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Sample records for affect ecosystem services

  1. How does vineyard management intensity affect ecosystem services and disservices - insights from a meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann G.; Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Strauss, Peter; Bauer, Thomas; Paredes, Daniel; Gómez, José A.; Guzmán, Gema; Landa, Blanca; Nicolai, Annegret; Burel, Francoise; Cluzeau, Daniel; Popescu, Daniela; Bunea, Claudiu-Ioan; Potthoff, Martin; Guernion, Muriel; Batáry, Péter

    2016-04-01

    Viticultural agro-ecosystems provide a range of different ecosystem services which are affected by management decisions of winegrowers. At the global scale, vineyards are often high intensity agricultural systems with bare soil or inter-row vegetation consisting of only a few plant species. These systems primarily aim at optimizing wine production by reducing competition for water and nutrients between grapevines and weeds and by preventing the outbreak of pests and diseases. At the same time, this kind of management is often associated with ecosystem disservices such as high rates of soil erosion, degradation of soil structure and fertility, contamination of groundwater and decline of biodiversity. Recently, several initiatives across the world tried to overcome detrimental effects of that management style by creating biodiversity friendly vineyards. The consequences of establishing divers cover crop mixes or tolerating spontaneous vegetation in vineyards for ecosystem services (including yield) overstretching local case studies has not been investigated yet. This meta-analysis will provide an overview of all published studies comparing the effects of different vineyard management practices on a range of different ecosystem services like biodiversity, pest control, pollination, soil conservation and carbon sequestration. The aggregated effect size will point out which management measures can provide the best overall net sum of ecosystem services. This meta-analysis is part of the transdisciplinary BiodivERsA project VineDivers and will ultimately lead into management and policy recommendations for various stakeholder groups engaged in viticulture.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  4. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Paul J.; Hanauer, Merlin M.

    2014-01-01

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. Implications for Ecosystem Services of Watershed Processes that affect the Transport and Transformations of Mercury in an Adirondack Stream Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, D. A.; Riva-Murray, K.; Bradley, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the health of humans and wildlife through the ingestion of methyl Hg. Mercury contamination of ecosystems originates from human activities such as mining, coal burning and other industrial emissions, and the use of Hg-containing products. Natural sources such as volcanic and geothermal emissions and the weathering of Hg-bearing minerals also contribute to Hg contamination, but are believed to be minor sources in most ecosystems. Various ecosystem disturbances including fires, forest harvesting, and the submergence of land by impoundment may also contribute to Hg ecosystem contamination by mobilizing stores that have previously originated from the sources described above. Mercury from a mix of regional and global emissions sources is transported in the atmosphere to remote landscapes that are distant from local emissions sources. The Adirondacks of New York State is a forested, mountainous region characterized by abundant lakes and streams, and is distant from local emissions sources. Recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting are valued ecosystem services in this region. Here, we report on the relevance to ecosystem services of findings based on five years of Hg data collection of stream water, groundwater, invertebrates, and fish in the upper Hudson River basin in the central part of the Adirondack region. The New York State Dept. of Health has issued fish consumption advisories for the entire Adirondacks based on elevated levels previously measured in lakes and rivers of this region. Our work seeks improved understanding and models of the landscape sources and watershed processes that control the transformation of Hg to its methyl form (MeHg), the transport of MeHg to streams, and bioaccumulation of MeHg in aquatic food webs. Mean annual atmospheric Hg deposition was 6.3 μg/m2/yr during 2007-09, compared to mean annual filtered total Hg stream yields of 1.66 μg/m2/yr and filtered MeHg stream

  8. [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. PMID:26259442

  9. A Screening-Level Approach for Comparing Risks Affecting Aquatic Ecosystem Services over Socio-Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Conde, D.; Villamizar, S. R.; Reid, B.; Escobar, J.; Rusak, J.; Hoyos, N.; Scordo, F.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; Velez, M.

    2015-12-01

    Assessing risks to aquatic ecosystems services (ES) is challenging and time-consuming, and effective strategies for prioritizing more detailed assessment efforts are needed. We propose a screening-level risk analysis (SRA) approach that scales ES risk using socioeconomic and environmental indices to capture anthropic and climatic pressures, as well as the capacity for institutional responses to those pressures. The method considers ES within a watershed context, and uses expert input to prioritize key services and the associated pressures that threaten them. The SRA approach focuses on estimating ES risk affect factors, which are the sum of the intensity factors for all hazards or pressures affecting the ES. We estimate the pressure intensity factors in a novel manner, basing them on the nation's (i) human development (proxied by Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, IHDI), (ii) environmental regulatory and monitoring state (Environmental Performance Index, EPI) and (iii) the current level of water stress in the watershed (baseline water stress, BWS). Anthropic intensity factors for future conditions are derived from the baseline values based on the nation's 10-year trend in IHDI and EPI; ES risks in nations with stronger records of change are rewarded more/penalized less in estimates for good/poor future management scenarios. Future climatic intensity factors are tied to water stress estimates based on two general circulation model (GCM) outcomes. We demonstrate the method for an international array of six sites representing a wide range of socio-environmental settings. The outcomes illustrate novel consequences of the scaling scheme. Risk affect factors may be greater in a highly developed region under intense climatic pressure, or in less well-developed regions due to human factors (e.g., poor environmental records). As a screening-level tool, the SRA approach offers considerable promise for ES risk comparisons among watersheds and regions so that

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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. PMID:21449963

  13. 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

  14. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Carpenter, Stephen R.; Mooney, Harold A.; Agard, John; Capistrano, Doris; DeFries, Ruth S.; Díaz, Sandra; Dietz, Thomas; Duraiappah, Anantha K.; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred; Pereira, Henrique Miguel; Perrings, Charles; Reid, Walter V.; Sarukhan, José; Scholes, Robert J.; Whyte, Anne

    2009-01-01

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social–ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our ability to draw general conclusions remains limited by focus on discipline-bound sectors of the full social–ecological system. At the same time, some polices and practices intended to improve ecosystem services and human well-being are based on untested assumptions and sparse information. The people who are affected and those who provide resources are increasingly asking for evidence that interventions improve ecosystem services and human well-being. New research is needed that considers the full ensemble of processes and feedbacks, for a range of biophysical and social systems, to better understand and manage the dynamics of the relationship between humans and the ecosystems on which they rely. Such research will expand the capacity to address fundamental questions about complex social–ecological systems while evaluating assumptions of policies and practices intended to advance human well-being through improved ecosystem services. PMID:19179280

  15. 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...

  16. 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. ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:23786594

  19. 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. PMID:22044319

  20. Valuation of rangeland ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gascoigne, W.R.

    2011-01-01

    Economic valuation lends itself well to the anthropocentric orientation of ecosystem services. An economic perspective on ecosystems portrays them as natural assets providing a flow of goods and services valuable to individuals and society collectively. A few examples include the purification of drinking water, reduced risk from flooding and other extreme events, pollination of agricultural crops, climate regulation, and recreation opportunities from plant and animal habitat maintenance, among many others. Once these goods and services are identified and quantified, they can be monetized to complete the valuation process. The monetization of ecosystem goods and services (in the form of dollars) provides a common metric that allows for cross-comparison of attributes and evaluation of differing ecological scenarios. Complicating the monetization process is the fact that most of these goods and services are public and non-market in nature; meaning they are non-rival and non-exclusive and are typically not sold in a traditional market setting where monetary values are revealed. Instead, one must employ non-market valuation techniques, with primary valuation methods typically being very time and resource consuming, intimidating to non-economists, and often impractical. For these reasons, benefit transfer methods have gained popularity. This methodology harnesses the primary collection results of existing studies to make inferences about the economic values of non-market goods and services at an alternative policy site (in place and/or in time). For instance, if a primary valuation study on oak reestablishment on rangelands in southern California yielded a value of $30 per-acre associated with water regulation, this result can be transferred, with some adjustments, to say something about the value of an acre of oaks on rangelands in northern portions of the state. The economic valuation of rangeland ecosystem services has many roles. Economic values may be used as input

  1. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  2. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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. PMID:24722635

  9. 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

  10. Ecosystem Services Research Program: LTG 4: Ecosystem specific studies: wetlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Includes review of ecosystem services derived from marine coastal, Great Lakes coastal, and isolated wetlands. Of particular interest is the development of guidelines to implement the 2008 EPA and ACE rules which require, for the first time, that specific ecosystem services be c...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25430966

  16. 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

  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. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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. 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 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS; WILLAMETTE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES PROJECT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document outlines the strategic approach that the USEPA Western Ecology Division will be taking to design Place-Based research to examine aspects of ecosystem services in the Willamette ecosystem services district. The end product of this research will be a model model- bas...

  6. 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...

  7. Organic management systems to enhance ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic grain cropping systems can enhance a number of ecosystem services compared to conventional tilled systems. Recent results from a limited number of long-term agricultural research (LTAR) studies suggest that organic grain cropping systems can also increase several ecosystem services relative...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:24739892

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Several scales of biodiversity affect ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Pasari, Jae R; Levi, Taal; Zavaleta, Erika S; Tilman, David

    2013-06-18

    Society values landscapes that reliably provide many ecosystem functions. As the study of ecosystem functioning expands to include more locations, time spans, and functions, the functional importance of individual species is becoming more apparent. However, the functional importance of individual species does not necessarily translate to the functional importance of biodiversity measured in whole communities of interacting species. Furthermore, ecological diversity at scales larger than neighborhood species richness could also influence the provision of multiple functions over extended time scales. We created experimental landscapes based on whole communities from the world's longest running biodiversity-functioning field experiment to investigate how local species richness (α diversity), distinctness among communities (β diversity), and larger scale species richness (γ diversity) affected eight ecosystem functions over 10 y. Using both threshold-based and unique multifunctionality metrics, we found that α diversity had strong positive effects on most individual functions and multifunctionality, and that positive effects of β and γ diversity emerged only when multiple functions were considered simultaneously. Higher β diversity also reduced the variability in multifunctionality. Thus, in addition to conserving important species, maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality will require diverse landscape mosaics of diverse communities. PMID:23733963

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. Understanding ecosystem services provided by rice fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While the concept of ecosystem services is not new, there is revived interest in how these services should be measured, monitored, and valued. Focused research over the last four years has provided insight into the mitigation capabilities of rice fields in the lower Mississippi River Valley of the ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26082540

  8. 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, ...

