldwide are now embracing integrated approaches to plan and manage ecosystems, sharing a goal to maintain the long-term provision of ecosystem services for sustainability. A daunting challenge in this process is to move from general pronouncements about the tremendous benefits that ecosystems provide to society to defensible assessments of their services. In other words, we must move beyond the scientific evidences of the ecosystem services concept to its practical applications. In this work, we discuss the theoretical foundations and applications of ecosystem services with a focus on the assessment of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies at various spatial and temporal scales. Here, we offer examples of the main factors related to land use management that may affect the provision of ecosystem services and provide direction for future research on ecosystem services and related nature-based solutions. We also provide a briefing on the major topics covered in this Special Issue, which focuses on the provision of ecosystem services in the context of global change.

  5. Hotspots of Ecosystem Services on Floodplains in the Interior Columbia Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomscha, S. A.; Gergel, S.

    2011-12-01

    Rapid land use conversion over the past 60 years has led to the production and depletion of different ecosystem services throughout the Interior Columbia Basin producing unintended tradeoffs among services. For example, increases in cultivation and urbanization have driven a reduction in floodplain fish habitat and carbon storage. Furthermore, ecosystem service hotspots (areas critical for ecosystem service production) have shifted in location and extent. The enormity of such tradeoffs remains unquantified as mapping of historical ecosystem services is in its infancy. Our research addresses ecosystem services over two timeframes: (1) Where are historical hotspots of ecosystem services in floodplains in the mid-20th century? and (2) Has the location of hotspots changed in current times? We develop a novel combination of tools to map terrestrial and riparian ecosystem services across a floodplain. We combine historical aerial photography with InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoff tools), a spatial program designed to model and identify hotspots of ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity, water purification, etc. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services provides a long-term look at the potential for the Interior Columbia Basin to produce a multitude of sustainable floodplain services.

  6. Valuing trade-offs of river ecosystem services in large hydropower development in Tibet, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, B.; Xu, L.

    2015-12-01

    Hydropower development can be considered as a kind of trade-offs of ecosystem services generated by human activity for their economic and energy demand, because it can increase some river ecosystem services but decrease others. In this context, an ecosystem service trade-off framework in hydropower development was proposed in this paper. It aims to identify the ecological cost of river ecosystem and serve for the ecological compensation during hydropower development, for the hydropower services cannot completely replace the regulating services of river ecosystem. The valuing trade-offs framework was integrated by the influenced ecosystem services identification and ecosystem services valuation, through ecological monitoring and ecological economic methods, respectively. With a case study of Pondo hydropower project in Tibet, China, the valuing trade-offs of river ecosystem services in large hydropower development was illustrated. The typical ecological factors including water, sediment and soil were analyzed in this study to identify the altered river ecosystem services by Pondo hydropower project. Through the field monitoring and valuation, the results showed that the Lhasa River ecosystem services value could be changed annually by Pondo hydropower project with the increment of 5.7E+8CNY, and decrement of 5.1E+7CNY. The ecological compensation for river ecosystem should be focus on water and soil conservation, reservoir dredging and tributaries habitat protection.

  7. Effects of payments for ecosystem services on wildlife habitat recovery.

    PubMed

    Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Viña, Andrés; Yang, Wu; Chen, Xiaodong; Shortridge, Ashton M; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-08-01

    Conflicts between local people's livelihoods and conservation have led to many unsuccessful conservation efforts and have stimulated debates on policies that might simultaneously promote sustainable management of protected areas and improve the living conditions of local people. Many government-sponsored payments-for-ecosystem-services (PES) schemes have been implemented around the world. However, few empirical assessments of their effectiveness have been conducted, and even fewer assessments have directly measured their effects on ecosystem services. We conducted an empirical and spatially explicit assessment of the conservation effectiveness of one of the world's largest PES programs through the use of a long-term empirical data set, a satellite-based habitat model, and spatial autoregressive analyses on direct measures of change in an ecosystem service (i.e., the provision of wildlife species habitat). Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) habitat improved in Wolong Nature Reserve of China after the implementation of the Natural Forest Conservation Program. The improvement was more pronounced in areas monitored by local residents than those monitored by the local government, but only when a higher payment was provided. Our results suggest that the effectiveness of a PES program depends on who receives the payment and on whether the payment provides sufficient incentives. As engagement of local residents has not been incorporated in many conservation strategies elsewhere in China or around the world, our results also suggest that using an incentive-based strategy as a complement to command-and-control, community- and norm-based strategies may help achieve greater conservation effectiveness and provide a potential solution for the park versus people conflict.

  8. The role of pastoralism in regulating ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Seid, M A; Kuhn, N J; Fikre, T Z

    2016-11-01

    Pastoralism is rarely viewed as a major future form of land use, because of well-documented cases of rangeland degradation, attributed to irrational overstocking by pastoralists, and the subsequent losses of ecosystem services. However, pastoralists were actually encouraged to settle and adopt such strategies, copied from rangelands with higher and more reliable rainfall. This curtailed mobility resulted in a shift from opportunistic and extensive land use to more intensive and settled forms of use. The purpose of this review is to examine the link between pastoralism and the provision of ecosystem services by rangelands, focusing on biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration. Pastoralists employ several techniques to manage rangeland resources, including mobility, herding, corralling, grazing reserves and the use of fire. With these strategies, pastoralists have contributed to the enhancement of rangeland biodiversity and the long-term conservation of important wildlife habitats. Pastoralists also possess detailed knowledge of rangeland plants and their uses, which could be valuable in the assessment, conservation and utilisation of rangeland biodiversity. Similarly, traditional pastoral rangeland management practices, such as the use of seasonal grassland reserves and livestock mobility, influence vegetation composition, coverage and abundance in rangelands and offer tools for biomass and soil carbon restoration, contributing to the mitigation of climate change. However, various internal and external factors have curtailed traditional management practices and livestock mobility, breaking the co-evolved balance of vegetation, wildlife and land use, thus exposing rangeland to continued livestock pressure, which often leads to degradation. Rather than abandoning pastoralism, the revitalisation of traditional practices and indigenous knowledge is vital to secure sustainable livelihoods for millions of pastoralists and to maintain rangeland biodiversity and

  9. Aquatic biodiversity in forests: A weak link in ecosystem services resilience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Olson, Deanna H.; Flitcroft, Rebecca L; Weber, Matthew A.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Wondzell, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason; Johnson, Sherri L.; Reeves, Gordon H.

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of aquatic ecosystems is being quickly reduced on many continents, warranting a closer examination of the consequences for ecological integrity and ecosystem services. Here we describe intermediate and final ecosystem services derived from aquatic biodiversity in forests. We include a summary of the factors framing the assembly of aquatic biodiversity in forests in natural systems and how they change with a variety of natural disturbances and human-derived stressors. We consider forested aquatic ecosystems as a multi-state portfolio, with diverse assemblages and life-history strategies occurring at local scales as a consequence of a mosaic of habitat conditions and past disturbances and stressors. Maintaining this multi-state portfolio of assemblages requires a broad perspective of ecosystem structure, various functions, services, and management implications relative to contemporary stressors. Because aquatic biodiversity provides multiple ecosystem services to forests, activities that compromise aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity could be an issue for maintaining forest ecosystem integrity. We illustrate these concepts with examples of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services in forests of northwestern North America, also known as Northeast Pacific Rim. Encouraging management planning at broad as well as local spatial scales to recognize multi-state ecosystem management goals has promise for maintaining valuable ecosystem services. Ultimately, integration of information from socio-ecological ecosystems will be needed to maintain ecosystem services derived directly and indirectly from forest aquatic biota.

  10. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    PubMed

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  11. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  12. Ecosystem Services Decision Support: A Living Database of Existing Tools, Approaches and Techniques for Supporting Decisions Related to Ecosystem Services (Poster)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Planners and decision makers are challenged to consider not only direct market costs, but also ecological externalities. There is an increasing emphasis on ecosystem services in the context of human well-being, and therefore the valuation and accounting of ecosystem services is b...

  13. Exploring spatial change and gravity center movement for ecosystem services value using a spatially explicit ecosystem services value index and gravity model.

    PubMed

    He, Yingbin; Chen, Youqi; Tang, Huajun; Yao, Yanmin; Yang, Peng; Chen, Zhongxin

    2011-04-01

    Spatially explicit ecosystem services valuation and change is a newly developing area of research in the field of ecology. Using the Beijing region as a study area, the authors have developed a spatially explicit ecosystem services value index and implemented this to quantify and spatially differentiate ecosystem services value at 1-km grid resolution. A gravity model was developed to trace spatial change in the total ecosystem services value of the Beijing study area from a holistic point of view. Study results show that the total value of ecosystem services for the study area decreased by 19.75% during the period 1996-2006 (3,226.2739 US$×10(6) in 1996, 2,589.0321 US$×10(6) in 2006). However, 27.63% of the total area of the Beijing study area increased in ecosystem services value. Spatial differences in ecosystem services values for both 1996 and 2006 are very clear. The center of gravity of total ecosystem services value for the study area moved 32.28 km northwestward over the 10 years due to intensive human intervention taking place in southeast Beijing. The authors suggest that policy-makers should pay greater attention to ecological protection under conditions of rapid socio-economic development and increase the area of green belt in the southeastern part of Beijing.

  14. Adaptive governance of riverine and wetland ecosystem goods and services.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Lance H; Cosens, Barbara; Garmestani, Ahjond S

    2016-12-01

    Adaptive governance and adaptive management have developed over the past quarter century in response to institutional and organizational failures, and unforeseen changes in natural resource dynamics. Adaptive governance provides a context for managing known and unknown consequences of prior management approaches and for increasing legitimacy in the implementation of flexible and adaptive management. Using examples from iconic water systems in the United States, we explore the proposition that adaptive management and adaptive governance are useful for evaluating the complexities of trade-offs among ecosystem goods and services.

  15. Valuating Ecosystem Services of Urban Ponds - case study from Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carle, Nina

    2016-04-01

    A climate risk assessment for the city of Barisal was carried out by a consultancy firm, financed by KfW Development Bank of Germany. Due to high dependencies on natural capital of people in developing countries they are facing high vulnerability when it comes to changes of the asset category 'natural capital' (here: urban ponds), whether due to the exposition on climate (change) related impacts, implemented measures or land use change. With a closer view on the city's assets, the question remained open to the author 1) Under current conditions, what is the demand for ecosystem services (ES) 2) What is the value of the benefits and the how much is the contribution to the city's welfare? 3) What are the future changes in the demand for ES? And what are the future changes on the supply side (pressures and threats to the ecosystem)? Methodology: The City of Barisal in Bangladesh has a calculated number of around 10.000 urban rain-fed ponds,representing 6.5% of the city area, which represents a huge natural water supply and gives the city its characteristic face. In August 2015 a user survey was conducted in the city of Barisal, in every ward (administrative unit), to determine the demand for ecosystem services related to urban ponds, evaluating over 600 ponds. The findings will present the huge variation of provisioning ecosystem services and an important regulating service, related to economic and domestic use, in a spatial resolution. It will be shown, how the importance of ES changes, by changing the unit of analysis (families or ponds or the city) and the importance for the livelihood of pond owners and users. A relationship between pond area(m2) and number of users was detected, also the role of compensation payments for the pond owners by the users. It will be shown how natural capital, privately and publicly owned,contributes in an important way in buffering unequal distribution of societies resources in the short- and long-run. However society's demand for ES

  16. Dynamics of Ecosystem Services during Forest Transitions in Reventazón, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Vallet, Améline; Locatelli, Bruno; Levrel, Harold; Brenes Pérez, Christian; Imbach, Pablo; Estrada Carmona, Natalia; Manlay, Raphaël; Oszwald, Johan

    2016-01-01

    The forest transition framework describes the temporal changes of forest areas with economic development. A first phase of forest contraction is followed by a second phase of expansion once a turning point is reached. This framework does not differentiate forest types or ecosystem services, and describes forests regardless of their contribution to human well-being. For several decades, deforestation in many tropical regions has degraded ecosystem services, such as watershed regulation, while increasing provisioning services from agriculture, for example, food. Forest transitions and expansion have been observed in some countries, but their consequences for ecosystem services are often unclear. We analyzed the implications of forest cover change on ecosystem services in Costa Rica, where a forest transition has been suggested. A review of literature and secondary data on forest and ecosystem services in Costa Rica indicated that forest transition might have led to an ecosystem services transition. We modeled and mapped the changes of selected ecosystem services in the upper part of the Reventazón watershed and analyzed how supply changed over time in order to identify possible transitions in ecosystem services. The modeled changes of ecosystem services is similar to the second phase of a forest transition but no turning point was identified, probably because of the limited temporal scope of the analysis. Trends of provisioning and regulating services and their tradeoffs were opposite in different spatial subunits of our study area, which highlights the importance of scale in the analysis of ecosystem services and forest transitions. The ecosystem services transition framework proposed in this study is useful for analyzing the temporal changes of ecosystem services and linking socio-economic drivers to ecosystem services demand at different scales. PMID:27390869

  17. Linking national wood consumption with global biodiversity and ecosystem service losses.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Carrasco, L Roman; Kastner, Thomas

    2017-05-15

    Identifying the global hotspots of forestry driven species, ecosystem services losses and informing the consuming nations of their environmental footprint domestically and abroad is essential to design demand side interventions and induce sustainable production methods. Here we first use countryside species area relationship model to project species extinctions of four vertebrate taxa (mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles) due to forest land use in 174 countries. We combine the projected extinctions with a global database on the monetary value of ecosystem services provided by different biomes and with bilateral trade data of wood products to calculate species extinctions and ecosystem services losses inflicted by national wood consumption and international wood trade. Results show that globally a total of 485 species are projected to go extinct due to current forest land use. About 32% of this projected loss can be attributed to land use devoted for export production. However, under the counterfactual scenario with the same consumption levels but no international trade of wood products, an additional 334 species are projected to go extinct. Globally, we find that losses of ecosystem services worth $1.5trillion/year are embodied in the timber trade. Compared to high-income nations, tropical countries such as Philippines, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Gambia and Bolivia presented the highest net ecosystem services losses (>3000US$/ha/year) that could not be compensated through current land rents, indicating underpriced exports. Small tropical countries also gained much lower rents per species extinction suffered. These results can help internalize these costs into the global trade through financial compensation mechanisms such as REDD+ or through price premiums on wood sourced from these countries. Overall the results can provide valuable insights for devising national strategies to meet several of the global Aichi 2020 biodiversity

  18. Secondary School Students' Environmental Concerns and Attitudes toward Forest Ecosystem Services: Implications for Biodiversity Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torkar, Gregor

    2016-01-01

    Alarming declines in biodiversity have encouraged scientists to begin promoting the idea of the services ecosystems offer to humans in order to gain support for conservation. The concept of ecosystem services is designed to communicate societal dependence on various natural ecosystems. Schools play an important role in educating students to be…

  19. Using plant traits to evaluate the resistance and resilience of ecosystem service provision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Marina; Devaux, Caroline; Fontana, Veronika; Grigulis, Karl; Lavorel, Sandra; Leitinger, Georg; Schirpke, Uta; Tasser, Erich; Tappeiner, Ulrike

    2015-04-01

    Mountain grassland ecosystems are a hotspot of biodiversity and deliver a multiplicity of ecosystem services. Due to a long history of well adapted agricultural use and specific environmental conditions (e.g. slope, altitude, or climate), various types of grassland ecosystems have developed. Each of them shows specific attributes in forms of plant communities and abiotic characteristics, which lead to particular ranges of ecosystem service provision. However, ongoing climate and societal changes thread plant community composition and may lead to changes in plant traits, and therefore, the provision of ecosystem services. Currently it is not clear how vulnerable these ecosystems are to disturbances, or whether they have developed a high resilience over time. Thus, it is essential to know the ranges of resistance and resilience of an ecosystem service. We, therefore, developed a static approach based on community weighted mean plant traits and abiotic parameters to measure the boundaries of resistance and resilience of each ecosystem service separately. By calculating actual minimum and maximum amounts of ecosystem services, we define the range of resistance of an ecosystem service. We then calculate the potential amount of an ecosystem services (via simulated plant communities) by assuming that no species is lost or added to the system. By comparing actual and potential values, we can estimate whether an ecosystem service is in danger to lose its resilience. We selected different ecosystem services related to mountain grassland ecosystems, e.g. carbon storage, forage quality, forage quantity, and soil fertility. We analysed each ecosystem service for different grassland management types, covering meadows and pastures of very low land-use intensity through to grasslands of high land-use intensity. Results indicate that certain ecosystem services have a higher resilience than others (e.g. carbon storage) for all management types. The ecosystem may provide steady

  20. Typology and indicators of ecosystem services for marine spatial planning and management.

    PubMed

    Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Baulcomb, Corinne; Koss, Rebecca; Hussain, S Salman; de Groot, Rudolf S

    2013-11-30

    The ecosystem services concept provides both an analytical and communicative tool to identify and quantify the link between human welfare and the environment, and thus to evaluate the ramifications of management interventions. Marine spatial planning (MSP) and Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) are a form of management intervention that has become increasingly popular and important globally. The ecosystem service concept is rarely applied in marine planning and management to date which we argue is due to the lack of a well-structured, systematic classification and assessment of marine ecosystem services. In this paper we not only develop such a typology but also provide guidance to select appropriate indicators for all relevant ecosystem services. We apply this marine-specific ecosystem service typology to MSP and EBM. We thus provide not only a novel theoretical construct but also show how the ecosystem services concept can be used in marine planning and management.

  1. Towards a Threat Assessment Framework for Ecosystem Services.

    PubMed

    Maron, Martine; Mitchell, Matthew G E; Runting, Rebecca K; Rhodes, Jonathan R; Mace, Georgina M; Keith, David A; Watson, James E M

    2017-04-01

    How can we tell if the ecosystem services upon which we rely are at risk of being lost, potentially permanently? Ecosystem services underpin human well-being, but we lack a consistent approach for categorizing the extent to which they are threatened. We present an assessment framework for assessing the degree to which the adequate and sustainable provision of a given ecosystem service is threatened. Our framework combines information on the states and trends of both ecosystem service supply and demand, with reference to two critical thresholds: demand exceeding supply and ecosystem service 'extinction'. This framework can provide a basis for global, national, and regional assessments of threat to ecosystem services, and accompany existing assessments of threat to species and ecosystems.

  2. Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in environmental risk assessment: introduction to the special issue.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Ralf B

    2012-01-15

    This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected.

  3. Natural and human impacts on ecosystem services in Guanzhong - Tianshui economic region of China.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhou, Z X

    2016-04-01

    Due to the accelerated growth of society, the gaps between the capacity of ecosystems to provide services and human needs are steadily widening. Natural, semi-natural, or managed ecosystems had been able to provide ecosystem services to meet the needs of social development. Four agricultural ecosystem services (net primary production (NPP), carbon sequestration and oxygen production (CSOP), water interception, soil conservation and agriculture production) were quantified in Guanzhong-Tianshui economic region. Estimates of ecosystem services were obtained from the analysis of satellite imagery and the use of well-known models. Based on the ecological services in Guanzhong-Tianshui economic region, this study mainly analysed the driving mechanism of the changes from the two aspects of natural drivers and human drivers. Natural drivers (climate, soil, elevation, land cover) had incentive to the ecological services. Human activity was quantified by an integrated human activity index (HAI) based on population density, farmland ratio, and the influence of road networks and residential areas. We found relationships between ecosystem services, human activities and many natural factors, however these varied according to the service studied. Human activities were mostly negatively related to each ecosystem services, while population and residential land ware positively related to agricultural production. Land use change had made a contribution to ecosystem services. Based on the selected ecosystem services and HAI, we provided sustainable ecosystem management suggestions.

  4. Interactive effects among ecosystem services and management practices on crop production: pollination in coffee agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

    Boreux, Virginie; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G; Vaast, Philippe; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2013-05-21

    Crop productivity is improved by ecosystem services, including pollination, but this should be set in the context of trade-offs among multiple management practices. We investigated the impact of pollination services on coffee production, considering variation in fertilization, irrigation, shade cover, and environmental variables such as rainfall (which stimulates coffee flowering across all plantations), soil pH, and nitrogen availability. After accounting for management interventions, bee abundance improved coffee production (number of berries harvested). Some management interventions, such as irrigation, used once to trigger asynchronous flowering, dramatically increased bee abundance at coffee trees. Others, such as the extent and type of tree cover, revealed interacting effects on pollination and, ultimately, crop production. The effects of management interventions, notably irrigation and addition of lime, had, however, far more substantial positive effects on coffee production than tree cover. These results suggest that pollination services matter, but managing the asynchrony of flowering was a more effective tool for securing good pollination than maintaining high shade tree densities as pollinator habitat. Complex interactions across farm and landscape scales, including both management practices and environmental conditions, shape pollination outcomes. Effective production systems therefore require the integrated consideration of management practices in the context of the surrounding habitat structure. This paper points toward a more strategic use of ecosystem services in agricultural systems, where ecosystem services are shaped by the coupling of management interventions and environmental variables.

  5. Sustainable Watersheds: Integrating Ecosystem Services and Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Stephen J; Benson, William H

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems is a worldwide priority; the integrity of these systems depends, in turn, on the integrity of the watersheds (catchments) in which they are embedded. In this article, we present the concepts, background, and scientific foundations for assessing, both nationally and at finer scales, the relationships between ecosystem services, human health, and socioeconomic values in the context of water quality, water quantity, landscapes, the condition of watersheds, and the connectivity of waters, from headwaters to estuaries and the coastal ocean. These assessments will be a foundation for what we have termed “watershed epidemiology,” through which the connections between ecosystems and human health can be explored over broad spatial and temporal scales. Understanding and communicating these relationships should lead to greater awareness of the roles watersheds play in human well-being, and hence to better management and stewardship of water resources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing the research, models, and planning tools to support operational national assessments of watershed sustainability, building upon ongoing assessments of aquatic resources in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and estuaries. PMID:25987844

  6. Changes in Ecosystem Services and related Livelihoods in the Mekong Delta: vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebesvari, Z.; Renaud, F. G.

    2014-12-01

    The Mekong Delta (Vietnam) is highly vulnerable to the many impacts of global environmental change as well as to the accelerating anthropogenic changes in the catchment and in the delta itself. Today the delta is an agricultural landscape controlled by engineering structures such as channels, dykes, embankments, and sluice gates. These structures have been constructed gradually over the last 200 years mainly for irrigation and flood control in the upper part of the delta and to control saline intrusion in the coastal areas. Recent changes in the hydrology mainly driven by upstream hydropower development on the mainstream and the tributaries of the Mekong will likely have far reaching impacts on the delta´s social-ecological systems through changes in e.g. sedimentation processes, nutrient transport as well as the health of aquatic ecosystems. Further threats to the delta include sea level rise and an increase in seasonal rainfall variability leading to an increase in flood variability. These changes affect the lives of millions of low-income inhabitants who depend on the ecosystem services provided by the Mekong for their livelihoods and sustenance. Since the changes in ecosystem service provision are occurring relatively fast while the resource dependency of the delta population is very high, adaptation becomes a challenge. An assessment of livelihood dependencies on ecosystem services requires an understanding of ecosystem services affected by different drivers of change, as well as of the types of livelihoods likely to be jeopardized as a result of these changes. We will present main ecosystem services supporting specific livelihoods, discuss how they are threatened, and analyse the merits of potential solutions. Options based solely on grey infrastructure might be problematic on the long term while an integration of ecosystem based solution such as a (re)adaptation of agricultural production systems to floods in the upper delta might be a more sustainable

  7. Disaggregating the evidence linking biodiversity and ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Ricketts, Taylor H.; Watson, Keri B.; Koh, Insu; Ellis, Alicia M.; Nicholson, Charles C.; Posner, Stephen; Richardson, Leif L.; Sonter, Laura J.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) are an increasingly popular policy framework for connecting biodiversity with human well-being. These efforts typically assume that biodiversity and ES covary, but the relationship between them remains remarkably unclear. Here we analyse >500 recent papers and show that reported relationships differ among ES, methods of measuring biodiversity and ES, and three different approaches to linking them (spatial correlations, management comparisons and functional experiments). For spatial correlations, biodiversity relates more strongly to measures of ES supply than to resulting human benefits. For management comparisons, biodiversity of ‘service providers' predicts ES more often than biodiversity of functionally unrelated taxa, but the opposite is true for spatial correlations. Functional experiments occur at smaller spatial scales than management and spatial studies, which show contrasting responses to scale. Our results illuminate the varying dynamics relating biodiversity to ES, and show the importance of matching management efforts to the most relevant scientific evidence. PMID:27713429

  8. Disaggregating the evidence linking biodiversity and ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, Taylor H.; Watson, Keri B.; Koh, Insu; Ellis, Alicia M.; Nicholson, Charles C.; Posner, Stephen; Richardson, Leif L.; Sonter, Laura J.

    2016-10-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) are an increasingly popular policy framework for connecting biodiversity with human well-being. These efforts typically assume that biodiversity and ES covary, but the relationship between them remains remarkably unclear. Here we analyse >500 recent papers and show that reported relationships differ among ES, methods of measuring biodiversity and ES, and three different approaches to linking them (spatial correlations, management comparisons and functional experiments). For spatial correlations, biodiversity relates more strongly to measures of ES supply than to resulting human benefits. For management comparisons, biodiversity of `service providers' predicts ES more often than biodiversity of functionally unrelated taxa, but the opposite is true for spatial correlations. Functional experiments occur at smaller spatial scales than management and spatial studies, which show contrasting responses to scale. Our results illuminate the varying dynamics relating biodiversity to ES, and show the importance of matching management efforts to the most relevant scientific evidence.

  9. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  10. Characterizing and Mapping of Ecosystem Services (CMESs) Literature Database Version 1.0

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services (ESs) represent an ecosystem’s capacity for satisfying essential human needs, directly or indirectly, above that required to maintain ecosystem integrity (structure, function and processes). The spatial characterization and mapping of ESs is an essential first ...