  9. 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. PMID:24291631

  10. 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.

  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. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. EXURBAN BACKYARDS: HOTSPOTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES?

    EPA Science Inventory

    The broad goal of this research is to identify ecosystem services provided by exurban residential landscapes and make inferences about practices that may mitigate negative environmental impacts of sprawl. Because of the more private nature of backyards, it is hypothesized t...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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, ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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. PMID:26944091

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:23818612

  8. 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

  9. 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,...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Bundling ecosystem services in the Panama Canal watershed.

    PubMed

    Simonit, Silvio; Perrings, Charles

    2013-06-01

    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

  14. 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. PMID:18621697

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:24992048

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

    PubMed

    Coutts, Christopher; Hahn, Micah

    2015-08-01

    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

  18. How Does Climate Change Affect the Bering Sea Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Harvey, H. Rodger; Ashjian, Carin J.; Lomas, Michael W.; Napp, Jeffrey M.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Van Pelt, Thomas I.

    2010-11-01

    The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, sustaining nearly half of U.S. annual commercial fish catches and providing food and cultural value to thousands of coastal and island residents. Fish and crab are abundant in the Bering Sea; whales, seals, and seabirds migrate there every year. In winter, the topography, latitude, atmosphere, and ocean circulation combine to produce a sea ice advance in the Bering Sea unmatched elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and in spring the retreating ice; longer daylight hours; and nutrient-rich, deep-ocean waters forced up onto the broad continental shelf result in intense marine productivity (Figure 1). This seasonal ice cover is a major driver of Bering Sea ecology, making this ecosystem particularly sensitive to changes in climate. Predicted changes in ice cover in the coming decades have intensified concern about the future of this economically and culturally important region. In response, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) entered into a partnership in 2007 to support the Bering Sea Project, a comprehensive $52 million investigation to understand how climate change is affecting the Bering Sea ecosystem, ranging from lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton) to fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and, ultimately, humans. The project integrates two research programs, the NSF Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the NPRB Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP), with substantial in-kind contributions from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Integrating the provision of ecosystem services and trawl fisheries for the management of the marine environment.

    PubMed

    Muntadas, Alba; de Juan, Silvia; Demestre, Montserrat

    2015-02-15

    The species interaction and their biological traits (BT) determine the function of benthic communities and, hence, the delivery of ecosystem services. Therefore, disturbance of benthic communities by trawling may compromise ecosystem service delivery, including fisheries' catches. In this work, we explore 1) the impact of trawling activities on benthic functional components (after the BTA approach) and 2) how trawling impact may affect the ecosystem services delivered by benthic communities. To this aim, we assessed the provision of ecosystem services by adopting the concept of Ecosystem Service Providers (ESP), i.e. ecological units that perform ecosystem functions that will ultimately deliver ecosystem services. We studied thirteen sites subjected to different levels of fishing effort in the Mediterranean. From a range of environmental variables included in the study, we found ESPs to be mainly affected by fishing effort and grain size. Our results suggested that habitat type has significant effects on the distribution of ESPs and this natural variability influences ESP response to trawling at a specific site. In order to summarize the complex relationships between human uses, ecosystem components and the demand for ecosystem services in trawling grounds, we adapted a DPSIR (Drivers-Pressures-State Change-Impact-Response) framework to the study area, emphasizing the role of society as Drivers of change and actors demanding management Responses. This integrative framework aims to inform managers about the interactions between all the elements involved in the management of trawling grounds, highlighting the need for an integrated approach in order to ensure ecosystem service provision. PMID:25433378

  5. 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

  6. Factors Affecting Medical Service Quality

    PubMed Central

    MOSADEGHRAD, Ali Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background A better understanding of factors influencing quality of medical service can pinpoint better strategies for quality assurance in medical services. This study aimed to identify factors affecting the quality of medical services provided by Iranian physicians. Methods Exploratory in-depth individual interviews were conducted with sixty-four physicians working in various medical institutions in Iran. Results Individual, organizational and environmental factors enhance or inhibit the quality of medical services. Quality of medical services depends on the personal factors of the physician and patient, and factors pertaining to the healthcare setting and the broader environment. Conclusion Differences in internal and external factors such as availability of resources, patient cooperation and collaboration among providers affect the quality of medical services and patient outcomes. Supportive leadership, proper planning, education and training and effective management of resources and processes improve the quality of medical services. This article contributes to healthcare theory and practice by developing a conceptual framework for understanding factors that influence medical services quality. PMID:26060745

  7. 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. PMID:22275080

  8. 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. PMID:26201000

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Application of a terrestrial ecosystem model to assess ecosystem services in Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoyama, K.; Yamagata, Y.; Ito, A.; Kohyama, T.

    2011-12-01

    Net primary production (NPP) is a measure of the production rate of organic matter and the gross rate of carbon fixation. NPP is considered as appropriate concept for analyzing variations of the ecosystems induced by land use. Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) is a major indicator of human pressures on ecosystems. Land use induced changes in the productivity affect the processes and functions of ecosystems and they are associated with the provision of ecosystem services, such as the provision of biomass through agriculture and forestry, and the regulation services such as the absorption capacity for GHG emissions. A number of studies have been assessed the amount of human induced changes of NPP in the global level and calculated in spatially explicit way. However, the analysis of socio-economic drivers of the changes is still remaining as the main topic in the field. The interrelations between HANPP and social structures and processes are priority of global change research. The methodologies for credible HANPP assessment have been established in the previous studies. The proposed three parameters are (1)NPPptn: NPP of the vegetation that would be assumed to prevail in the absence of human use (potential vegetation), (2)NPPact: NPP of the currently prevailing vegetation (actual vegetation), (3)NPPh: human harvest of NPP (e.g., through agriculture and forestry). We estimated these parameters in Asia using a process-based ecosystem model that describes carbon and nitrogen dynamics of plants and soils for terrestrial ecosystems of the globe. The socio-economic data on crop and timber harvest was applied to estimate the amount of human harvest of NPP. The parameters were calculated for each political unit to discuss social structures responding to various ecosystems. Based on the estimated parameters, we suggest the effective methodology combining spatially explicit gridded data and socio-economic statistical data.

  12. [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. PMID:17552213

  13. 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. PMID:18074889

  14. 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. PMID:26460005

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Functional traits, the phylogeny of function, and ecosystem service vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Purvis, Andy; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Mace, Georgina M; Donoghue, Michael J; Ewers, Robert M; Jordano, Pedro; Pearse, William D

    2013-01-01

    People depend on benefits provided by ecological systems. Understanding how these ecosystem services – and the ecosystem properties underpinning them – respond to drivers of change is therefore an urgent priority. We address this challenge through developing a novel risk-assessment framework that integrates ecological and evolutionary perspectives on functional traits to determine species’ effects on ecosystems and their tolerance of environmental changes. We define Specific Effect Function (SEF) as the per-gram or per capita capacity of a species to affect an ecosystem property, and Specific Response Function (SRF) as the ability of a species to maintain or enhance its population as the environment changes. Our risk assessment is based on the idea that the security of ecosystem services depends on how effects (SEFs) and tolerances (SRFs) of organisms – which both depend on combinations of functional traits – correlate across species and how they are arranged on the species’ phylogeny. Four extreme situations are theoretically possible, from minimum concern when SEF and SRF are neither correlated nor show a phylogenetic signal, to maximum concern when they are negatively correlated (i.e., the most important species are the least tolerant) and phylogenetically patterned (lacking independent backup). We illustrate the assessment with five case studies, involving both plant and animal examples. However, the extent to which the frequency of the four plausible outcomes, or their intermediates, apply more widely in real-world ecological systems is an open question that needs empirical evidence, and suggests a research agenda at the interface of evolutionary biology and ecosystem ecology. PMID:24101986

  18. Nitrogen, Ecosystem Services and Environmental Justice: how can a Spatial Valuation Approach Inform Responsible Nutrient Management?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowell, M.; Compton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Spatially-explicit ecosystem service valuation (ESV) allows for the identification of the location and magnitude of services provided by natural ecosystems along with an economic measure of their significance based upon value transfer. While this provides an important function in terms of land use management, the connection between the relative values of ecosystem services, sensitivity to nutrient loading and nutrient load estimates is unexplored within both the GIS-based, benefit transfer ESV literature and among research on nutrients and ecosystem services. This research combines a GIS-based, value transfer approach to map ecosystem services in the Lower Yakima River Basin (LYRB), Washington, USA, along with estimates of nitrogen loading and demographic data to identify how nutrient management may affect ecosystem services in the basin, and who may be most connected to potential changes in ecosystem services. Our analysis combines relative values of ecosystem services with estimates of nitrogen loading and identifies subwatersheds most susceptible to reductions in valuable ecosystem services due to excess nitrogen loading. Additionally, by including demographic data as a component of the spatial analysis, we examine the connections between population income, ethnicity, N loading, and risk of ecosystem service reductions due to nutrient management practices. Based on the benefit transfer analysis, wetlands and forested areas have disproportionately high values of ecosystem services when compared to their land area in the LYRB, while pasture and cultivated crops contribute much less to the total value of ecosystem service flows in proportion to the total area for these areas in the LYRB. Further economic valuation data on specific land cover types whether from primary studies or meta-analysis is needed to refine relative measures of ecosystem service values and more confidently describe these values in specific dollar amounts. Additionally, limits in spatial data

  19. 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. PMID:27313045

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Global mapping of ecosystem services and conservation priorities.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, R; Balmford, A; Costanza, R; Fisher, B; Green, R E; Lehner, B; Malcolm, T R; Ricketts, T H

    2008-07-15

    Global efforts to conserve biodiversity have the potential to deliver economic benefits to people (i.e., "ecosystem services"). However, regions for which conservation benefits both biodiversity and ecosystem services cannot be identified unless ecosystem services can be quantified and valued and their areas of production mapped. Here we review the theory, data, and analyses needed to produce such maps and find that data availability allows us to quantify imperfect global proxies for only four ecosystem services. Using this incomplete set as an illustration, we compare ecosystem service maps with the global distributions of conventional targets for biodiversity conservation. Our preliminary results show that regions selected to maximize biodiversity provide no more ecosystem services than regions chosen randomly. Furthermore, spatial concordance among different services, and between ecosystem services and established conservation priorities, varies widely. Despite this lack of general concordance, "win-win" areas-regions important for both ecosystem services and biodiversity-can be usefully identified, both among ecoregions and at finer scales within them. An ambitious interdisciplinary research effort is needed to move beyond these preliminary and illustrative analyses to fully assess synergies and trade-offs in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. PMID:18621701

  3. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability. PMID:25883357

  4. 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...