  11. Urban forest ecosystem services: A case study in Corvallis,Oregon

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Questions/Methods One EPA research focus is quantifying ecosystem services, benefits that ecosystems provide to humans, in order to promote informed natural resource management decisions and to assess the effectiveness of existing environmental policies. A case study...

  12. Towards Mapping the Provision of Ecosystem Services from Headwater Wetlands in the Susquehanna River Basin

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater wetlands provide a range of ecosystem services including habitat provisioning and flood retention. Following the River Ecosystem Synthesis framework we identified and assessed not only headwater wetlands, but unconstrained reaches with the potential to support diverse s...

  13. Correlated loss of ecosystem services in coupled mutualistic networks.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Jörg; Berens, Dana Gertrud; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Selva, Nuria; Brandl, Roland; Farwig, Nina

    2014-05-08

    Networks of species interactions promote biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services. These networks have traditionally been studied in isolation, but species are commonly involved in multiple, diverse types of interaction. Therefore, whether different types of species interaction networks coupled through shared species show idiosyncratic or correlated responses to habitat degradation is unresolved. Here we study the collective response of coupled mutualistic networks of plants and their pollinators and seed dispersers to the degradation of Europe's last relict of old-growth lowland forest (Białowieża, Poland). We show that logging of old-growth forests has correlated effects on the number of partners and interactions of plants in both mutualisms, and that these effects are mediated by shifts in plant densities on logged sites. These results suggest bottom-up-controlled effects of habitat degradation on plant-animal mutualistic networks, and predict that the conversion of primary old-growth forests to secondary habitats may cause a parallel loss of multiple animal-mediated ecosystem services.

  14. Species richness alone does not predict cultural ecosystem service value.

    PubMed

    Graves, Rose A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2017-04-04

    Many biodiversity-ecosystem services studies omit cultural ecosystem services (CES) or use species richness as a proxy and assume that more species confer greater CES value. We studied wildflower viewing, a key biodiversity-based CES in amenity-based landscapes, in Southern Appalachian Mountain forests and asked (i) How do aesthetic preferences for wildflower communities vary with components of biodiversity, including species richness?; (ii) How do aesthetic preferences for wildflower communities vary across psychographic groups?; and (iii) How well does species richness perform as an indicator of CES value compared with revealed social preferences for wildflower communities? Public forest visitors (n = 293) were surveyed during the summer of 2015 and asked to choose among images of wildflower communities in which flower species richness, flower abundance, species evenness, color diversity, and presence of charismatic species had been digitally manipulated. Aesthetic preferences among images were unrelated to species richness but increased with more abundant flowers, greater species evenness, and greater color diversity. Aesthetic preferences were consistent across psychographic groups and unaffected by knowledge of local flora or value placed on wildflower viewing. When actual wildflower communities (n = 54) were ranked based on empirically measured flower species richness or wildflower viewing utility based on multinomial logit models of revealed preferences, rankings were broadly similar. However, designation of hotspots (CES values above the median) based on species richness alone missed 27% of wildflower viewing utility hotspots. Thus, conservation priorities for sustaining CES should incorporate social preferences and consider multiple dimensions of biodiversity that underpin CES supply.

  15. Ecological and socioeconomic effects of China's policies for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianguo; Li, Shuxin; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Tam, Christine; Chen, Xiaodong

    2008-07-15

    To address devastating environmental crises and to improve human well-being, China has been implementing a number of national policies on payments for ecosystem services. Two of them, the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and the Grain to Green Program (GTGP), are among the biggest programs in the world because of their ambitious goals, massive scales, huge payments, and potentially enormous impacts. The NFCP conserves natural forests through logging bans and afforestation with incentives to forest enterprises, whereas the GTGP converts cropland on steep slopes to forest and grassland by providing farmers with grain and cash subsidies. Overall ecological effects are beneficial, and socioeconomic effects are mostly positive. Whereas there are time lags in ecological effects, socioeconomic effects are more immediate. Both the NFCP and the GTGP also have global implications because they increase vegetative cover, enhance carbon sequestration, and reduce dust to other countries by controlling soil erosion. The future impacts of these programs may be even bigger. Extended payments for the GTGP have recently been approved by the central government for up to 8 years. The NFCP is likely to follow suit and receive renewed payments. To make these programs more effective, we recommend systematic planning, diversified funding, effective compensation, integrated research, and comprehensive monitoring. Effective implementation of these programs can also provide important experiences and lessons for other ecosystem service payment programs in China and many other parts of the world.

  16. The contradictory logic of global ecosystem services markets.

    PubMed

    McAfee, Kathleen

    2012-01-01

    Commodification and transnational trading of ecosystem services is the most ambitious iteration yet of the strategy of ‘selling nature to save it’. The World Bank and UN agencies contend that global carbon markets can slow climate change while generating resources for development. Consonant with ‘inclusionary’ versions of neoliberal development policy, advocates assert that international payment for ecosystem services (PES) projects, financed by carbon-offset sales and biodiversity banking, can benefit the poor. However, the World Bank also warns that a focus on poverty reduction can undermine efficiency in conservation spending. The experience of ten years of PES illustrates how, in practice, market-efficiency criteria clash directly with poverty-reduction priorities. Nevertheless, the premises of market-based PES are being extrapolated as a model for global REDD programmes financed by carbon-offset trading. This article argues that the contradiction between development and conservation observed in PES is inevitable in projects framed by the asocial logic of neoclassical economics. Application in international conservation policy of the market model, in which profit incentives depend upon differential opportunity costs, will entail a net upward redistribution of wealth from poorer to wealthier classes and from rural regions to distant centres of capital accumulation, mainly in the global North.

  17. Ecological and socioeconomic effects of China's policies for ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianguo; Li, Shuxin; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Tam, Christine; Chen, Xiaodong

    2008-01-01

    To address devastating environmental crises and to improve human well-being, China has been implementing a number of national policies on payments for ecosystem services. Two of them, the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and the Grain to Green Program (GTGP), are among the biggest programs in the world because of their ambitious goals, massive scales, huge payments, and potentially enormous impacts. The NFCP conserves natural forests through logging bans and afforestation with incentives to forest enterprises, whereas the GTGP converts cropland on steep slopes to forest and grassland by providing farmers with grain and cash subsidies. Overall ecological effects are beneficial, and socioeconomic effects are mostly positive. Whereas there are time lags in ecological effects, socioeconomic effects are more immediate. Both the NFCP and the GTGP also have global implications because they increase vegetative cover, enhance carbon sequestration, and reduce dust to other countries by controlling soil erosion. The future impacts of these programs may be even bigger. Extended payments for the GTGP have recently been approved by the central government for up to 8 years. The NFCP is likely to follow suit and receive renewed payments. To make these programs more effective, we recommend systematic planning, diversified funding, effective compensation, integrated research, and comprehensive monitoring. Effective implementation of these programs can also provide important experiences and lessons for other ecosystem service payment programs in China and many other parts of the world. PMID:18621700

  18. More green infrastructure is required to maintain ecosystem services under current trends in land-use change in Europe.

    PubMed

    Maes, Joachim; Barbosa, Ana; Baranzelli, Claudia; Zulian, Grazia; Batista E Silva, Filipe; Vandecasteele, Ine; Hiederer, Roland; Liquete, Camino; Paracchini, Maria Luisa; Mubareka, Sarah; Jacobs-Crisioni, Chris; Castillo, Carolina Perpiña; Lavalle, Carlo

    Green infrastructure (GI), a network of nature, semi-natural areas and green space, delivers essential ecosystem services which underpin human well-being and quality of life. Maintaining ecosystem services through the development of GI is therefore increasingly recognized by policies as a strategy to cope with potentially changing conditions in the future. This paper assessed how current trends of land-use change have an impact on the aggregated provision of eight ecosystem services at the regional scale of the European Union, measured by the Total Ecosystem Services Index (TESI8). Moreover, the paper reports how further implementation of GI across Europe can help maintain ecosystem services at baseline levels. Current demographic, economic and agricultural trends, which affect land use, were derived from the so called Reference Scenario. This scenario is established by the European Commission to assess the impact of energy and climate policy up to 2050. Under the Reference Scenario, economic growth, coupled with the total population, stimulates increasing urban and industrial expansion. TESI8 is expected to decrease across Europe between 0 and 5 % by 2020 and between 10 and 15 % by 2050 relative to the base year 2010. Based on regression analysis, we estimated that every additional percent increase of the proportion of artificial land needs to be compensated with an increase of 2.2 % of land that qualifies as green infrastructure in order to maintain ecosystem services at 2010 levels.

  19. Ecosystem Services Research Program, Pollutant Specific Studies: Nitrogen Regulations Services Implementation Plan

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) is a new, multi-year research initiative under development by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The overall goal of the ESRP is to transform the way decision-makers understand and respond to environmental issues, making...

  20. Ecosystem Services Modeling as a Tool for Defining Priority Areas for Conservation.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Gabriela Teixeira; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Paglia, Adriano Pereira

    2016-01-01

    Conservationists often have difficulty obtaining financial and social support for protected areas that do not demonstrate their benefits for society. Therefore, ecosystem services have gained importance in conservation science in the last decade, as these services provide further justification for appropriate management and conservation of natural systems. We used InVEST software and a set of GIS procedures to quantify, spatialize and evaluated the overlap between ecosystem services-carbon stock and sediment retention-and a biodiversity proxy-habitat quality. In addition, we proposed a method that serves as an initial approach of a priority areas selection process. The method considers the synergism between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Our study region is the Iron Quadrangle, an important Brazilian mining province and a conservation priority area located in the interface of two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. The resultant priority area for the maintenance of the highest values of ecosystem services and habitat quality was about 13% of the study area. Among those priority areas, 30% are already within established strictly protected areas, and 12% are in sustainable use protected areas. Following the transparent and highly replicable method we proposed in this study, conservation planners can better determine which areas fulfill multiple goals and can locate the trade-offs in the landscape. We also gave a step towards the improvement of the habitat quality model with a topography parameter. In areas of very rugged topography, we have to consider geomorfometric barriers for anthropogenic impacts and for species movement and we must think beyond the linear distances. Moreover, we used a model that considers the tree mortality caused by edge effects in the estimation of carbon stock. We found low spatial congruence among the modeled services, mostly because of the pattern of sediment retention distribution.

  1. Provision of Ecosystem Services Through Market-Based Approaches: Department of Defense Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-17

    ecosystem services not captured by current economic methods of valuation. Ecosystems naturally assimilate waste, attenuate noise , form soil, control erosion...Development Rights ( TDRs ). ERDC/CERL SR-08-4 4 The results of the research are organized into three main areas: 1. The concept of ecosystem...the U.S. economy. DoD relies on ecosystem services to conduct training such as waste assimi- lation (for pollutant discharges), noise attenuation

  2. Understanding system disturbance and ecosystem services in restored saltmarshes: Integrating physical and biogeochemical processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, K. L.; Harvey, G. L.

    2012-06-01

    Coastal saltmarsh ecosystems occupy only a small percentage of Earth's land surface, yet contribute a wide range of ecosystem services that have significant global economic and societal value. These environments currently face significant challenges associated with climate change, sea level rise, development and water quality deterioration and are consequently the focus of a range of management schemes. Increasingly, soft engineering techniques such as managed realignment (MR) are being employed to restore and recreate these environments, driven primarily by the need for habitat (re)creation and sustainable coastal flood defence. Such restoration schemes also have the potential to provide additional ecosystem services including climate regulation and waste processing. However, these sites have frequently been physically impacted by their previous land use and there is a lack of understanding of how this 'disturbance' impacts the delivery of ecosystem services or of the complex linkages between ecological, physical and biogeochemical processes in restored systems. Through the exploration of current data this paper determines that hydrological, geomorphological and hydrodynamic functioning of restored sites may be significantly impaired with respects to natural 'undisturbed' systems and that links between morphology, sediment structure, hydrology and solute transfer are poorly understood. This has consequences for the delivery of seeds, the provision of abiotic conditions suitable for plant growth, the development of microhabitats and the cycling of nutrients/contaminants and may impact the delivery of ecosystem services including biodiversity, climate regulation and waste processing. This calls for a change in our approach to research in these environments with a need for integrated, interdisciplinary studies over a range of spatial and temporal scales incorporating both intensive and extensive research design.