  5. 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. ...

  6. Ecosystem biogeochemical function and services in an urbanizing desert region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimm, N. B.; Cook, E. M.; Earl, S.; Hale, R. L.; Hall, S. J.; Hartnett, H. E.; Iwaniec, D.; Larson, E. K.; McHale, M.; Sponseller, R. A.

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem services derive from underlying ecosystem processes but are distinguished by their benefits to society. Among ecosystem services, those associated with biogeochemical cycling and regulation of water, air, and soil quality are relatively unrecognized by the public, although concentrations of some materials are regulated by local, state and national laws. The disconnection between their importance and the degree to which these services are acknowledged means that biogeochemical ecosystem services have seldom been considered in urban planning and design. Drawing from research at multiple scales in the central Arizona region that includes over twenty cities and towns comprising metropolitan Phoenix, we illustrate the relationships between ecosystem functions and services in three areas. First, at household to whole-city scales, we show that the overriding influence of water and material inputs mediated by humans is changing biogeochemical patterns in soil and vegetation. Second, we show how human modification of aquatic ecosystems for water delivery, stormwater management, and wastewater removal give rise to important trade-offs among these services. And finally, we illustrate the limited capacity of surrounding unproductive desert ecosystems to assimilate the air pollutants generated by this region of >4 million inhabitants. We argue that urban planning and design that take into account the ecosystem functions underlying biogeochemical ecosystem services will be most effective in management of potential pollution problems associated with all of these cases. This paper thus highlights biogeochemical research conducted at the central Arizona-Phoenix LTER within a framework of ecosystem services.

  7. 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

  8. Modeling the forest transition: forest scarcity and ecosystem service hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Satake, Akiko; Rudel, Thomas K

    2007-10-01

    An historical generalization about forest cover change in which rapid deforestation gives way over time to forest restoration is called "the forest transition." Prior research on the forest transition leaves three important questions unanswered: (1) How does forest loss influence an individual landowner's incentives to reforest? (2) How does the forest recovery rate affect the likelihood of forest transition? (3) What happens after the forest transition occurs? The purpose of this paper is to develop a minimum model of the forest transition to answer these questions. We assume that deforestation caused by landowners' decisions and forest regeneration initiated by agricultural abandonment have aggregated effects that characterize entire landscapes. These effects include feedback mechanisms called the "forest scarcity" and "ecosystem service" hypotheses. In the forest scarcity hypothesis, forest losses make forest products scarcer, which increases the economic value of forests. In the ecosystem service hypothesis, the environmental degradation that accompanies the loss of forests causes the value of ecosystem services provided by forests to decline. We examined the impact of each mechanism on the likelihood of forest transition through an investigation of the equilibrium and stability of landscape dynamics. We found that the forest transition occurs only when landowners employ a low rate of future discounting. After the forest transition, regenerated forests are protected in a sustainable way if forests regenerate slowly. When forests regenerate rapidly, the forest scarcity hypothesis expects instability in which cycles of large-scale deforestation followed by forest regeneration repeatedly characterize the landscape. In contrast, the ecosystem service hypothesis predicts a catastrophic shift from a forested to an abandoned landscape when the amount of deforestation exceeds the critical level, which can lead to a resource degrading poverty trap. These findings imply

  9. 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...

  10. [Ecological regulation services of Hainan Island ecosystem and their valuation].

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhao, Tongqian; Zhao, Jingzhu; Xiao, Han; Wang, Xiaoke

    2004-08-01

    Ecosystem services imply the natural environmental conditions on which human life relies for existence, and their effectiveness formed and sustained by ecosystem and its ecological processes. In newly research reports, they were divided into four groups, i. e., provisioning services, regulation services, cultural services, and supporting services. To assess and valuate ecosystem services is the foundation of regional environmental reserve and development. Taking Hainan Island as an example and based on the structure and processes of natural ecosystem, this paper discussed the proper methods for regulation services assessment. The ecosystems were classified into 13 types including valley rain forest, mountainous rain forest, tropical monsoon forest, mountainous coppice forest, mountainous evergreen forest, tropical coniferous forest, shrubs, plantation, timber forest, windbreak forest, mangrove, savanna, and cropland, and then, the regulation services and their economic values of Hainan Island ecosystem were assessed and evaluated by terms of water-holding, soil conservancy, nutrient cycle, C fixation, and windbreak function. The economic value of the regulation services of Hainan Island ecosystem was estimated as 2035.88 x 10(8)-2153.39 x 10(8) RMB yuan, 8 times higher to its provisioning services (wood and agricultural products) which were estimated as only 254.06 x 10(8) RMB yuan. The result implied that ecosystem regulation services played an even more important role in the sustainable development of society and economy in Hainan Island. PMID:15573995

  11. Simulating the Influence of Urban Trees and Green Infrastructure on Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endreny, T. A.; Nowak, D.; Yang, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Urban trees and vegetation based green infrastructure systems interact with the hydrologic cycle to affect each of the four categories of ecosystem services, known as: provisioning services (e.g., water availability); regulating services (e.g., water purification); cultural services (e.g., water-based recreation); and supporting services (e.g., water cycle to sustain ecosystems). There are several challenges to simulating these interactions, including development of mathematical functions to represent the biophysical processes, collecting data to satisfy model inputs, and structuring model output so it is relevant to urban stakeholders. We describe how the i-Tree tools, including Eco, Design, and Hydro, represent the structure-function relationships between urban vegetation and the four categories of ecosystem services. The talk focuses on new algorithms for tree - air temperature relations, tree - runoff velocity and timing, and tree - water quality relations, and invites discussion on needed improvements for better representing these ecosystem services.

  12. 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. PMID:23717634

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25599106

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2015-06-01

    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

  19. 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. PMID:25463579

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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, ...

  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. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. Ecosystem service value assessment of coastal area in Lianyungang City using LANDSAT images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qixiang; Ma, Anqing; Chen, Shang; Tang, Xuexi

    2006-12-01

    This study aims at discovering changes of ecosystem service value based on spatial-temporal variety of land use features on the coastal area in Lianyungang City from 1978 to 2000. Three LANDSAT images (1978 MSS, 1987 TM and 2000 ETM) were used to estimate changes in the size of six land-use categories (forest, cropland, urban, wetland, lakes/rivers and coastal water). Coefficients which integrated from Costanza et al.'s (1997) ecosystem services valuation model and Xie Gaodi et al.'s (2003) "ecosystem services value unit area of Chinese terrestrial ecosystems" were used to estimate changes in ecosystem services delivered by each land categories, and a sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine the affecting factors of ecosystem service value. The total annual ecosystem service values in coastal area of Lianyungang City decreased from RMB 8.23×10^9 in 1978 to RMB 7.53×10^9 in 1987, however it increased from RMB 7.53×10^9 in 1987 to RMB 10.73×10^9 in 2000. The decline of ecosystem service value from 1978 to 1987 is largely attributable to 53.49% loss of forest at the same period, while the increase of service value is contributed by 147.70% increase of wetland from 1987 to 2000. Change of wetland and forest has the major contribution to the change of total ecosystem service value of Liangyungang city. Waste treatment, water supply and climate regulation are the dominant ecosystem services of this area. Forest and wetland should be strictly conserved in further urban development.

  10. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Output Efficiency in Southern Loblolly Pine Forests.

    PubMed

    Susaeta, Andres; Adams, Damian C; Carter, Douglas R; Dwivedi, Puneet

    2016-09-01

    Forests provide myriad ecosystem services that are vital to humanity. With climate change, we expect to see significant changes to forests that will alter the supply of these critical services and affect human well-being. To better understand the impacts of climate change on forest-based ecosystem services, we applied a data envelopment analysis method to assess plot-level efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services in Florida natural loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests. Using field data for n = 16 loblolly pine forest plots, including inputs such as site index, tree density, age, precipitation, and temperatures for each forest plot, we assessed the relative plot-level production of three ecosystem services: timber, carbon sequestered, and species richness. The results suggested that loblolly pine forests in Florida were largely inefficient in the provision of these ecosystem services under current climatic conditions. Climate change had a small negative impact on the loblolly pine forests efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, we discussed the reduction of tree density that may not improve ecosystem services production. PMID:27263100

  11. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Output Efficiency in Southern Loblolly Pine Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susaeta, Andres; Adams, Damian C.; Carter, Douglas R.; Dwivedi, Puneet

    2016-09-01

    Forests provide myriad ecosystem services that are vital to humanity. With climate change, we expect to see significant changes to forests that will alter the supply of these critical services and affect human well-being. To better understand the impacts of climate change on forest-based ecosystem services, we applied a data envelopment analysis method to assess plot-level efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services in Florida natural loblolly pine ( Pinus taeda L.) forests. Using field data for n = 16 loblolly pine forest plots, including inputs such as site index, tree density, age, precipitation, and temperatures for each forest plot, we assessed the relative plot-level production of three ecosystem services: timber, carbon sequestered, and species richness. The results suggested that loblolly pine forests in Florida were largely inefficient in the provision of these ecosystem services under current climatic conditions. Climate change had a small negative impact on the loblolly pine forests efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, we discussed the reduction of tree density that may not improve ecosystem services production.