  3. A non-native prey mediates the effects of a shared predator on an ecosystem service.

    PubMed

    Byers, James E; Smith, Rachel S; Weiskel, Heidi W; Robertson, Charles Y

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species can alter ecosystem functions performed by native species often by displacing influential native species. However, little is known about how ecosystem functions may be modified by trait-mediated indirect effects of non-native species. Oysters and other reef-associated filter feeders enhance water quality by controlling nutrients and contaminants in many estuarine environments. However, this ecosystem service may be mitigated by predation, competition, or other species interactions, especially when such interactions involve non-native species that share little evolutionary history. We assessed trophic and other interference effects on the critical ecosystem service of water filtration in mesocosm experiments. In single-species trials, typical field densities of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) reduced water-column chlorophyll a more strongly than clams (Mercenaria mercenaria). The non-native filter-feeding reef crab Petrolisthes armatus did not draw down chlorophyll a. In multi-species treatments, oysters and clams combined additively to influence chlorophyll a drawdown. Petrolisthes did not affect net filtration when added to the bivalve-only treatments. Addition of the predatory mud crab Panopeus herbstii did not influence oyster feeding rates, but it did stop chlorophyll a drawdown by clams. However, when Petrolisthes was also added in with the clams, the clams filtered at their previously unadulterated rates, possibly because Petrolisthes drew the focus of predators or habituated the clams to crab stimuli. In sum, oysters were the most influential filter feeder, and neither predators nor competitors interfered with their net effect on water-column chlorophyll. In contrast, clams filtered less, but were more sensitive to predators as well as a facilitative buffering effect of Petrolisthes, illustrating that non-native species can indirectly affect an ecosystem service by aiding the performance of a native species.

  4. A Non-Native Prey Mediates the Effects of a Shared Predator on an Ecosystem Service

    PubMed Central

    Byers, James E.; Smith, Rachel S.; Weiskel, Heidi W.; Robertson, Charles Y.

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species can alter ecosystem functions performed by native species often by displacing influential native species. However, little is known about how ecosystem functions may be modified by trait-mediated indirect effects of non-native species. Oysters and other reef-associated filter feeders enhance water quality by controlling nutrients and contaminants in many estuarine environments. However, this ecosystem service may be mitigated by predation, competition, or other species interactions, especially when such interactions involve non-native species that share little evolutionary history. We assessed trophic and other interference effects on the critical ecosystem service of water filtration in mesocosm experiments. In single-species trials, typical field densities of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) reduced water-column chlorophyll a more strongly than clams (Mercenaria mercenaria). The non-native filter-feeding reef crab Petrolisthes armatus did not draw down chlorophyll a. In multi-species treatments, oysters and clams combined additively to influence chlorophyll a drawdown. Petrolisthes did not affect net filtration when added to the bivalve-only treatments. Addition of the predatory mud crab Panopeus herbstii did not influence oyster feeding rates, but it did stop chlorophyll a drawdown by clams. However, when Petrolisthes was also added in with the clams, the clams filtered at their previously unadulterated rates, possibly because Petrolisthes drew the focus of predators or habituated the clams to crab stimuli. In sum, oysters were the most influential filter feeder, and neither predators nor competitors interfered with their net effect on water-column chlorophyll. In contrast, clams filtered less, but were more sensitive to predators as well as a facilitative buffering effect of Petrolisthes, illustrating that non-native species can indirectly affect an ecosystem service by aiding the performance of a native species. PMID:24718023

  5. Spatial interactions among ecosystem services in an urbanizing agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Jiangxiao; Turner, Monica G

    2013-07-16

    Understanding spatial distributions, synergies, and tradeoffs of multiple ecosystem services (benefits people derive from ecosystems) remains challenging. We analyzed the supply of 10 ecosystem services for 2006 across a large urbanizing agricultural watershed in the Upper Midwest of the United States, and asked the following: (i) Where are areas of high and low supply of individual ecosystem services, and are these areas spatially concordant across services? (ii) Where on the landscape are the strongest tradeoffs and synergies among ecosystem services located? (iii) For ecosystem service pairs that experience tradeoffs, what distinguishes locations that are "win-win" exceptions from other locations? Spatial patterns of high supply for multiple ecosystem services often were not coincident; locations where six or more services were produced at high levels (upper 20th percentile) occupied only 3.3% of the landscape. Most relationships among ecosystem services were synergies, but tradeoffs occurred between crop production and water quality. Ecosystem services related to water quality and quantity separated into three different groups, indicating that management to sustain freshwater services along with other ecosystem services will not be simple. Despite overall tradeoffs between crop production and water quality, some locations were positive for both, suggesting that tradeoffs are not inevitable everywhere and might be ameliorated in some locations. Overall, we found that different areas of the landscape supplied different suites of ecosystem services, and their lack of spatial concordance suggests the importance of managing over large areas to sustain multiple ecosystem services.

  6. Spatial Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Functions and Services using Human Relating Factors for SDG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, C.; Lee, W. K.; Jeon, S. W.; Kim, T.; Lim, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Application of ecosystem service concept in environmental related decision making could be numerical and objective standard for policy maker between preserving and developing perspective of environment. However, pursuing maximum benefit from natural capital through ecosystem services caused failure by losing ecosystem functions through its trade-offs. Therefore, difference between ecosystem functions and services were demonstrated and would apply human relating perspectives. Assessment results of ecosystem functions and services can be divided 3 parts. Tree growth per year set as the ecosystem function factor and indicated through so called pure function map. After that, relating functions can be driven such as water conservation, air pollutant purification, climate change regulation, and timber production. Overall process and amount are numerically quantified. These functional results can be transferred to ecosystem services by multiplying economic unit value, so function reflecting service maps can be generated. On the other hand, above services, to implement more reliable human demand, human reflecting service maps are also be developed. As the validation, quantified ecosystem functions are compared with former results through pixel based analysis. Three maps are compared, and through comparing difference between ecosystem function and services and inversed trends in function based and human based service are analysed. In this study, we could find differences in PF, FRS, and HRS in relation to based ecosystem conditions. This study suggests that the differences in PF, FRS, and HRS should be understood in the decision making process for sustainable management of ecosystem services. Although the analysis is based on in sort existing process separation, it is important to consider the possibility of different usage of ecosystem function assessment results and ecosystem service assessment results in SDG policy making. Furthermore, process based functional approach

  7. A Methodology for Adaptable and Robust Ecosystem Services Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Villa, Ferdinando; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Voigt, Brian; Johnson, Gary W.; Portela, Rosimeiry; Honzák, Miroslav; Batker, David

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem Services (ES) are an established conceptual framework for attributing value to the benefits that nature provides to humans. As the promise of robust ES-driven management is put to the test, shortcomings in our ability to accurately measure, map, and value ES have surfaced. On the research side, mainstream methods for ES assessment still fall short of addressing the complex, multi-scale biophysical and socioeconomic dynamics inherent in ES provision, flow, and use. On the practitioner side, application of methods remains onerous due to data and model parameterization requirements. Further, it is increasingly clear that the dominant “one model fits all” paradigm is often ill-suited to address the diversity of real-world management situations that exist across the broad spectrum of coupled human-natural systems. This article introduces an integrated ES modeling methodology, named ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services), which aims to introduce improvements on these fronts. To improve conceptual detail and representation of ES dynamics, it adopts a uniform conceptualization of ES that gives equal emphasis to their production, flow and use by society, while keeping model complexity low enough to enable rapid and inexpensive assessment in many contexts and for multiple services. To improve fit to diverse application contexts, the methodology is assisted by model integration technologies that allow assembly of customized models from a growing model base. By using computer learning and reasoning, model structure may be specialized for each application context without requiring costly expertise. In this article we discuss the founding principles of ARIES - both its innovative aspects for ES science and as an example of a new strategy to support more accurate decision making in diverse application contexts. PMID:24625496

  8. On the Effects of Scale for Ecosystem Services Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne; Weibel, Bettina; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Ferrari, Marika; Geneletti, Davide; Klug, Hermann; Schirpke, Uta; Tappeiner, Ulrike

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide life-sustaining services upon which human civilization depends, but their degradation largely continues unabated. Spatially explicit information on ecosystem services (ES) provision is required to better guide decision making, particularly for mountain systems, which are characterized by vertical gradients and isolation with high topographic complexity, making them particularly sensitive to global change. But while spatially explicit ES quantification and valuation allows the identification of areas of abundant or limited supply of and demand for ES, the accuracy and usefulness of the information varies considerably depending on the scale and methods used. Using four case studies from mountainous regions in Europe and the U.S., we quantify information gains and losses when mapping five ES - carbon sequestration, flood regulation, agricultural production, timber harvest, and scenic beauty - at coarse and fine resolution (250 m vs. 25 m in Europe and 300 m vs. 30 m in the U.S.). We analyze the effects of scale on ES estimates and their spatial pattern and show how these effects are related to different ES, terrain structure and model properties. ES estimates differ substantially between the fine and coarse resolution analyses in all case studies and across all services. This scale effect is not equally strong for all ES. We show that spatially explicit information about non-clustered, isolated ES tends to be lost at coarse resolution and against expectation, mainly in less rugged terrain, which calls for finer resolution assessments in such contexts. The effect of terrain ruggedness is also related to model properties such as dependency on land use-land cover data. We close with recommendations for mapping ES to make the resulting maps more comparable, and suggest a four-step approach to address the issue of scale when mapping ES that can deliver information to support ES-based decision making with greater accuracy and reliability. PMID:25549256

  9. A methodology for adaptable and robust ecosystem services assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Villa, Ferdinando; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Voigt, Brian; Johnson, Gary W.; Portela, Rosimeiry; Honzák, Miroslav; Batker, David

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem Services (ES) are an established conceptual framework for attributing value to the benefits that nature provides to humans. As the promise of robust ES-driven management is put to the test, shortcomings in our ability to accurately measure, map, and value ES have surfaced. On the research side, mainstream methods for ES assessment still fall short of addressing the complex, multi-scale biophysical and socioeconomic dynamics inherent in ES provision, flow, and use. On the practitioner side, application of methods remains onerous due to data and model parameterization requirements. Further, it is increasingly clear that the dominant “one model fits all” paradigm is often ill-suited to address the diversity of real-world management situations that exist across the broad spectrum of coupled human-natural systems. This article introduces an integrated ES modeling methodology, named ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services), which aims to introduce improvements on these fronts. To improve conceptual detail and representation of ES dynamics, it adopts a uniform conceptualization of ES that gives equal emphasis to their production, flow and use by society, while keeping model complexity low enough to enable rapid and inexpensive assessment in many contexts and for multiple services. To improve fit to diverse application contexts, the methodology is assisted by model integration technologies that allow assembly of customized models from a growing model base. By using computer learning and reasoning, model structure may be specialized for each application context without requiring costly expertise. In this article we discuss the founding principles of ARIES - both its innovative aspects for ES science and as an example of a new strategy to support more accurate decision making in diverse application contexts.

  10. Linking ecosystem services and human-values theory.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Christina C; Cinner, Joshua E; Stoeckl, Natalie; McClanahan, Tim R

    2015-10-01

    Understanding why people make the decisions they do remains a fundamental challenge facing conservation science. Ecosystem service (ES) (a benefit people derive from an ecosystem) approaches to conservation reflect efforts to anticipate people's preferences and influence their environmental behavior. Yet, the design of ES approaches seldom includes psychological theories of human behavior. We sought to alleviate this omission by applying a psychological theory of human values to a cross-cultural ES assessment. We used interviews and focus groups with fish workers from 28 coral reef fishing communities in 4 countries to qualitatively identify the motivations (i.e., human values) underlying preferences for ES; quantitatively evaluate resource user ES priorities; and identify common patterns among ES motivations and ES priorities (i.e., trade-offs and synergies). Three key findings are evident that align with human values theory. First, motivations underlying preferences for individual ESs reflected multiple human values within the same value domain (e.g., self-enhancement). Second, when averaged at community or country scales, the order of ES priorities was consistent. However, the order belied significant variation that existed among individuals. Third, in line with human values theory, ESs related to one another in a consistent pattern; certain service pairs reflected trade-off relationships (e.g., supporting and provisioning), whereas other service pairs reflected synergistic relationships (e.g., supporting and regulating). Together, these findings help improve understanding of when and why convergence and trade-offs in people's preferences for ESs occur, and this knowledge can inform the development of suitable conservation actions.

  11. Urban ecosystem services for resilience planning and management in New York City.

    PubMed

    McPhearson, Timon; Hamstead, Zoé A; Kremer, Peleg

    2014-05-01

    We review the current state of knowledge about urban ecosystem services in New York City (NYC) and how these services are regulated, planned for, and managed. Focusing on ecosystem services that have presented challenges in NYC-including stormwater quality enhancement and flood control, drinking water quality, food provisioning and recreation-we find that mismatches between the scale of production and scale of management occur where service provision is insufficient. Adequate production of locally produced services and services which are more accessible when produced locally is challenging in the context of dense urban development that is characteristic of NYC. Management approaches are needed to address scale mismatches in the production and consumption of ecosystem services. By coordinating along multiple scales of management and promoting best management practices, urban leaders have an opportunity to ensure that nature and ecosystem processes are protected in cities to support the delivery of fundamental urban ecosystem services.

  12. Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties.