  12. 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. PMID:27285950

  13. 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

  14. Policy impacts of ecosystem services knowledge.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-16

    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

  15. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  16. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A.; Johnson, Kris A.; Finlay, Jacques C.; O’Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  17. Strong and nonlinear effects of fragmentation on ecosystem service provision at multiple scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Matthew G. E.; Bennett, Elena M.; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-09-01

    Human actions, such as converting natural land cover to agricultural or urban land, result in the loss and fragmentation of natural habitat, with important consequences for the provision of ecosystem services. Such habitat loss is especially important for services that are supplied by fragments of natural land cover and that depend on flows of organisms, matter, or people across the landscape to produce benefits, such as pollination, pest regulation, recreation and cultural services. However, our quantitative knowledge about precisely how different patterns of landscape fragmentation might affect the provision of these types of services is limited. We used a simple, spatially explicit model to evaluate the potential impact of natural land cover loss and fragmentation on the provision of hypothetical ecosystem services. Based on current literature, we assumed that fragments of natural land cover provide ecosystem services to the area surrounding them in a distance-dependent manner such that ecosystem service flow depended on proximity to fragments. We modeled seven different patterns of natural land cover loss across landscapes that varied in the overall level of landscape fragmentation. Our model predicts that natural land cover loss will have strong and unimodal effects on ecosystem service provision, with clear thresholds indicating rapid loss of service provision beyond critical levels of natural land cover loss. It also predicts the presence of a tradeoff between maximizing ecosystem service provision and conserving natural land cover, and a mismatch between ecosystem service provision at landscape versus finer spatial scales. Importantly, the pattern of landscape fragmentation mitigated or intensified these tradeoffs and mismatches. Our model suggests that managing patterns of natural land cover loss and fragmentation could help influence the provision of multiple ecosystem services and manage tradeoffs and synergies between services across different human

  18. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services: technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staudinger, Michelle D.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Staudt, Amanda; Carter, Shawn L.; Stuart, F. Stuart, III; Kareiva, Peter; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Stein, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    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 technical input to the National Climate Assessment synthesizes our scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and what strategies might be employed to decrease current and future risks. Building on past assessments of how climate change and other stressors are affecting ecosystems in the United States and around the world, we approach the subject from several different perspectives. First, we review the observed and projected impacts on biodiversity, with a focus on genes, species, and assemblages of species. Next, we examine how climate change is affecting ecosystem structural elements—such as biomass, architecture, and heterogeneity—and functions—specifically, as related to the fluxes of energy and matter. People experience climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems as changes in ecosystem services; people depend on ecosystems for resources that are harvested, their role in regulating the movement of materials and disturbances, and their recreational, cultural, and aesthetic value. Thus, we review newly emerging research to determine how human activities and a changing climate are likely to alter the delivery of these ecosystem services. This technical input also examines two cross-cutting topics. First, we recognize that climate change is happening against the backdrop of a wide range of other environmental and anthropogenic stressors, many of which have caused dramatic ecosystem degradation already. This broader range of stressors interacts with climate change, and complicates our abilities to predict and manage the impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and the services they support. The

  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. PMID:26661136

  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. PMID:24015539

  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. PMID:23900082

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:25199996

  5. Ecosystem service supply and vulnerability to global change in Europe.

    PubMed

    Schröter, Dagmar; Cramer, Wolfgang; Leemans, Rik; Prentice, I Colin; Araújo, Miguel B; Arnell, Nigel W; Bondeau, Alberte; Bugmann, Harald; Carter, Timothy R; Gracia, Carlos A; de la Vega-Leinert, Anne C; Erhard, Markus; Ewert, Frank; Glendining, Margaret; House, Joanna I; Kankaanpää, Susanna; Klein, Richard J T; Lavorel, Sandra; Lindner, Marcus; Metzger, Marc J; Meyer, Jeannette; Mitchell, Timothy D; Reginster, Isabelle; Rounsevell, Mark; Sabaté, Santi; Sitch, Stephen; Smith, Ben; Smith, Jo; Smith, Pete; Sykes, Martin T; Thonicke, Kirsten; Thuiller, Wilfried; Tuck, Gill; Zaehle, Sönke; Zierl, Bärbel

    2005-11-25

    Global change will alter the supply of ecosystem services that are vital for human well-being. To investigate ecosystem service supply during the 21st century, we used a range of ecosystem models and scenarios of climate and land-use change to conduct a Europe-wide assessment. Large changes in climate and land use typically resulted in large changes in ecosystem service supply. Some of these trends may be positive (for example, increases in forest area and productivity) or offer opportunities (for example, "surplus land" for agricultural extensification and bioenergy production). However, many changes increase vulnerability as a result of a decreasing supply of ecosystem services (for example, declining soil fertility, declining water availability, increasing risk of forest fires), especially in the Mediterranean and mountain regions. PMID:16254151

  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. Projecting supply and demand of hydrologic ecosystem services under future climate conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Li-Chi; Huang, Tao; Lee, Tsung-Yu

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystems provide essential goods and services, such as food, clean water, water purification, soil conservation and cultural services for human being. In a watershed, these water-related ecosystem goods and services can directly or indirectly benefit both local people and downstream beneficiaries through a reservoir. Water quality and quantity in a reservoir are of importance for agricultural, industrial and domestic uses. Under the impacts of climate and land use changes, both ecosystem service supply and demand will be affected by changes in precipitation patterns, temperature, urbanization and agricultural activities. However, the linkage between ecosystem service provisioning (ESP) and ecosystem service beneficiary (ESB), and scales of supply and demand of ecosystem services are not clear yet. Therefore, to investigate water-related ecosystem service supply under climate and land use change, we took the Xindian river watershed (303 km2) as a case study, where the Feitsui Reservoir provides hydro-power and daily domestic water use of 3,450,000 m3 for 3.46 million people in Taipei, Taiwan. We integrated a hydrological model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool, SWAT) and a land use change model (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects, CLUE-s) with future climate change scenarios derived from General Circulation Models (GCMs), to assess the changes in ecosystem service supply and demand at different hydrologic scales. The results will provide useful information for decision-making on future land use management and climate change adaptation strategies in the watersheds. Keywords: climate change, land use change, ecosystem service, watershed, scale

  8. 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

  9. [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. PMID:16262073

  10. Embedding ecosystem services into the Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Illustrated by eutrophication in the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Higgins, T. G.; Gilbert, A. J.

    2014-03-01

    The introduction of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) with its focus on an Ecosystem Approach places an emphasis on the human dimensions of environmental problems. Human activities may be the source of marine degradation, but may also be adversely affected should degradation compromise the provision of ecosystem services. The MSFD marks a shift away from management aiming to restore past, undegraded states toward management for Good Environmental Status (GEnS) based on delivery of marine goods and services. An example relating ecosystem services to criteria for Good Environmental Status is presented for eutrophication, a long recognised problem in many parts of Europe's seas and specifically targeted by descriptors for GEnS. Taking the North Sea as a case study the relationships between the eutrophication criteria of the MSFD and final and intermediate marine ecosystem services are examined. Ecosystem services are valued, where possible in monetary terms, in order to illustrate how eutrophication affects human welfare (economic externalities) through its multiple effects on ecosystem services.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. The contribution of ecosystem services to place utility as a determinant of migration decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Helen; Adger, W. Neil

    2013-03-01

    Environment migration research has sought to provide an account of how environmental risks and resources affect migration and mobility. Part of that effort has focused on the role of the environment in providing secure livelihoods through provisioning ecosystem services. However, many of the models of environment migration linkages fail to acknowledge the importance of social and psychological factors in the decision to migrate. Here, we seek to provide a more comprehensive model of migration decision-making under environmental change by investigating the attachment people form to place, and the role of the environment in creating that attachment. We hypothesize that environmental factors enter the migration decision-making process through their contribution to place utility, defined as a function of both affective and instrumental bonds to location, and that ecosystem services, the aspects of ecosystems that create wellbeing, contribute to both components of place utility. We test these ideas in four rural highland settlements in Peru sampled along an altitudinal gradient. We find that non-economic ecosystem services are important in creating place attachment and that ecological place attachment exists independently of use of provisioning ecosystem services. Individuals’ attitudes to ecosystem services vary with the type of ecosystem services available at a location and the degree of rurality. While social and economic factors are the dominant drivers of migration in these locations, a loss of non-provisioning ecosystem services leads to a decrease in place utility and commitment to place, determining factors in the decision to migrate. The findings suggest that policy interventions encouraging migration as an adaptation to environmental change will have limited success if they only focus on provisioning services. A much wider set of individuals will experience a decrease in place utility, and migration will be unable to alleviate that decrease since the factors

  15. 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 ...

  16. [Dynamic changes of Ruoergai Plateau wetland ecosystem service value].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Yun; Lü, Xian-Guo; Shen, Song-Ping

    2009-05-01

    Based on the satellite remote sensing data acquired in 1975 and 2006, and by using the assessment method of ecosystem service value, the dynamic changes of physical production value, gas regulation value, and water storage value of Ruoergai Plateau wetland ecosystem in 1975-2006 were studied. During study period, the total value of the three services decreased from 19.59 billion RMB Yuan to 12.38 billion Yuan RMB, among which, physical production value increased by 0.302 billion RMB Yuan, while the gas regulation and water storage value decreased by 7.507 billion RMB Yuan. The benefit from the increase of physical production was much less than the loss of ecosystem degradation. Overgrazing induced the biomass reduction and soil deterioration, resulting in the decline of Ruoergai Plateau wetland ecosystem service value and service capacity. PMID:19803173

  17. 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...

  18. 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. PMID:20697748

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. How State Laws Affect Regional Media Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vick, Nancy Harper

    1978-01-01

    Discusses ways in which state legislation affects such regional media service administrative units as (1) the state education agency, (2) regional educational service agencies, and (3) educational cooperative centers. (CMV)

  3. Development of ecosystem services to combat drought and desertification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Centritto, Mauro; Sciortino, Maurizio

    2013-04-01

    Human life quality and goods production in drylands and degraded land are critically dependent on the ecosystems services directly and indirectly related to the water cycle. To what extent can human interventions improve the water cycle to support ecosystem services?. The decline or the improvement of ecosystem services is considered a suitable and feasible indicator for monitoring desertification and land degradation processes. Improvement of ecosystems services has multiple environmental, economic and social benefits. The efforts made to reclaim and restore degraded lands needs considerable efforts and resources. Thus it is increasingly necessary to quantify the effectiveness of the activities and make progress in the direction of a self-sustainable ecosystems service management. The goal of self-sustainability can be pursued adopting strategies that take advantage of the best scientific knowledge such as the stimulation and reinforcement of the hydro-biological pump and the soil water holding capacity. Existing large scale ecosystem service improvements confirm the benefits of hydrological cycle improvements but integrated monitoring efforts are needed to document the results achieved and achievable.

  4. [Evaluation of economic forest ecosystem services in China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bing; Lu, Shao-Wei

    2009-02-01

    This paper quantitatively evaluated the economic forest ecosystem services in the provinces of China in 2003, based on the long-term and continuous observations of economic forest ecosystems in this country, the sixth China national forest resources inventory data, and the price parameter data from the authorities in the world, and by applying the law of market value, the method of substitution of the expenses, and the law of the shadow project. The results showed that in 2003, the total value of economic forest ecosystem services in China was 11763.39 x 10(8) yuan, and the total value of the products from economic forests occupied 19.3% of the total ecosystem services value, which indicated that the economic forests not only provided society direct products, but also exhibited enormous eco-economic value. The service value of the functions of economic forests was in the order of water storage > C fixation and O2 release > biodiversity conservation > erosion control > air quality purification > nutrient cycle. The spatial pattern of economic forest ecosystem services in the provinces of China had the same trend with the spatial distribution of water and heat resources and biodiversity. To understand the differences of economic forest ecosystem services in the provinces of China was of significance in alternating the irrational arrangement of our present forestry production, diminishing the abuses of forest management, and establishing high grade, high efficient, and modernized economic forests. PMID:19459385

  5. An operational model for mainstreaming ecosystem services for implementation

    PubMed Central

    Cowling, Richard M.; Egoh, Benis; Knight, Andrew T.; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Roux, Dirk J.; Welz, Adam; Wilhelm-Rechman, Angelika

    2008-01-01

    Research on ecosystem services has grown markedly in recent years. However, few studies are embedded in a social process designed to ensure effective management of ecosystem services. Most research has focused only on biophysical and valuation assessments of putative services. As a mission-oriented discipline, ecosystem service research should be user-inspired and user-useful, which will require that researchers respond to stakeholder needs from the outset and collaborate with them in strategy development and implementation. Here we provide a pragmatic operational model for achieving the safeguarding of ecosystem services. The model comprises three phases: assessment, planning, and management. Outcomes of social, biophysical, and valuation assessments are used to identify opportunities and constraints for implementation. The latter then are transformed into user-friendly products to identify, with stakeholders, strategic objectives for implementation (the planning phase). The management phase undertakes and coordinates actions that achieve the protection of ecosystem services and ensure the flow of these services to beneficiaries. This outcome is achieved via mainstreaming, or incorporating the safeguarding of ecosystem services into the policies and practices of sectors that deal with land- and water-use planning. Management needs to be adaptive and should be institutionalized in a suite of learning organizations that are representative of the sectors that are concerned with decision-making and planning. By following the phases of our operational model, projects for safeguarding ecosystem services are likely to empower stakeholders to implement effective on-the-ground management that will achieve resilience of the corresponding social-ecological systems. PMID:18621695

  6. 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...

  7. The human dimensions of global environmental change: Ecosystem services, resilience, and governance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rechkemmer, A.; von Falkenhayn, L.

    2009-02-01

    Global environmental change affects all societies and their environments at various spatial and temporal scales. The linking of natural ecosystems to social ones is of central importance for the analysis, mitigation of and adaptation to any action or issue related to sustainability and global change. When examining the human dimensions of environmental change, the study of ecosystem services illustrates the strong interlinkages existing between both socio-ecological systems and global change. Ecosystem services are inextricably linked to human well-being and play a central role in sustainable adaptation strategies. Environmental impact of global change can both add to social vulnerability and change resilience by altering the supply of ecosystem services and the trade-offs which can occur. It is when examining such phenomena that the importance and abilities of governance systems to shape change and responses are seen.

  8. Time will tell: resource continuity bolsters ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Schellhorn, Nancy A; Gagic, Vesna; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-09-01

    A common suggestion to support ecosystem services to agriculture provided by mobile organisms is to increase the amount of natural and seminatural habitat in the landscape. This might, however, be inefficient, and demands for agricultural products limit the feasibility of converting arable land into natural habitat. To develop more targeted means to promote ecosystem services, we need a solid understanding of the limitations to population growth for service-providing organisms. We propose a research agenda that identifies resource bottlenecks and interruptions over time to key beneficial organisms, emphasising their resulting population dynamics. Targeted measures that secure the continuity of resources throughout the life cycle of service-providing organisms are likely to effectively increase the stock, flow, and stability of ecosystem services. PMID:26138384

  9. 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. PMID:25092495

  10. 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. PMID:27008421

  11. 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

  12. How will increases in rainfall intensity affect semiarid ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siteur, Koen; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Karssenberg, Derek; Baudena, Mara; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; Rietkerk, Max

    2014-07-01

    Model studies suggest that semiarid ecosystems with patterned vegetation can respond in a nonlinear way to climate change. This means that gradual changes can result in a rapid transition to a desertified state. Previous model studies focused on the response of patterned semiarid ecosystems to changes in mean annual rainfall. The intensity of rain events, however, is projected to change as well in the coming decades. In this paper, we study the effect of changes in rainfall intensity on the functioning of patterned semiarid ecosystems with a spatially explicit model that captures rainwater partitioning and runoff-runon processes with simple event-based process descriptions. Analytical and numerical analyses of the model revealed that rainfall intensity is a key parameter in explaining patterning of vegetation in semiarid ecosystems as low mean rainfall intensities do not allow for vegetation patterning to occur. Surprisingly, we found that, for a constant annual rainfall rate, both an increase and a decrease in mean rainfall intensity can trigger desertification. An increase negatively affects productivity as a greater fraction of the rainwater is lost as runoff. This can result in a shift to a bare desert state only if the mean rainfall intensity exceeds the infiltration capacity of bare soil. On the other hand, a decrease in mean rainfall intensity leads to an increased fraction of rainwater infiltrating in bare soils, remaining unavailable to plants. Our findings suggest that considering rainfall intensity as a variable may help in assessing the proximity to regime shifts in patterned semiarid ecosystems and that monitoring losses of resource through runoff and bare soil infiltration could be used to determine ecosystem resilience.

  13. Analyzing the spatial patterns and drivers of ecosystem services in rapidly urbanizing Taihu Lake Basin of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, Junyong; Sun, Xiang; Feng, Lan; Li, Yangfan; Zhu, Xiaodong

    2015-09-01

    Quantifying and mapping the distribution patterns of ecosystem services can help to ascertain which services should be protected and where investments should be directed to improve synergies and reduce tradeoffs. Moreover, the indicators of urbanization that affect the provision of ecosystem services must be identified to determine which approach to adopt in formulating policies related to these services. This paper presents a case study that maps the distribution of multiple ecosystem services and analyzes the ways in which they interact. The relationship between the supply of ecosystem services and the socio-economic development in the Taihu Lake Basin of eastern China is also revealed. Results show a significant negative relationship between crop production and tourism income ( p<0.005) and a positive relationship between crop production, nutrient retention, and carbon sequestration ( p<0.005). The negative effects of the urbanization process on providing and regulating services are also identified through a comparison of the ecosystem services in large and small cities. Regression analysis was used to compare and elucidate the relative significance of the selected urbanization factors to ecosystem services. The results indicate that urbanization level is the most substantial factor inversely correlated with crop production ( R 2 = 0.414) and nutrient retention services ( R 2 = 0.572). Population density is the most important factor that negatively affects carbon sequestration ( R 2 = 0.447). The findings of this study suggest the potential relevance of ecosystem service dynamics to urbanization management and decision making.

  14. 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. PMID:25402184

  15. 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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 ...

  18. Using Hyperspectral Aircraft Remote Sensing to Support Ecosystems Services Research in New England Lakes and Ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keith, D. J.; Milstead, B.; Walker, H.; Worthy, D.; Szykman, J.; Wusk, M.; Kagey, L.; Howell, C.; Snook, H.; Drueke, C.

    2010-12-01

    services on a regional scale. Under the EPA Ecological Services Research Program (ESRP), this information will provide managers and researchers with a better understanding of links between management decisions affecting nutrient fluxes and impacts on selected ecosystem services.