    PubMed

    Knoke, Thomas; Paul, Carola; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Calvas, Baltazar; Castro, Luz Maria; Härtl, Fabian; Döllerer, Martin; Hamer, Ute; Windhorst, David; Wiersma, Yolanda F; Curatola Fernández, Giulia F; Obermeier, Wolfgang A; Adams, Julia; Breuer, Lutz; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Haber, Wolfgang; Fürst, Christine; Bendix, Jörg

    2016-06-13

    High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pasture rehabilitation, together with a succession option. Our results show that high compositional landscape diversity supports multiple ecosystem services (multifunction effect). This implicitly provides a buffer against uncertainty. Our work shows that active integration of uncertainty is only important when optimizing single or highly correlated ecosystem services and that the multifunction effect on landscape diversity is stronger than the uncertainty effect. This is an important insight to support a land-use planning based on ecosystem services.

  13. Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties

    PubMed Central

    Knoke, Thomas; Paul, Carola; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Calvas, Baltazar; Castro, Luz Maria; Härtl, Fabian; Döllerer, Martin; Hamer, Ute; Windhorst, David; Wiersma, Yolanda F.; Curatola Fernández, Giulia F.; Obermeier, Wolfgang A.; Adams, Julia; Breuer, Lutz; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Haber, Wolfgang; Fürst, Christine; Bendix, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pasture rehabilitation, together with a succession option. Our results show that high compositional landscape diversity supports multiple ecosystem services (multifunction effect). This implicitly provides a buffer against uncertainty. Our work shows that active integration of uncertainty is only important when optimizing single or highly correlated ecosystem services and that the multifunction effect on landscape diversity is stronger than the uncertainty effect. This is an important insight to support a land-use planning based on ecosystem services. PMID:27292766

  14. 78 FR 31573 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Social Values of Ecosystem Services at Cape...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-24

    ... Doc No: 2013-12444] DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS WSSO EQD SSD PPWON RADE3PPMR SNR1N.NM0000] Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Social Values of Ecosystem Services at...: None. This is a new collection. Title: Social Values of Ecosystem Services at Cape Lookout...

  15. Ecosystem Services: Developing strategic focus for U.S. EPA’s Ecological Research Program

    EPA Science Inventory

    U.S. EPA’s Office of Research and Development has made ecosystem services the new strategic focus for its Ecological Services Research Program (ESRP). Understanding that the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services can help maintain and improve human health, economic vit...

  16. Linking Ecosystem Services and Human Health: The Eco-Health Relationship Browser

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems provide multiple services associated with the provision of nature-based goods and services. Many of these ecosystem services have been linked to a range of positive health outcomes through buffering of pollutants, mitigation of natural hazards, and promotion of healthy...

  17. Soil Bacterial Communities Respond to Mowing and Nutrient Addition in a Steppe Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ximei; Chen, Quansheng; Han, Xingguo

    2013-01-01

    In many grassland ecosystems, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are added to improve plant productivity, and the aboveground plant biomass is mowed and stored as hay for the bullamacow. Nutrient addition and mowing affect the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and most of the previous studies have primarily focused on their effects on macro-organisms, neglecting the responses of soil microbial communities. In this study, we examined the changes in three community attributes (abundance, richness, and composition) of the entire bacterial kingdom and 16 dominant bacterial phyla/classes in response to mowing, N addition, P addition, and their combinations, by conducting a 5-year experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China. Overall, N addition had a greater effect than mowing and P addition on most of these bacterial groups, as indicated by changes in the abundance, richness and composition in response to these treatments. N addition affected these soil bacterial groups primarily through reducing soil pH and increasing available N content. Meanwhile, the 16 bacterial phyla/classes responded differentially to these experimental treatments, with Acidobacteria, Acidimicrobidae, Deltaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria being the most sensitive. The changes in the abundance, richness, and composition of various bacterial groups could imply some potential shift in their ecosystem functions. Furthermore, the important role of decreased soil pH caused by N addition in affecting soil bacterial communities suggests the importance of restoring acidified soil to maintain soil bacterial diversity. PMID:24391915

  18. The role of the atmosphere in the provision of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Cooter, Ellen J; Rea, Anne; Bruins, Randy; Schwede, Donna; Dennis, Robin

    2013-03-15

    Solving the environmental problems that we are facing today requires holistic approaches to analysis and decision making that include social and economic aspects. The concept of ecosystem services, defined as the benefits people obtain from ecosystems, is one potential tool to perform such assessments. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the need for an integrated approach that explicitly includes the contribution of atmospheric processes and functions to the quantification of air-ecosystem services. First, final and intermediate air-ecosystem services are defined. Next, an ecological production function for clean and clear air is described, and its numerical counterpart (the Community Multiscale Air Quality model) is introduced. An illustrative numerical example is developed that simulates potential changes in air-ecosystem services associated with the conversion of evergreen forest land in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to commercial crop land. This one-atmosphere approach captures a broad range of service increases and decreases. Results for the forest to cropland conversion scenario suggest that although such change could lead to increased biomass (food) production services, there could also be coincident, seasonally variable decreases in clean and clear air-ecosystem services (i.e., increased levels of ozone and particulate matter) associated with increased fertilizer application. Metrics that support the quantification of these regional air-ecosystem changes require regional ecosystem production functions that fully integrate biotic as well as abiotic components of terrestrial ecosystems, and do so on finer temporal scales than are used for the assessment of most ecosystem services.

  19. Ecosystem Services Modeling as a Tool for Defining Priority Areas for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Gabriela Teixeira; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Paglia, Adriano Pereira

    2016-01-01

    Conservationists often have difficulty obtaining financial and social support for protected areas that do not demonstrate their benefits for society. Therefore, ecosystem services have gained importance in conservation science in the last decade, as these services provide further justification for appropriate management and conservation of natural systems. We used InVEST software and a set of GIS procedures to quantify, spatialize and evaluated the overlap between ecosystem services—carbon stock and sediment retention—and a biodiversity proxy–habitat quality. In addition, we proposed a method that serves as an initial approach of a priority areas selection process. The method considers the synergism between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Our study region is the Iron Quadrangle, an important Brazilian mining province and a conservation priority area located in the interface of two biodiversity hotspots, the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. The resultant priority area for the maintenance of the highest values of ecosystem services and habitat quality was about 13% of the study area. Among those priority areas, 30% are already within established strictly protected areas, and 12% are in sustainable use protected areas. Following the transparent and highly replicable method we proposed in this study, conservation planners can better determine which areas fulfill multiple goals and can locate the trade-offs in the landscape. We also gave a step towards the improvement of the habitat quality model with a topography parameter. In areas of very rugged topography, we have to consider geomorfometric barriers for anthropogenic impacts and for species movement and we must think beyond the linear distances. Moreover, we used a model that considers the tree mortality caused by edge effects in the estimation of carbon stock. We found low spatial congruence among the modeled services, mostly because of the pattern of sediment retention distribution. PMID

  20. Habitat Fragmentation Intensifies Trade-Offs between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Heathland Ecosystem in Southern England.

    PubMed

    Cordingley, Justine E; Newton, Adrian C; Rose, Robert J; Clarke, Ralph T; Bullock, James M

    2015-01-01

    While habitat fragmentation represents a major threat to global biodiversity, its impacts on provision of ecosystem services are largely unknown. We analysed biodiversity value and provision of multiple ecosystem services in 110 fragments of lowland heathland ecosystems in southern England, in which vegetation dynamics have been monitored for over 30 years. Decreasing fragment size was found to be associated with a decrease in biodiversity and recreational values, but an increase in relative carbon storage, aesthetic value and timber value. The trade-off between either biodiversity or recreational values with the other ecosystem services therefore became more pronounced as heathland size decreased. This was attributed to a higher rate of woody succession in smaller heathland fragments over the past three decades, and contrasting values of different successional vegetation types for biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. These results suggest that habitat fragmentation can reduce the potential for developing "win win" solutions that contribute to biodiversity conservation while also supporting socio-economic development. Approaches to multi-purpose management of fragmented landscapes should therefore consider the potential trade-offs in ecosystem services and biodiversity associated with fragmentation, in order to make an effective contribution to sustainable development.

  1. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weckström, J.; Korhola, A.; Väliranta, M.; Seppä, H.; Luoto, M.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Leppäranta, M.; Kahilainen, K.; Saarinen, J.; Heikkinen, H.

    2012-04-01

    The predicted climate warming has raised many questions and concerns about its impacts on the environment and society. As a respond to the need of holistic studies comprising both of these areas, The Academy of Finland launched The Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA 2011-2014) in spring 2010 with the main aim to focus on the interaction between the environment and society. Ultimately 11 national consortium projects were funded (total budget 12 million EUR). Here we shortly present the main objectives of the largest consortium project "Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society" (CLICHE). The CLICHE consortium comprises eight interrelated work packages (treeline, diversity, peatlands, snow, lakes, fish, tourism, and traditional livelihoods), each led by a prominent research group and a team leader. The research consortium has three main overall objectives: 1) Investigate, map and model the past, present and future climate change-induced changes in central ecosystems of the European Arctic with unprecedented precision 2) Deepen our understanding of the basic principles of ecosystem and social resilience and dynamics; identify key taxa, structures or processes that clearly indicate impending or realised global change through their loss, occurrence or behaviour, using analogues from the past (e.g. Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period), experiments, observations and models 3) Develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on local communities, traditional livelihoods, fisheries, and tourism industry, and promote sustainable development of local community structures and enhance the quality of life of local human populations. As the project has started only recently no final results are available yet. However, the fieldwork as well as the co-operation between the research teams has thus far been very successful. Thus, the expectations for the final outcome of the project

  2. Tales from the Jungle: The Evolving Climate Services Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, K. T.

    2015-12-01

    In 2001 the NRC Report "A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Toward the Future" examined the state and trends of climate services. That report included a definition of this term that has lost no relevance: "The timely production and delivery of useful climate data, information, and knowledge to decision makers." The original entities delivering such services, at the state level, are represented by the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC). In 1986 the NOAA Regional Climate Center program was initiated, followed in 1994 by the NOAA Regional Climate Sciences and Assessments. Since 2010 we have seen the establishment of the USDI Climate Science Centers and the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the NOAA Regional Climate Service Directors, and the USDA Regional Climate Hubs. The recent expansion of formal programs has essentially filled out the agency "niche space." Other non-governmental and private entities are also expanding into this space. The present profusion runs a risk of creating a perception of excessive duplication in some quarters, including those funding these enterprises. Collectively these activities form what can be thought of as an ecosystem of climate services. A certain amount of replication is desirable, healthy, and necessary, but beyond some point can be excessive unless the total capacity remains insufficient. Each component has come into existence for a different set of reasons. Since these components were invented by human beings, their subsequent evolution can in theory be guided by humans. The history and purpose of each component needs to be borne in mind, with capsule descriptions suitable for rapid delivery to the decision-makers who approve the support for the various components. Good communication among the components is therefore essential for a healthy and functional overall system. This in turn calls for the ability to adequately represent the role of each of those components, a purpose best informed through actual

  3. The Development of an Ecosystem Services Framework for South East Queensland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard, Simone; James, David; Davidson, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    Extensive research has been conducted globally into conceptual frameworks for ecosystem services, the most notable being the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Millennium ecosystem assessment: ecosystems and human well-being; a framework for assessment. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, pp 51, 53-55, 2005). The South East Queensland (SEQ) Ecosystem Services Framework (Australia) aims to provide the tools to enable government, industry, business, researchers, non-government organizations and land managers to apply the concept of ecosystem services in their planning and management practices. This article describes the Framework and the process that has produced matrices and maps that identify and illustrate the linkages between ecosystems, ecosystem functions, ecosystem services and the community’s well-being. The matrices and maps derived can identify areas in the region where the most ecosystem services are generated. This allows areas to be considered as valuable natural assets of the region, deserving appropriate protection measures or significant offsets if they are diminished or degraded in any way. Although the Framework requires further refinement and ongoing development, the process applied and the products produced has enabled decision makers to turn the concept of ecosystem services into practical application in SEQ.