  19. Ecological intensification: harnessing ecosystem services for food security.

    PubMed

    Bommarco, Riccardo; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G

    2013-04-01

    Rising demands for agricultural products will increase pressure to further intensify crop production, while negative environmental impacts have to be minimized. Ecological intensification entails the environmentally friendly replacement of anthropogenic inputs and/or enhancement of crop productivity, by including regulating and supporting ecosystem services management in agricultural practices. Effective ecological intensification requires an understanding of the relations between land use at different scales and the community composition of ecosystem service-providing organisms above and below ground, and the flow, stability, contribution to yield, and management costs of the multiple services delivered by these organisms. Research efforts and investments are particularly needed to reduce existing yield gaps by integrating context-appropriate bundles of ecosystem services into crop production systems. PMID:23153724

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [Measurement of terrestrial ecosystem service value in China].

    PubMed

    He, Hao; Pan, Yaozhong; Zhu, Wenquan; Liu, Xulong; Zhang, Qing; Zhu, Xiufang

    2005-06-01

    With the measurement of net primary productivity and vegetation coverage fraction based on remote sensing data,the terrestrial ecosystem service value of China in 2000 was quantitatively estimated as 9.17 x 10(12) yuan (RMB). The spatial distribution of the ecological service value showed a decreasing trend from southeast China to northwest China, which was consistent with the regional distribution of vegetation types. The service value varied with different vegetations, e. g., forests had the highest service value of 18 789 yuan x hm(-2), accounting for 40.80% of the total terrestrial ecosystem service value, and bushes and farmlands had a higher service value of 13 789 yuan x hm(-2) and 13054 yuan x hm(-2), which was 10.79% and 24.23% of total value, respectively. The service value was also varied with different ecosystem functions, i.e., gas regulation contributed the highest value of 45.16% to the total service value, and the contribution of soil conservation and water conservation was 28.83% and 14.44%, respectively. The integrated approach coupling ecology and remote sensing data provided a new method to measure the ecological service value, which could estimate the value objectively and spatial-explicitly. However, some uncertainties still existed in this approach, which should be improved in the future studies. PMID:16180767

  6. Effects of light reduction on food webs and associated ecosystem services of Yaquina Bay

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reduced water clarity can affect estuarine primary production but little is known of its subsequent effects to consumer guilds or ecosystem services. We investigated those effects using inverse analysis of modeled food webs of the lower (polyhaline) and upper (mesohaline) reache...

  7. Buried Streams and the Loss of Ecosystem Services in Urban Watersheds

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in streams is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of streams in stormwater pipes in urban watersheds. We predicted that stream burial suppresses the capacity of streams to retain nitrate (NO3-) by eliminating primary...

  8. Regional Approach for Managing for Resilience Linking Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Strategies for Agro-Pastoral Communities in the Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, D. S.; Togtohyn, C.; Qi, J.; Galvin, K.

    2011-12-01

    Dramatic changes due to climate and land use dynamics in the Mongolian Plateau are affecting ecosystem services and agro-pastoral livelihoods in Mongolia and China. Recently, 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. Regional dust events, changes in hydrological cycle, and land use changes contribute to changing interactions between ecosystem and landscape processes which then affect social-ecological systems. 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 socio-economic forces. The analysis incorporates information of the socio-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 and China to the fertile northeast China plain. Sustainability of agro-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 landscape management provides a potential framework to link ecosystem services across space and time more effectively to meet the needs of agro-pastoral land use, herd quality, and herder's living standards. Under appropriate adaptation strategies agro-pastoralists will have the opportunity to utilize seasonal resources and enhance their ability to process and manufacture products from the available ecosystem services in these dynamic social

  9. Increased dependence of humans on ecosystem services and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhongwei; Zhang, Lin; Li, Yiming

    2010-01-01

    Humans have altered ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than ever, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for resources along with economic development. These demands have been considered important drivers of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. Are humans becoming less dependent on ecosystem services and biodiversity following economic development? Here, we used roundwood production, hydroelectricity generation and tourism investment in 92 biodiversity hotspot and 60 non-hotspot countries as cases to seek the answer. In 1980-2005, annual growth rates of roundwood production, hydroelectricity generation and tourism investment were higher in hotspot countries (5.2, 9.1 and 7.5%) than in non-hotspot countries (3.4, 5.9 and 5.6%), when GDP grew more rapidly in hotspot countries than non-hotspot countries. Annual growth rates of per capita hydropower and per capita tourism investment were higher in hotspot countries (5.3% and 6.1%) than in non-hotspot countries (3.5% and 4.3%); however, the annual growth rate of per capita roundwood production in hotspot countries (1%) was lower than in non-hotspot countries (1.4%). The dependence of humans on cultural services has increased more rapidly than on regulating services, while the dependence on provisioning services has reduced. This pattern is projected to continue during 2005-2020. Our preliminary results show that economic growth has actually made humans more dependent upon ecosystem services and biodiversity. As a consequence, the policies and implementations of both economic development and ecosystems/biodiversity conservation should be formulated and carried out in the context of the increased dependence of humans on ecosystem services along with economic development. PMID:20957042

  10. Increased Dependence of Humans on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Zhongwei; Zhang, Lin; Li, Yiming

    2010-01-01

    Humans have altered ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than ever, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for resources along with economic development. These demands have been considered important drivers of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. Are humans becoming less dependent on ecosystem services and biodiversity following economic development? Here, we used roundwood production, hydroelectricity generation and tourism investment in 92 biodiversity hotspot and 60 non-hotspot countries as cases to seek the answer. In 1980–2005, annual growth rates of roundwood production, hydroelectricity generation and tourism investment were higher in hotspot countries (5.2, 9.1 and 7.5%) than in non-hotspot countries (3.4, 5.9 and 5.6%), when GDP grew more rapidly in hotspot countries than non-hotspot countries. Annual growth rates of per capita hydropower and per capita tourism investment were higher in hotspot countries (5.3% and 6.1%) than in non-hotspot countries (3.5% and 4.3%); however, the annual growth rate of per capita roundwood production in hotspot countries (1%) was lower than in non-hotspot countries (1.4%). The dependence of humans on cultural services has increased more rapidly than on regulating services, while the dependence on provisioning services has reduced. This pattern is projected to continue during 2005–2020. Our preliminary results show that economic growth has actually made humans more dependent upon ecosystem services and biodiversity. As a consequence, the policies and implementations of both economic development and ecosystems/biodiversity conservation should be formulated and carried out in the context of the increased dependence of humans on ecosystem services along with economic development. PMID:20957042

  11. 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

  12. 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

    Traditional approaches to urban development often do not account for, or recognize, the role of ecosystem services and the benefits these services provide to the health and well-being of city residents. Without such accounting, urban ecosystem services are likely to be degraded over time, with negative consequences for the sustainability of cities and the well-being of their residents (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Hirsch, 2008). On May 23, 2013, the Spatial Integration Laboratory for Urban Systems (SILUS), a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science and Decisions Center and the Wharton GIS Lab, convened a one-day symposium—Urban Ecosystem Services and Decision Making: A Green Philadelphia—at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to examine the role of green infrastructure in the environmental, economic, and social well-being of cities. Cosponsored by the USGS and the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR), the symposium brought together policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from a range of disciplines to advance a research agenda on the use of science in public decision making to inform investment in green infrastructure and ecosystem services in urban areas. The city of Philadelphia has recently implemented a program designed to sustain urban ecosystem services and advance the use of green infrastructure. In 2009, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability launched its Greenworks plan, establishing a citywide sustainability strategy. Major contributions towards its goals are being implemented in coordination with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). The Green City, Clean Waters initiative, the city’s nationally recognized stormwater management plan, was signed into action with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2012. The plan outlines a 25-year strategy to use green infrastructure to protect and improve the city’s watershed. Widespread support for the

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26082549

  15. 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...

  16. A zoological perspective on payments for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    McNeely, Jeffrey A

    2007-06-01

    The concept of payments for ecosystem services is being developed as an important means of providing a more diverse flow of benefits to people living in and around habitats valuable for conservation. The Kyoto Protocol, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, includes a Clean Development Mechanism to provide for payments for certain forms of carbon sequestration that may benefit animal species (at least as an incidental benefit). Other market-based approaches for paying for carbon sequestration services outside the Kyoto framework are being promoted in various parts of the world. Another common form of payment for ecosystem services is compensating upstream landowners for managing their land in ways that maintain downstream water quality; this can include habitat management that benefits wild animal species. While biodiversity itself is difficult to value, it can be linked to other markets, such as certification in the case of sustainably-produced forest products. This paper expands on some of the markets for ecosystem services that also benefit wildlife, identifies relevant sources of information, and highlights some of the initiatives linking such markets to poverty alleviation. Making markets work for ecosystem services requires an appropriate policy framework, government support, operational institutional support, and innovation at scales from the site level to the national level. Zoologists have much to contribute to all of these steps. PMID:21396021

  17. The importance of uncertainties in scenario analyses--A study on future ecosystem service delivery in Flanders.

    PubMed

    Landuyt, Dries; Broekx, Steven; Engelen, Guy; Uljee, Inge; Van der Meulen, Maarten; Goethals, Peter L M

    2016-05-15

    Land use is rapidly changing and is significantly affecting ecosystem service delivery all around the world. The socio-economic context and political choices largely determine land use change. This land use change, driven by socio-economic pressures, will impact diverse elements of the environment including, for example, air quality, soil properties, water infiltration and food and wood production, impacts that can be linked to the provisioning of ecosystem services. To gain more insight into the effects of alternative socio-economic developments on ecosystem service delivery, land use change models are being coupled to ecosystem service delivery models to perform scenario analyses. Although the uncertainty of the results of these kind of scenario analyses are generally far from negligible, studies rarely take them into account. In this study, a cellular automaton land use change model is coupled to Bayesian belief network ecosystem service delivery models to facilitate the study of error propagation in scenario analysis. The proposed approach is applied to model the impact of alternative socio-economic developments on ecosystem service delivery in Flanders, Belgium and to assess the impact of land use allocation uncertainty on the uncertainty associated to future ecosystem service delivery. Results suggest that taking into account uncertainties may have an effect on policy recommendations that come out of the scenario analysis. However, in this study, uncertainties in the applied ecosystem service models were dominant, reducing the importance of accounting for land use allocation uncertainty. PMID:26930321

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Estimating the effects of toxicants on ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Cairns, J; Niederlehner, B R

    1994-11-01

    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. PMID:9738207

  2. Coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services flows at the landscape scale: The CBESS progamme.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterson, David; Bothwell, John; Bradbury, Richard; Burrows, Michael; Burton, Niall; Emmerson, Mark; Garbutt, Angus; Skov, Martin; Solan, Martin; Spencer, Tom; Underwood, Graham

    2015-04-01

    The health of the European coastline is inextricably linked to the economy and culture of coastal nations but they are sensitive to climate change. As global temperatures increase, sea levels will rise and the forces experienced where land meets sea will become more destructive. Salt marshes, mudflats, beaches will be affected. These landscapes support a wide range of economically valuable animal and plant species, but also act as sites of carbon storage, nutrient recycling, and pollutant capture and amelioration. Their preservation is of utmost importance. Our programme: "A hierarchical approach to the examination of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem service flows across coastal margins" (CBESS) is designed to understand the landscape-scale links between the functions that these systems provide (ecosystem service flows) and the organisms that provide these services (biodiversity stocks) and moves beyond most previous studies, conducted at smaller scales. Our consortium of experts ranges from microbial ecologists, through environmental economists, to mathematical modellers, and organisations (RSPB, BTO, CEFAS, EA) with vested interest in the sustainable use of coastal wetlands. CBESS spans the landscape scale, investigating how biodiversity stocks provide ecosystem services (cf. National Ecosystem Assessment: Supporting services; Provisioning services; Regulating services; and Cultural services). CBESS combined a detailed study of two regional landscapes with a broad-scale UK-wide study to allow both specific and general conclusions to be drawn. The regional study compares two areas of great UK national importance: Morecambe Bay on the west coast and the Essex coastline on the east. We carried out biological and physical surveys at more than 600 stations combined with in situ measures of ecosystem funtction to clarify how biodiversity can provide these important ecosystem functions across scales. This information will be shared with those

  3. [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. PMID:18260461

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:21882001

  7. 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.

  8. Ecosystem Services Research Program: LTG 4: Ecosystem specific studies: coral reefs

    EPA Science Inventory

    Our short-term objective is that managers and decision-makers recognize that coral reefs provide ecosystem services (ES) that can be valued and included in decision processes. The long-term objective is that coral reef ES are routinely valued and considered in watershed and coast...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Managing for ecosystem services and livestock production: Are there tradeoffs?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most all rangelands have traditionally been managed to provide food and fiber through management practices to achieve sustainable forage and livestock production (Dunn et al. 2010). Yet, society is desiring that these lands also be managed for multiple ecosystem services (defined as provisioning, re...

  13. A Simplified Decision Support Approach for Evaluating Wetlands Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    We will be presenting a simplified approach to evaluating ecosystem services provided by freshwater wetlands restoration. Our approach is based on an existing functional assessment approach developed by Golet and Miller for the State of Rhode Island, and modified by Miller for ap...

  14. Discussing Wetlands, Agriculture, and Ecosystem Services: Perspectives from Two Countries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A Symposia titled "Wetland Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes – Comparing Approaches in USA and New Zealand." was held at this year's SWS Annual Conference in Madison. The symposium reviewed the science of wetlands and the role wetlands can play in ensuring the environmental sustainabilit...

  15. Beyond biodiversity: Ecosystem services of crop wild relatives

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop wild relatives (CWRs) and crop progenitors were among the first natural ecosystem services available to humans in building the foundations of agriculture in an era of remarkable climate change some 10,000 years ago. Ever since, spatial and temporal variation in micro- and macro-environments, an...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. [Evaluation of the ecosystem services of artificial landscapes in Beijing].

    PubMed

    Tian, Gang; Cai, Bo-feng

    2004-09-01

    According to quantitatively evaluating and comparing the ecosystem services of artificial grassland and cultivated trees, artificial pool and constructed wetland in Beijing by the well-accepted method, it was found that the net ecological values of grassland and pool are all negative. It was suggested that cultivated trees are more beneficial than artificial grassland and constructed wetland than artificial pool. PMID:15623013

  1. Comment on "Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services".

    PubMed

    Hölker, Franz; Beare, Doug; Dörner, Hendrik; di Natale, Antonio; Rätz, Hans-Joachim; Temming, Axel; Casey, John

    2007-06-01

    Worm et al. (Research Articles, 3 November 2006, p. 787) investigated the importance of biodiversity to marine ecosystem services across temporal and spatial scales. In projecting the extent of future fisheries collapse, we argue that the authors inappropriately extrapolated beyond their available observations and used data on marine reserves and fishery closures that are not representative of global fisheries. PMID:17540886

  2. Food security in a perfect storm: using the ecosystem services framework to increase understanding

    PubMed Central

    Poppy, G. M.; Chiotha, S.; Eigenbrod, F.; Harvey, C. A.; Honzák, M.; Hudson, M. D.; Jarvis, A.; Madise, N. J.; Schreckenberg, K.; Shackleton, C. M.; Villa, F.; Dawson, T. P.

    2014-01-01

    Achieving food security in a ‘perfect storm’ scenario is a grand challenge for society. Climate change and an expanding global population act in concert to make global food security even more complex and demanding. As achieving food security and the millennium development goal (MDG) to eradicate hunger influences the attainment of other MDGs, it is imperative that we offer solutions which are complementary and do not oppose one another. Sustainable intensification of agriculture has been proposed as a way to address hunger while also minimizing further environmental impact. However, the desire to raise productivity and yields has historically led to a degraded environment, reduced biodiversity and a reduction in ecosystem services (ES), with the greatest impacts affecting the poor. This paper proposes that the ES framework coupled with a policy response framework, for example Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR), can allow food security to be delivered alongside healthy ecosystems, which provide many other valuable services to humankind. Too often, agro-ecosystems have been considered as separate from other natural ecosystems and insufficient attention has been paid to the way in which services can flow to and from the agro-ecosystem to surrounding ecosystems. Highlighting recent research in a large multi-disciplinary project (ASSETS), we illustrate the ES approach to food security using a case study from the Zomba district of Malawi. PMID:24535394

  3. 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

    2011-11-01

    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

  4. 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. PMID

  5. 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

  6. Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Schröter, Matthias; Rusch, Graciela M.; Barton, David N.; Blumentrath, Stefan; Nordén, Björn

    2014-01-01

    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%. PMID:25393951

  7. Risks of large-scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services.

    PubMed

    Chagnon, Madeleine; Kreutzweiser, David; Mitchell, Edward A D; Morrissey, Christy A; Noome, Dominique A; Van der Sluijs, Jeroen P

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale use of the persistent and potent neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides has raised concerns about risks to ecosystem functions provided by a wide range of species and environments affected by these insecticides. The concept of ecosystem services is widely used in decision making in the context of valuing the service potentials, benefits, and use values that well-functioning ecosystems provide to humans and the biosphere and, as an endpoint (value to be protected), in ecological risk assessment of chemicals. Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in soil and water and are also found in air, as dust particles during sowing of crops and aerosols during spraying. These environmental media provide essential resources to support biodiversity, but are known to be threatened by long-term or repeated contamination by neonicotinoids and fipronil. We review the state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of these insecticides on ecosystem functioning and services provided by terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including soil and freshwater functions, fisheries, biological pest control, and pollination services. Empirical studies examining the specific impacts of neonicotinoids and fipronil to ecosystem services have focused largely on the negative impacts to beneficial insect species (honeybees) and the impact on pollination service of food crops. However, here we document broader evidence of the effects on ecosystem functions regulating soil and water quality, pest control, pollination, ecosystem resilience, and community diversity. In particular, microbes, invertebrates, and fish play critical roles as decomposers, pollinators, consumers, and predators, which collectively maintain healthy communities and ecosystem integrity. Several examples in this review demonstrate evidence of the negative impacts of systemic insecticides on decomposition, nutrient cycling, soil respiration, and invertebrate populations valued by humans. Invertebrates

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Modeling the effect of spatial policies on ecosystem services and human wellbeing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geneletti, D.

    2012-04-01

    Land use conversions rank among the most significant drivers of change in ecosystem services worldwide, affecting human wellbeing and threatening the survival of other species. Hence, predicting the effects of land use decisions on ecosystem services has emerged as a crucial need in land management. Research addressing the link between land use changes and ecosystem services has grown significantly in the last few years, even though it has rarely addressed the tools that most countries use to regulate the development of land: spatial plans. Spatial plans aim at implementing an overall strategy through regulations ("spatial policies") concerning the physical organization of land. The paper presents a methodology aimed at empirically exploring how the implementation of different spatial policies can affect a set of ecosystem services in the future (water purification, soil conservation, habitat for species, carbon sequestration and timber production). Particularly, the study addressed the following three research questions: Q1: What are the effects of different spatial policies on the production of services through time? Q2: How changes in the production affect the actual benefits, hence human wellbeing? Q3: What are the tradeoffs between different ecosystem services and wellbeing constituents, and how are they affected by the spatial scale of analysis? The methodology is based on the generation of land use scenarios that simulate the implementation of different spatial policies through time. For each scenario, the production of key ecosystem services (e.g., water filtration, soil retention) is modeled and compared (Q1). The effects on the constituents of wellbeing (adequate livelihoods, health, etc) are then assessed by looking at spatially-resolved socioeconomic variables that estimate the appropriation of services by different groups of beneficiaries (Q2). Finally, the geographical and temporal patterns of tradeoffs are studied by disaggregating the results at

  11. 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

  12. [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. PMID:20462013

  13. 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

  14. A multi-indicator framework for mapping cultural ecosystem services: The case of freshwater recreational fishing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Villamagna, Amy M.; Mogollon, Beatriz; Angermeier, Paul

    2014-01-01

    services delivery, (2) demand for cultural ecosystem services relative to their capacity, and (3) ecological pressures like potential overuse that affect service sustainability. Ultimately, we expect such analyses to inform decision-making for freshwater recreational fisheries and other cultural ecosystem services.