  4. An assessment of adherence to basic ecological principles by payments for ecosystem service projects.

    PubMed

    Prager, C M; Varga, A; Olmsted, P; Ingram, J C; Cattau, M; Freund, C; Wynn-Grant, R; Naeem, S

    2016-08-01

    Programs and projects employing payments for ecosystem service (PES) interventions achieve their objectives by linking buyers and sellers of ecosystem services. Although PES projects are popular conservation and development interventions, little is known about their adherence to basic ecological principles. We conducted a quantitative assessment of the degree to which a global set of PES projects adhered to four ecological principles that are basic scientific considerations for any project focused on ecosystem management: collection of baseline data, identification of threats to an ecosystem service, monitoring, and attention to ecosystem dynamics or the formation of an adaptive management plan. We evaluated 118 PES projects in three markets-biodiversity, carbon, and water-compiled using websites of major conservation organizations; ecology, economic, and climate-change databases; and three scholarly databases (ISI Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, and Google Scholar). To assess adherence to ecological principles, we constructed two scientific indices (one additive [ASI] and one multiplicative [MSI]) based on our four ecological criteria and analyzed index scores by relevant project characteristics (e.g., sector, buyer, seller). Carbon-sector projects had higher ASI values (P < 0.05) than water-sector projects and marginally higher ASI scores (P < 0.1) than biodiversity-sector projects, demonstrating their greater adherence to ecological principles. Projects financed by public-private partnerships had significantly higher ASI values than projects financed by governments (P < 0.05) and marginally higher ASI values than those funded by private entities (P < 0.1). We did not detect differences in adherence to ecological principles based on the inclusion of cobenefits, the spatial extent of a project, or the size of a project's budget. These findings suggest, at this critical phase in the rapid growth of PES projects, that fundamental ecological principles should be

  5. Integrating ecosystem-service tradeoffs into land-use decisions.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Joshua H; Caldarone, Giorgio; Duarte, Thomas Kaeo; Ennaanay, Driss; Hannahs, Neil; Mendoza, Guillermo; Polasky, Stephen; Wolny, Stacie; Daily, Gretchen C

    2012-05-08

    Recent high-profile efforts have called for integrating ecosystem-service values into important societal decisions, but there are few demonstrations of this approach in practice. We quantified ecosystem-service values to help the largest private landowner in Hawaii, Kamehameha Schools, design a land-use development plan that balances multiple private and public values on its North Shore land holdings (Island of O'ahu) of ∼10,600 ha. We used the InVEST software tool to evaluate the environmental and financial implications of seven planning scenarios encompassing contrasting land-use combinations including biofuel feedstocks, food crops, forestry, livestock, and residential development. All scenarios had positive financial return relative to the status quo of negative return. However, tradeoffs existed between carbon storage and water quality as well as between environmental improvement and financial return. Based on this analysis and community input, Kamehameha Schools is implementing a plan to support diversified agriculture and forestry. This plan generates a positive financial return ($10.9 million) and improved carbon storage (0.5% increase relative to status quo) with negative relative effects on water quality (15.4% increase in potential nitrogen export relative to status quo). The effects on water quality could be mitigated partially (reduced to a 4.9% increase in potential nitrogen export) by establishing vegetation buffers on agricultural fields. This plan contributes to policy goals for climate change mitigation, food security, and diversifying rural economic opportunities. More broadly, our approach illustrates how information can help guide local land-use decisions that involve tradeoffs between private and public interests.

  6. Cultural ecosystem services of mountain regions: Modelling the aesthetic value

    PubMed Central

    Schirpke, Uta; Timmermann, Florian; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Mountain regions meet an increasing demand for pleasant landscapes, offering many cultural ecosystem services to both their residents and tourists. As a result of global change, land managers and policy makers are faced with changes to this landscape and need efficient evaluation techniques to assess cultural ecosystem services. This study provides a spatially explicit modelling approach to estimating aesthetic landscape values by relating spatial landscape patterns to human perceptions via a photo-based survey. The respondents attributed higher aesthetic values to the Alpine landscape in respect to areas with settlements, infrastructure or intensive agricultural use. The aesthetic value of two study areas in the Central Alps (Stubai Valley, Austria and Vinschgau, Italy) was modelled for 10,215 viewpoints along hiking trails according to current land cover and a scenario considering the spontaneous reforestation of abandoned land. Viewpoints with high aesthetic values were mainly located at high altitude, allowing long vistas, and included views of lakes or glaciers, and the lowest values were for viewpoints close to streets and in narrow valleys with little view. The aesthetic values of the reforestation scenario decreased mainly at higher altitudes, but the whole area was affected, reducing aesthetic value by almost 10% in Stubai Valley and 15% in Vinschgau. Our proposed modelling approach allows the estimation of aesthetic values in spatial and qualitative terms for most viewpoints in the European Alps. The resulting maps can be used as information and the basis for discussion by stakeholders, to support the decision-making process and landscape planning. This paper also discusses the role of mountain farming in preserving an attractive landscape and related cultural values. PMID:27482152

  7. Economics, socio-ecological resilience and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Farley, Joshua; Voinov, Alexey

    2016-12-01

    The economic process transforms raw materials and energy into economic products and waste. On a finite planet, continued economic growth threatens to surpass critical socio-ecological thresholds and undermine ecosystem services upon which humans and all other species depend. For most systems, whether such thresholds exist, where they lie and whether they are reversible cannot be known with certainty until they are crossed. We argue that our central economic challenge is to maintain the resilience of the current socio-ecological regime. We must reduce net impacts of economic activity to avoid critical ecological thresholds while ensuring economic necessities. Conventional economists pursue continuous growth as the central goal of economic activity, and assume that the price mechanism and technological breakthroughs ensure system resilience. Unfortunately, the price mechanism fails to address ecological thresholds because it ignores unowned ecosystem services, and fails to address economic thresholds because it ignores the needs of the poorest individuals, who live on the edge of them. Panarchy theory suggests that systems go through a cycle of growth, conservation, release and renewal. Managing a subsystem too long for growth or conservation-which many consider to be the goal of sustainability-actually threatens to collapse the higher-level system upon which that subsystem depends. Black Swan theory suggests we should seek to reduce the risk of catastrophic thresholds and promote the likelihood of technological breakthroughs. Economic degrowth, or planned release, is required to avoid catastrophic collapse. At the same time, publicly funded, open source information can help stimulate the technological breakthroughs economists count on to ensure resilience.

  8. Integrating ecosystem-service tradeoffs into land-use decisions

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Joshua H.; Caldarone, Giorgio; Duarte, Thomas Kaeo; Ennaanay, Driss; Hannahs, Neil; Mendoza, Guillermo; Polasky, Stephen; Wolny, Stacie; Daily, Gretchen C.

    2012-01-01

    Recent high-profile efforts have called for integrating ecosystem-service values into important societal decisions, but there are few demonstrations of this approach in practice. We quantified ecosystem-service values to help the largest private landowner in Hawaii, Kamehameha Schools, design a land-use development plan that balances multiple private and public values on its North Shore land holdings (Island of O’ahu) of ∼10,600 ha. We used the InVEST software tool to evaluate the environmental and financial implications of seven planning scenarios encompassing contrasting land-use combinations including biofuel feedstocks, food crops, forestry, livestock, and residential development. All scenarios had positive financial return relative to the status quo of negative return. However, tradeoffs existed between carbon storage and water quality as well as between environmental improvement and financial return. Based on this analysis and community input, Kamehameha Schools is implementing a plan to support diversified agriculture and forestry. This plan generates a positive financial return ($10.9 million) and improved carbon storage (0.5% increase relative to status quo) with negative relative effects on water quality (15.4% increase in potential nitrogen export relative to status quo). The effects on water quality could be mitigated partially (reduced to a 4.9% increase in potential nitrogen export) by establishing vegetation buffers on agricultural fields. This plan contributes to policy goals for climate change mitigation, food security, and diversifying rural economic opportunities. More broadly, our approach illustrates how information can help guide local land-use decisions that involve tradeoffs between private and public interests. PMID:22529388

  9. The need for simultaneous evaluation of ecosystem services and land use change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, Ned H.; Smith, Loren M.; Liu, Shu-Guang; Feng, Min; Mushet, David M.; Auch, Roger F.; Loveland, Thomas R.

    2010-01-01

    We are living in a period of massive global change. This rate of change may be almost without precedent in geologic history (1). Even the most remote areas of the planet are influenced by human activities. Modern landscapes have been highly modified to accommodate a growing human population that the United Nations has forecast to peak at 9.1 billion by 2050. Over this past century, reliance on services from ecosystems has increased significantly and, over past decades, sustainability of our modern, intensively managed ecosystems has been a topic of serious international concern (1). Numerous papers addressing a particular land-use change effect on specific ecosystem services have recently been published. For example, there is currently great interest in increasing biofuel production to achieve energy inde- pendence goals and recent papers have independently focused attention on impacts of land-use change on single ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration (2) and many others (e.g., water availability, biodiversity, pollination). However, land-use change clearly affects myriad ecosystem services simultaneously. Hence, a broader perspective and context is needed to evaluate and understand interrelated affects on multiple ecosystem services, especially as we strive for the goal of sustainably managing global ecosystems. Similarly, land uses affect ecosystem services synergistically; single land-use evaluations may be misleading because the overall impact on an ecosystem is not evaluated. A more holistic approach would provide a means and framework to characterize how land-use change affects provisioning of goods and services of complete ecosystems.

  10. Modeling Temporal and Spatial Flows of Ecosystem Services in Chittenden County, VT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, B. G.; Bagstad, K.; Johnson, G.; Villa, F.

    2010-12-01

    This paper documents the integration of ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services) with the land use change model UrbanSim to explore the impacts of current and future land use patterns on flood protection and water provision services in Chittenden County, VT. ARIES, an open source modeling platform, is particularly well-suited for measuring, mapping, and modeling the temporal and spatial flows of ecosystem services across the landscape, linking the areas of provision (sources) with human beneficiaries (users) through a spatially explicit agent-based modeling approach. UrbanSim is an open source agent-based land use model designed to facilitate a wide-range of scenarios based on user-specified behavioral assumptions, zoning regulations, and demographic, economic, and infrastructure (e.g. transportation, water, sewer, etc.) parameters. Ecosystem services travel through time and space and are susceptible to disruption and destruction from both natural and anthropogenic perturbations. The conversion of forested or agricultural land to urbanizing uses is replete with a long history of hydrologic impairment, habitat fragmentation, and the degradation of sensitive landscapes. Development decisions are predicated on the presence of landscape characteristics that meet the needs of developers and satisfy the desires of consumers, with minimal consideration of access to or effect on the provision of ecosystem services. The County houses nearly 25% of the state’s population and several employment centers that draw labor from throughout the region. Additionally, the County is expected to maintain modest residential and employment growth over the next 30 years, and will continue to serve as the state’s population and employment center. Expected future growth is likely to adversely affect the remaining farm and forest land in the County in the absence of policies to support sustainable development. We demonstrate how ARIES can be used to quantify changes in

  11. Measuring conditions and trends in ecosystem services at multiple scales: the Southern African Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (SAfMA) experience

    PubMed Central

    van Jaarsveld, A.S; Biggs, R; Scholes, R.J; Bohensky, E; Reyers, B; Lynam, T; Musvoto, C; Fabricius, C

    2005-01-01

    The Southern African Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (SAfMA) evaluated the relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being at multiple scales, ranging from local through to sub-continental. Trends in ecosystem services (fresh water, food, fuel-wood, cultural and biodiversity) over the period 1990–2000 were mixed across scales. Freshwater resources appear strained across the continent with large numbers of people not securing adequate supplies, especially of good quality water. This translates to high infant mortality patterns across the region. In some areas, the use of water resources for irrigated agriculture and urban–industrial expansion is taking place at considerable cost to the quality and quantity of freshwater available to ecosystems and for domestic use. Staple cereal production across the region has increased but was outstripped by population growth while protein malnutrition is on the rise. The much-anticipated wood-fuel crisis on the subcontinent has not materialized but some areas are experiencing shortages while numerous others remain vulnerable. Cultural benefits of biodiversity are considerable, though hard to quantify or track over time. Biodiversity resources remain at reasonable levels, but are declining faster than reflected in species extinction rates and appear highly sensitive to land-use decisions. The SAfMA sub-global assessment provided an opportunity to experiment with innovative ways to assess ecosystem services including the use of supply–demand surfaces, service sources and sink areas, priority areas for service provision, service ‘hotspots’ and trade-off assessments. PMID:15814355

  12. Land use/land cover change and implications for ecosystems services in the Likangala River Catchment, Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pullanikkatil, Deepa; Palamuleni, Lobina G.; Ruhiiga, Tabukeli M.

    2016-06-01

    Likangala River catchment in Zomba District of Southern Malawi is important for water resources, agriculture and provides many ecosystem services. Provisioning ecosystem services accrued by the populations within the catchment include water, fish, medicinal plants and timber among others. In spite of its importance, the River catchment is under threat from anthropogenic activities and land use change. This paper studies land uses and land cover change in the catchment and how the changes have impacted on the ecosystem services. Landsat 5 and 8 images (1984, 1994, 2005 and 2013) were used to map land cover change and subsequent inventorying of provisioning ecosystem services. Participatory Geographic Information Systems and Focus group discussions were conducted to identify provisioning ecosystems services that communities benefit from the catchment and indicate these on the map. Post classification comparisons indicate that since 1984, there has been a decline in woodlands from 135.3 km2 in 1984 to 15.5 km2 in 2013 while urban areas increased from 9.8 km2 to 23.8 km2 in 2013. Communities indicated that provisioning ecosystems services such as forest products, wild animals and fruits and medicinal plants have been declining over the years. In addition, evidence of catchment degradation through waste disposal, illegal sand mining, deforestation and farming on marginal lands were observed. Population growth, urbanization and demand for agricultural lands have contributed to this land use and land cover change. The study suggests addressing catchment degradation through integrated method where an ecosystems approach is used. Thus, both the proximate and underlying driving factors of land-use and land cover change need to be addressed in order to sustainably reduce ecosystem degradation.

  13. Effects of river impoundment on ecosystem services of large tropical rivers: embodied energy and market value of artisanal fisheries.

    PubMed

    Hoeinghaus, David J; Agostinho, Angelo A; Gomes, Luiz C; Pelicice, Fernando M; Okada, Edson K; Latini, João D; Kashiwaqui, Elaine A L; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2009-10-01

    Applying the ecosystem services concept to conservation initiatives or in managing ecosystem services requires understanding how environmental impacts affect the ecology of key species or functional groups providing the services. We examined effects of river impoundments, one of the leading threats to freshwater biodiversity, on an important ecosystem service provided by large tropical rivers (i.e., artisanal fisheries). The societal and economic importance of this ecosystem service in developing countries may provide leverage to advance conservation agendas where future impoundments are being considered. We assessed impoundment effects on the energetic costs of fisheries production (embodied energy) and commercial market value of the artisanal fishery of the Paraná River, Brazil, before and after formation of Itaipu Reservoir. High-value migratory species that dominated the fishery before the impoundment was built constituted a minor component of the contemporary fishery that is based heavily on reservoir-adapted introduced species. Cascading effects of river impoundment resulted in a mismatch between embodied energy and market value: energetic costs of fisheries production increased, whereas market value decreased. This was partially attributable to changes in species functional composition but also strongly linked to species identities that affected market value as a result of consumer preferences even when species were functionally similar. Similar trends are expected in other large tropical rivers following impoundment. In addition to identifying consequences of a common anthropogenic impact on an important ecosystem service, our assessment provides insight into the sustainability of fisheries production in tropical rivers and priorities for regional biodiversity conservation.

  14. The EBM-DPSER conceptual model: integrating ecosystem services into the DPSIR framework.

    PubMed

    Kelble, Christopher R; Loomis, Dave K; Lovelace, Susan; Nuttle, William K; Ortner, Peter B; Fletcher, Pamela; Cook, Geoffrey S; Lorenz, Jerry J; Boyer, Joseph N

    2013-01-01

    There is a pressing need to integrate biophysical and human dimensions science to better inform holistic ecosystem management supporting the transition from single species or single-sector management to multi-sector ecosystem-based management. Ecosystem-based management should focus upon ecosystem services, since they reflect societal goals, values, desires, and benefits. The inclusion of ecosystem services into holistic management strategies improves management by better capturing the diversity of positive and negative human-natural interactions and making explicit the benefits to society. To facilitate this inclusion, we propose a conceptual model that merges the broadly applied Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, and Response (DPSIR) conceptual model with ecosystem services yielding a Driver, Pressure, State, Ecosystem service, and Response (EBM-DPSER) conceptual model. The impact module in traditional DPSIR models focuses attention upon negative anthropomorphic impacts on the ecosystem; by replacing impacts with ecosystem services the EBM-DPSER model incorporates not only negative, but also positive changes in the ecosystem. Responses occur as a result of changes in ecosystem services and include inter alia management actions directed at proactively altering human population or individual behavior and infrastructure to meet societal goals. The EBM-DPSER conceptual model was applied to the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas marine ecosystem as a case study to illustrate how it can inform management decisions. This case study captures our system-level understanding and results in a more holistic representation of ecosystem and human society interactions, thus improving our ability to identify trade-offs. The EBM-DPSER model should be a useful operational tool for implementing EBM, in that it fully integrates our knowledge of all ecosystem components while focusing management attention upon those aspects of the ecosystem most important to human society and does so within

  15. The EBM-DPSER Conceptual Model: Integrating Ecosystem Services into the DPSIR Framework

    PubMed Central

    Kelble, Christopher R.; Loomis, Dave K.; Lovelace, Susan; Nuttle, William K.; Ortner, Peter B.; Fletcher, Pamela; Cook, Geoffrey S.; Lorenz, Jerry J.; Boyer, Joseph N.

    2013-01-01

    There is a pressing need to integrate biophysical and human dimensions science to better inform holistic ecosystem management supporting the transition from single species or single-sector management to multi-sector ecosystem-based management. Ecosystem-based management should focus upon ecosystem services, since they reflect societal goals, values, desires, and benefits. The inclusion of ecosystem services into holistic management strategies improves management by better capturing the diversity of positive and negative human-natural interactions and making explicit the benefits to society. To facilitate this inclusion, we propose a conceptual model that merges the broadly applied Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, and Response (DPSIR) conceptual model with ecosystem services yielding a Driver, Pressure, State, Ecosystem service, and Response (EBM-DPSER) conceptual model. The impact module in traditional DPSIR models focuses attention upon negative anthropomorphic impacts on the ecosystem; by replacing impacts with ecosystem services the EBM-DPSER model incorporates not only negative, but also positive changes in the ecosystem. Responses occur as a result of changes in ecosystem services and include inter alia management actions directed at proactively altering human population or individual behavior and infrastructure to meet societal goals. The EBM-DPSER conceptual model was applied to the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas marine ecosystem as a case study to illustrate how it can inform management decisions. This case study captures our system-level understanding and results in a more holistic representation of ecosystem and human society interactions, thus improving our ability to identify trade-offs. The EBM-DPSER model should be a useful operational tool for implementing EBM, in that it fully integrates our knowledge of all ecosystem components while focusing management attention upon those aspects of the ecosystem most important to human society and does so within

  16. Value Assessment of Ecosystem Services in Nature Reserves in Ningxia, China: A Response to Ecological Restoration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yan; Gao, Jixi; Wang, Jinsheng; Qiu, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Changes in land use can cause significant changes in the ecosystem structure and process variation of ecosystem services. This study presents a detailed spatial, quantitative assessment of the variation in the value of ecosystem services based on land use change in national nature reserves of the Ningxia autonomous region in China. We used areas of land use types calculated from the remote sensing data and the adjusted value coefficients to assess the value of ecosystem services for the years 2000, 2005, and 2010, analyzing the fluctuations in the valuation of ecosystem services in response to land use change. With increases in the areas of forest land and water bodies, the value of ecosystem services increased from 182.3×107 to 223.8×107 US$ during 2000–2010. Grassland and forest land accounted for 90% of this increase. The values of all ecosystem services increased during this period, especially the value of ecosystem services for biodiversity protection and soil formation and protection. Ecological restoration in the reserves had a positive effect on the value of ecosystem services during 2000–2010. PMID:24586571

  17. Value assessment of ecosystem services in nature reserves in Ningxia, China: a response to ecological restoration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Gao, Jixi; Wang, Jinsheng; Qiu, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Changes in land use can cause significant changes in the ecosystem structure and process variation of ecosystem services. This study presents a detailed spatial, quantitative assessment of the variation in the value of ecosystem services based on land use change in national nature reserves of the Ningxia autonomous region in China. We used areas of land use types calculated from the remote sensing data and the adjusted value coefficients to assess the value of ecosystem services for the years 2000, 2005, and 2010, analyzing the fluctuations in the valuation of ecosystem services in response to land use change. With increases in the areas of forest land and water bodies, the value of ecosystem services increased from 182.3×10(7) to 223.8×10(7) US$ during 2000-2010. Grassland and forest land accounted for 90% of this increase. The values of all ecosystem services increased during this period, especially the value of ecosystem services for biodiversity protection and soil formation and protection. Ecological restoration in the reserves had a positive effect on the value of ecosystem services during 2000-2010.

  18. Protecting our environmental wealth: Connecting ecosystem goods and services to human well-being

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems produce essential outputs upon which people’s well-being and livelihood depend. These outputs are referred to as “ecosystem goods and services” (EGS). National accounting systems do not track the goods and services produced by ecosystems, and we do not have a consist...

  19. Regional Approach for Linking Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Strategies Under Climate Change of Pastoral Communities in the Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, D. S.; Galvin, K.; Togtohyn, C.

    2012-12-01

    Dramatic changes due to climate and land use dynamics in the Mongolian Plateau affecting ecosystem services and agro-pastoral systems in Mongolia. Recently, market forces and development strategies are affecting land and water resources of the pastoral communities which are being further stressed due to climatic changes. Evaluation of pastoral systems, where humans depend on livestock and grassland ecosystem services, have demonstrated the vulnerability of the social-ecological system to climate change. Current social-ecological changes in ecosystem services are affecting land productivity and carrying capacity, land-atmosphere interactions, water resources, and livelihood strategies. The general trend involves greater intensification of resource exploitation at the expense of traditional patterns of extensive range utilization. Thus we expect climate-land use-land cover relationships to be crucially modified by the social-economic forces. The analysis incorporates information about the social-economic transitions taking place in the region which affect land-use, food security, and ecosystem dynamics. The region of study extends from the Mongolian plateau in Mongolia. Our research indicate that sustainability of pastoral systems in the region needs to integrate the impact of climate change on ecosystem services with socio-economic changes shaping the livelihood strategies of pastoral systems in the region. Adaptation strategies which incorporate integrated analysis of landscape management and livelihood strategies provides a framework which links ecosystem services to critical resource assets. Analysis of the available livelihood assets provides insights to the adaptive capacity of various agents in a region or in a community. Sustainable development pathways which enable the development of these adaptive capacity elements will lead to more effective adaptive management strategies for pastoral land use and herder's living standards. Pastoralists will have the

  20. Molecular aspects of aromatic C additions to soils: Implications of biochar quality for ecosystem functionality

    EPA Science Inventory

    Solid residues of incomplete combustion (biochar or char) are continuously being added to soils due to natural vegetation fires in many ecosystems. However, new strategies for carbon sequestration in soils are likely to include the active addition of biochar to soils. Since bioc...

  1. Mapping tsunami impacts on land cover and related ecosystem service supply in Phang Nga, Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, G.; Burkhard, B.; Römer, H.; Sangkaew, S.; Graterol, R.; Haitook, T.; Sterr, H.; Sakuna-Schwartz, D.

    2013-12-01

    The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused damages to coastal ecosystems and thus affected the livelihoods of the coastal communities who depend on services provided by these ecosystems. The paper presents a case study on evaluating and mapping the spatial and temporal impacts of the tsunami on land use and land cover (LULC) and related ecosystem service supply in the Phang Nga province, Thailand. The method includes local stakeholder interviews, field investigations, remote-sensing techniques, and GIS. Results provide an ecosystem services matrix with capacity scores for 18 LULC classes and 17 ecosystem functions and services as well as pre-/post-tsunami and recovery maps indicating changes in the ecosystem service supply capacities in the study area. Local stakeholder interviews revealed that mangroves, casuarina forest, mixed beach forest, coral reefs, tidal inlets, as well as wetlands (peat swamp forest) have the highest capacity to supply ecosystem services, while e.g. plantations have a lower capacity. The remote-sensing based damage and recovery analysis showed a loss of the ecosystem service supply capacities in almost all LULC classes for most of the services due to the tsunami. A fast recovery of LULC and related ecosystem service supply capacities within one year could be observed for e.g. beaches, while mangroves or casuarina forest needed several years to recover. Applying multi-temporal mapping the spatial variations of recovery could be visualised. While some patches of coastal forest were fully recovered after 3 yr, other patches were still affected and thus had a reduced capacity to supply ecosystem services. The ecosystem services maps can be used to quantify ecological values and their spatial distribution in the framework of a tsunami risk assessment. Beyond that they are considered to be a useful tool for spatial analysis in coastal risk management in Phang Nga.

  2. [Assessment and spatiotemporal difference of ecosystem services value in Shaanxi Province].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yong-hua; Zhang, Ling-ling; Wang, Xiao-feng

    2011-10-01

    Based on the investigation data of land use change and the services values of terrestrial ecosystems in China, this paper analyzed the variations of ecosystem services values and their differences at different scales in Shaanxi Province, and approached the effects of the requisition-compensation balance of cultivated land and the program of conversing cropland into forestland on the ecosystem services values as well as their dynamic variations in the Province from 2001 to 2006. In the study period, the total ecosystem services value in the Province had an overall increasing trend. The ecosystem services value of forestland accounted for more than 76.5%, and its increment occupied 97.5% of the total; whereas the ecosystem services values of arable land, grassland, and unused land decreased, and the decrement of the ecosystem services value of cultivated land accounted for 81.7% of the total. The services values of urban ecosystems in the Province in 2001-2006 all increased to some extent, with the largest increment in Yan' an City, followed by in Yulin City, and the smallest in Yangling District. The ecosystem services value in the Loess Plateau increased most obviously, with the increment accounted for 61.2% of the total, followed by in the Qinba Mountains, and the least in the Guanzhong Plain. The requisition-compensation balance of cultivated land in the Province did well, with the ecosystem services value presented an increasing trend. The program of conversing cropland into forestland increased the ecosystem services value most in the Loess Plateau whereas the least in the Guanzhong Plain.

  3. A decision framework for identifying models to estimate forest ecosystem services gains from restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christin, Zachary; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Verdone, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Restoring degraded forests and agricultural lands has become a global conservation priority. A growing number of tools can quantify ecosystem service tradeoffs associated with forest restoration. This evolving “tools landscape” presents a dilemma: more tools are available, but selecting appropriate tools has become more challenging. We present a Restoration Ecosystem Service Tool Selector (RESTS) framework that describes key characteristics of 13 ecosystem service assessment tools. Analysts enter information about their decision context, services to be analyzed, and desired outputs. Tools are filtered and presented based on five evaluative criteria: scalability, cost, time requirements, handling of uncertainty, and applicability to benefit-cost analysis. RESTS uses a spreadsheet interface but a web-based interface is planned. Given the rapid evolution of ecosystem services science, RESTS provides an adaptable framework to guide forest restoration decision makers toward tools that can help quantify ecosystem services in support of restoration.

  4. Minimizing impacts of land use change on ecosystem services using multi-criteria heuristic analysis.

    PubMed

    Keller, Arturo A; Fournier, Eric; Fox, Jessica

    2015-06-01

    Development of natural landscapes to support human activities impacts the capacity of the landscape to provide ecosystem services. Typically, several ecosystem services are impacted at a single development site and various footprint scenarios are possible, thus a multi-criteria analysis is needed. Restoration potential should also be considered for the area surrounding the permanent impact site. The primary objective of this research was to develop a heuristic approach to analyze multiple criteria (e.g. impacts to various ecosystem services) in a spatial configuration with many potential development sites. The approach was to: (1) quantify the magnitude of terrestrial ecosystem service (biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient and sediment retention, and pollination) impacts associated with a suite of land use change scenarios using the InVEST model; (2) normalize results across categories of ecosystem services to allow cross-service comparison; (3) apply the multi-criteria heuristic algorithm to select sites with the least impact to ecosystem services, including a spatial criterion (separation between sites). As a case study, the multi-criteria impact minimization algorithm was applied to InVEST output to select 25 potential development sites out of 204 possible locations (selected by other criteria) within a 24,000 ha property. This study advanced a generally applicable spatial multi-criteria approach for 1) considering many land use footprint scenarios, 2) balancing impact decisions across a suite of ecosystem services, and 3) determining the restoration potential of ecosystem services after impacts.

  5. Seagrass Ecosystem Services and Their Variability across Genera and Geographical Regions.

    PubMed

    Mtwana Nordlund, Lina; Koch, Evamaria W; Barbier, Edward B; Creed, Joel C

    2016-01-01

    Threats to and loss of seagrass ecosystems globally, impact not only natural resources but also the lives of people who directly or indirectly depend on these systems. Seagrass ecosystems play a multi-functional role in human well-being, e.g. food through fisheries, control of erosion and protection against floods. Quantifying these services reveals their contributions to human well-being and helps justify seagrass conservation. There has been no comprehensive assessment as to whether seagrass ecosystem services are perceived to vary over the globe or amongst genera. Our study compiles the most complete list of ecosystem services provided by seagrasses so far, including bioregional- and genus-specific information from expert opinion and published studies. Several seagrass ecosystem services vary considerably in their (known) provision across genera and over the globe. Seagrasses genera are clearly not all equal with regard to the ecosystem services they provide. As seagrass genera are not evenly distributed over all bioregions, the presence of an ecosystem service sometimes depends on the genera present. Larger sized seagrass genera (e.g. Posidonia, Enhalus) are perceived to provide more substantial and a wider variety of ecosystem services than smaller species (e.g. Halophila, Lepilaena). Nevertheless, smaller species provide important services. Our findings point out data gaps, provide new insight for more efficient management and recommend caution in economic valuation of seagrass services worldwide.

  6. Seagrass Ecosystem Services and Their Variability across Genera and Geographical Regions

    PubMed Central

    Mtwana Nordlund, Lina; Barbier, Edward B.; Creed, Joel C.

    2016-01-01

    Threats to and loss of seagrass ecosystems globally, impact not only natural resources but also the lives of people who directly or indirectly depend on these systems. Seagrass ecosystems play a multi-functional role in human well-being, e.g. food through fisheries, control of erosion and protection against floods. Quantifying these services reveals their contributions to human well-being and helps justify seagrass conservation. There has been no comprehensive assessment as to whether seagrass ecosystem services are perceived to vary over the globe or amongst genera. Our study compiles the most complete list of ecosystem services provided by seagrasses so far, including bioregional- and genus-specific information from expert opinion and published studies. Several seagrass ecosystem services vary considerably in their (known) provision across genera and over the globe. Seagrasses genera are clearly not all equal with regard to the ecosystem services they provide. As seagrass genera are not evenly distributed over all bioregions, the presence of an ecosystem service sometimes depends on the genera present. Larger sized seagrass genera (e.g. Posidonia, Enhalus) are perceived to provide more substantial and a wider variety of ecosystem services than smaller species (e.g. Halophila, Lepilaena). Nevertheless, smaller species provide important services. Our findings point out data gaps, provide new insight for more efficient management and recommend caution in economic valuation of seagrass services worldwide. PMID:27732600

  7. A Quantitative review of relationships between Ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Lautenbach, S.

    2014-12-01

    Each decision in natural resources management can generate trade-offs with respect to the provisioning of ecosystem services (ES). If the increase of one ES happens directly or indirectly at the cost of another ES, an attempt to maximize the provision of a single ES will lead to suboptimal results. However, decisions in natural resources management are often made without considering such trade-offs, despite their crucial role toward supporting better decision-making. The research on trade-offs between ES has gained some attention in the scientific community. However, a synthesis on existing knowledge and knowledge gaps is missing so far. We aim at closing that gap by a quantitative review of recent literature on trade-offs of ES. We looked at the pairs of ES that have been studied in ~100 case studies that report on trade-offs between ES. If a case study analyzed more than one ES pair, we looked at all pairwise combinations. We categorized relationships between these pairs of ES into the categories "trade-off", "synergy" or "no-effect". Most pairs of ES had a clear association with one category: the majority of case studies that studied a specific pair of ES identified the same category of relationship between the two ES. Pairs of regulating services were typically synergetic in relationship, whereas provisioning services and regulating services typically showed a trade-off. However, for several pairs of ES we were not able to identify a dominate category of relationship. Our hypothesis is that this relates to either the scale of the analysis, the land system where the analysis took place or the method used to quantify the relationship. The number of case studies for each pair of ES was spread unevenly. This hinders the support for a conclusive statement drawn for the pairs. Our results showed further that the method used to identify the relationship between services had a strong effect on the direction of the effect. This suggests that researchers should consider

  8. Responses of ecosystem nitrogen cycle to nitrogen addition: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Meng; Yang, Yuanhe; Luo, Yiqi; Fang, Changming; Zhou, Xuhui; Chen, Jiakuan; Yang, Xin; Li, Bo

    2011-03-01

    • Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) addition may substantially alter the terrestrial N cycle. However, a comprehensive understanding of how the ecosystem N cycle responds to external N input remains elusive. • Here, we evaluated the central tendencies of the responses of 15 variables associated with the ecosystem N cycle to N addition, using data extracted from 206 peer-reviewed papers. • Our results showed that the largest changes in the ecosystem N cycle caused by N addition were increases in soil inorganic N leaching (461%), soil NO₃⁻ concentration (429%), nitrification (154%), nitrous oxide emission (134%), and denitrification (84%). N addition also substantially increased soil NH₄+ concentration (47%), and the N content in belowground (53%) and aboveground (44%) plant pools, leaves (24%), litter (24%) and dissolved organic N (21%). Total N content in the organic horizon (6.1%) and mineral soil (6.2%) slightly increased in response to N addition. However, N addition induced a decrease in microbial biomass N by 5.8%. • The increases in N effluxes caused by N addition were much greater than those in plant and soil pools except soil NO₃⁻, suggesting a leaky terrestrial N system.

  9. Plant-trait-based modeling assessment of ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change.

    PubMed

    Quétier, Fabien; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Davies, Ian

    2007-12-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the continued provision of essential ecosystem services is vulnerable to land-use change. Yet, we lack a strong scientific basis for this vulnerability as the processes that drive ecosystem-service delivery often remain unclear. In this paper, we use plant traits to assess ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change in subalpine grasslands. We use a trait-based plant classification (plant functional types, PFTs) in a landscape modeling platform to model community dynamics under contrasting but internally consistent land-use change scenarios. We then use predictive models of relevant ecosystem attributes, based on quantitative plant traits, to make projections of ecosystem-service delivery. We show that plant traits and PFTs are effective predictors of relevant ecosystem attributes for a range of ecosystem services including provisioning (fodder), cultural (land stewardship), regulating (landslide and avalanche risk), and supporting services (plant diversity). By analyzing the relative effects of the physical environment and land use on relevant ecosystem attributes, we also show that these ecosystem services are most sensitive to changes in grassland management, supporting current agri-environmental policies aimed at maintaining mowing of subalpine grasslands in Europe.

  10. Managing Bioenergy Production on Arable Field Margins for Multiple Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrarini, Andrea; Serra, Paolo; Amaducci, Stefano; Trevisan, Marco; Puglisi, Edoardo

    2013-04-01

    Growing crops for bioenergy is increasingly viewed as conflicting with food production. However, energy use continues to rise and food production requires fuel inputs, which have increased with intensification. The debate should shift from "food or fuel" to the more challenging target: how the increasing demand for food and energy can be met in the future, particularly when water and land availability will be limited. As for food crops, also for bioenergy crops it is questioned whether it is preferable to manage cultivation to enhance ecosystem services ("land sharing" strategy) or to grow crops with lower ecosystem services but higher yield, thereby requiring less land to meet bioenergy demand ("land sparing" strategy). Energy crop production systems differ greatly in the supply of ecosystem services. The use of perennial biomass (e.g. Switchgrass, Mischantus, Giant reed) for energy production is considered a promising way to reduce net carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. In addition, regulating and supporting ecosystem services could be provided when specific management of bioenergy crops is implemented. The idea of HEDGE-BIOMASS* project is to convert the arable field margins to bioenergy crop production fostering a win-win strategy at landscape level. Main objective of the project is to improve land management to generate environmental benefits and increase farmer income. The various options available in literature for an improved field boundary management are presented. The positive/unknown/negative effects of growing perennial bioenergy crops on field margins will be discussed relatively to the following soil-related ecosystem services: (I) biodiversity conservation and enhancement, (II) soil nutrient cycling, (III) climate regulation (reduction of GHG emissions and soil carbon sequestration/stabilization, (IV) water regulation (filtering and buffering), (V) erosion regulation, (VI) pollination and pest regulation. From the analysis of available

  11. Abundance of common species, not species richness, drives delivery of a real-world ecosystem service.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael; Fox, Jeremy W; Williams, Neal M; Reilly, James R; Cariveau, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have established that species richness and composition are both important determinants of ecosystem function in an experimental context. Determining whether this result holds for real-world ecosystem services has remained elusive, however, largely due to the lack of analytical methods appropriate for large-scale, associational data. Here, we use a novel analytical approach, the Price equation, to partition the contribution to ecosystem services made by species richness, composition and abundance in four large-scale data sets on crop pollination by native bees. We found that abundance fluctuations of dominant species drove ecosystem service delivery, whereas richness changes were relatively unimportant because they primarily involved rare species that contributed little to function. Thus, the mechanism behind our results was the skewed species-abundance distribution. Our finding that a few common species, not species richness, drive ecosystem service delivery could have broad generality given the ubiquity of skewed species-abundance distributions in nature.

  12. [Ecosystem services evaluation based on geographic information system and remote sensing technology: a review].

    PubMed

    Li, Wen-Jie; Zhang, Shi-Huang; Wang, Hui-Min

    2011-12-01

    Ecosystem services evaluation is a hot topic in current ecosystem management, and has a close link with human beings welfare. This paper summarized the research progress on the evaluation of ecosystem services based on geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) technology, which could be reduced to the following three characters, i. e., ecological economics theory is widely applied as a key method in quantifying ecosystem services, GIS and RS technology play a key role in multi-source data acquisition, spatiotemporal analysis, and integrated platform, and ecosystem mechanism model becomes a powerful tool for understanding the relationships between natural phenomena and human activities. Aiming at the present research status and its inadequacies, this paper put forward an "Assembly Line" framework, which was a distributed one with scalable characteristics, and discussed the future development trend of the integration research on ecosystem services evaluation based on GIS and RS technologies.

  13. A New Earth Observation Based Geographic Ecosystem Monitoring And Assessment Service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, E.; Lyon, D.; Eyre, C. C.; Hoffmann, C.; Hedley, J.; Bondo, T.; Ledwith, M.

    2013-12-01

    Earth observation based mapping of the physical and social landscape can improve the understanding of the economic and societal benefits arising from specific ecosystems. The European Space Agency (ESA) G- ECO-MON - Geographic Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment Service project is intended to show that Earth Observation (EO) applications are neither costly nor complex and are globally accessible. Therefore they are ideally suited for ecosystem service monitoring and assessment. By supporting better understanding of ecosystem services, EO applications support the sustainable management of natural capital and the wider environment. EO can thus make an important contribution both to organisations and to the environment, as well as society at large.

  14. Ecosystem services - from assessements of estimations to quantitative, validated, high-resolution, continental-scale mapping via airborne LIDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlinszky, András; Pfeifer, Norbert

    2016-04-01

    service potential" which is the ability of the local ecosystem to deliver various functions (water retention, carbon storage etc.), but can't quantify how much of these are actually used by humans or what the estimated monetary value is. Due to its ability to measure both terrain relief and vegetation structure in high re