  15. CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS ON ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND HUMAN HEALTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human health and well-being are and will be affected by climate change, both directly through changes in extreme weather events and indirectly through weather induced changes in societal systems and their supporting ecosystems. The goal of this study was to develop and apply a b...

  16. Climate Extremes and Land-Use Change: Effects on Ecosystem Processes and Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahn, Michael; Erb, Karlheinz; Hasibeder, Roland; Mayr, Stefan; Niedertscheider, Maria; Oberhuber, Walter; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich; Viovy, Nicolas; Wieser, Gerhard

    2016-04-01

    Extreme climatic events, in particular droughts and heatwaves, have significant impacts on ecosystem carbon and water cycles and a range of related ecosystem services. It is expected that in the coming decades the return intervals and severities of extreme droughts will increase substantially and may result in the passing of thresholds of ecosystem functioning, potentially causing legacy effects, which are so far poorly understood. Observational evidence suggests that different land cover types (forest, grassland) are differently influenced by extreme drought, but there is a lack of knowledge whether and how future, increasingly severe climate extremes will affect their concurrent and lagged responses, as well as land-use decisions determining future shifts in land cover. The ClimLUC project aims to understand how extreme summer drought affects carbon and water dynamics of mountain ecosystems under different land uses, and to analyse implications for ecosystem service provisioning. Overall, we hypothesize that land-use change alters the effects of extreme summer drought on ecosystem processes and the related services, grassland responding more rapidly and strongly but being more resilient to extreme drought than forest. To address the aims and hypotheses, we will 1) test experimentally how (a) a managed, (b) an abandoned mountain grassland and (c) an adjacent subalpine forest respond to a progressive extreme drought and will analyse threshold responses of carbon and water dynamics and their implications for ecosystem services (timber and fodder production, carbon sequestration, water provisioning); 2) quantify carry-over effects of the extreme event on ecosystem processes and services; 3) project and attribute future carbon and water cycle responses to extreme drought and related socio-economic changes, based on a process-based dynamic general vegetation model; 4) analyse the interrelation between land-use changes and the occurrence and severity of past and future

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez, J.P.; Beard, T.D., Jr.; 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

  19. 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

  20. Impact of land use and land cover changes on ecosystem services in Menglun, Xishuangbanna, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Huabin; Liu, Wenjun; Cao, Min

    2008-11-01

    Changing the landscape has serious environmental impacts affecting the ecosystem services, particularly in the tropics. In this paper, we report changes in ecosystem services in relation to land use and land cover over an 18-year period (1988--2006) in the Menglun Township, Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. We used Landsat TM/ETM and Quickbird data sets to estimate changes in ten land use and land cover categories, and generalized value coefficients to estimate changes in the ecosystem services provided by each land category. The results showed that over the 18-year period, the land use and land cover in the study area experienced significant changes. Rubber plantations increased from 12.10% of total land cover to 45.63%, while forested area and swidden field decreased from 48.73 and 13.14 to 27.57 and 0.46%, respectively. During this period, the estimated value of ecosystem services dropped by US $11.427 million (approximately 27.73%). Further analysis showed that there were significant changes in ecological functions such as nutrient cycling, erosion control, climate regulation and water treatment as well as recreation; the obvious increase in the ecological function is provision of raw material (natural rubber). Our findings conclude that an abrupt shift in land use from ecologically important tropical forests and traditionally managed swidden fields to large-scale rubber plantations result in a great loss of ecosystem services in this area. Further, the study suggests that provision of alternative economic opportunities would help in maintaining ecosystem services and for an appropriate compensation mechanisms need to be established based on rigorous valuation. PMID:18157650

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  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. 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...

  8. Complementary ecosystem services provided by pest predators and pollinators increase quantity and quality of coffee yields.

    PubMed

    Classen, Alice; Peters, Marcell K; Ferger, Stefan W; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Schmack, Julia M; Maassen, Genevieve; Schleuning, Matthias; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-03-22

    Wild animals substantially support crop production by providing ecosystem services, such as pollination and natural pest control. However, the strengths of synergies between ecosystem services and their dependencies on land-use management are largely unknown. Here, we took an experimental approach to test the impact of land-use intensification on both individual and combined pollination and pest control services in coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. We established a full-factorial pollinator and vertebrate exclosure experiment along a land-use gradient from traditional homegardens (agroforestry systems), shaded coffee plantations to sun coffee plantations (total sample size = 180 coffee bushes). The exclusion of vertebrates led to a reduction in fruit set of ca 9%. Pollinators did not affect fruit set, but significantly increased fruit weight of coffee by an average of 7.4%. We found no significant decline of these ecosystem services along the land-use gradient. Pest control and pollination service were thus complementary, contributing to coffee production by affecting the quantity and quality of a major tropical cash crop across different coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. PMID:24500173

  9. Complementary ecosystem services provided by pest predators and pollinators increase quantity and quality of coffee yields

    PubMed Central

    Classen, Alice; Peters, Marcell K.; Ferger, Stefan W.; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Schmack, Julia M.; Maassen, Genevieve; Schleuning, Matthias; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-01-01

    Wild animals substantially support crop production by providing ecosystem services, such as pollination and natural pest control. However, the strengths of synergies between ecosystem services and their dependencies on land-use management are largely unknown. Here, we took an experimental approach to test the impact of land-use intensification on both individual and combined pollination and pest control services in coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. We established a full-factorial pollinator and vertebrate exclosure experiment along a land-use gradient from traditional homegardens (agroforestry systems), shaded coffee plantations to sun coffee plantations (total sample size = 180 coffee bushes). The exclusion of vertebrates led to a reduction in fruit set of ca 9%. Pollinators did not affect fruit set, but significantly increased fruit weight of coffee by an average of 7.4%. We found no significant decline of these ecosystem services along the land-use gradient. Pest control and pollination service were thus complementary, contributing to coffee production by affecting the quantity and quality of a major tropical cash crop across different coffee production systems at Mount Kilimanjaro. PMID:24500173

  10. Linking Biological Responses of Terrestrial N Eutrophication to the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, M. D.; Clark, C.; Blett, T.

    2015-12-01

    The response of a biological indicator to N deposition can indicate that an ecosystem has surpassed a critical load and is at risk of significant change. The importance of this exceedance is often difficult to digest by policy makers and public audiences if the change is not linked to a familiar ecosystem endpoint. A workshop was held to bring together scientists, resource managers, and policy makers with expertise in ecosystem functioning, critical loads, and economics in an effort to identify the ecosystem services impacted by air pollution. This was completed within the framework of the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) Classification System to produce a product that identified distinct interactions between society and the effects of nitrogen pollution. From each change in a biological indicator, we created multiple ecological production functions to identify the cascading effects of the change to a measureable ecosystem service that a user interacts with either by enjoying, consuming, or appreciating the good or service, or using it as an input in the human economy. This FEGS metric was then linked to a beneficiary group that interacts with the service. Chains detailing the links from the biological indicator to the beneficiary group were created for aquatic and terrestrial acidification and eutrophication at the workshop, and here we present a subset of the workshop results by highlighting for 9 different ecosystems affected by terrestrial eutrophication. A total of 213 chains that linked to 37 unique FEGS metrics and impacted 15 beneficiary groups were identified based on nitrogen deposition mediated changes to biological indicators. The chains within each ecosystem were combined in flow charts to show the complex, overlapping relationships among biological indicators, ecosystem services, and beneficiary groups. Strength of relationship values were calculated for each chain based on support for the link in the scientific literature. We produced the

  11. Challenges for Ecosystem Services Provided by Coral Reefs In the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikuchi, R. K.; Elliff, C. I.

    2014-12-01

    Coral reefs provide many ecosystem services of which coastal populations are especially dependent upon, both in cases of extreme events and in daily life. However, adaptation to climate change is still relatively unknown territory regarding the ecosystem services provided by coastal environments, such as coral reefs. Management strategies usually consider climate change as a distant issue and rarely include ecosystem services in decision-making. Coral reefs are among the most vulnerable environments to climate change, considering the impact that increased ocean temperature and acidity have on the organisms that compose this ecosystem. If no actions are taken, the most likely scenario to occur will be of extreme decline in the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs. Loss of biodiversity due to the pressures of ocean warming and acidification will lead to increased price of seafood products, negative impact on food security, and ecological imbalances. Also, sea-level rise and fragile structures due to carbonate dissolution will increase vulnerability to storms, which can lead to shoreline erosion and ultimately threaten coastal communities. Both these conditions will undoubtedly affect recreation and tourism, which are often the most important use values in the case of coral reef systems. Adaptation strategies to climate change must take on an ecosystem-based approach with continuous monitoring programs, so that multiple ecosystem services are considered and not only retrospective trends are analyzed. Brazilian coral reefs have been monitored on a regular basis since 2000 and, considering that these marginal coral reefs of the eastern Atlantic are naturally under stressful conditions (e.g. high sedimentation rates), inshore reefs of Brazil, such as those in Tinharé-Boipeba, have shown lower vitality rates due to greater impacts from the proximity to the coastal area (e.g. pollution, overfishing, sediment run-off). This chronic negative impact must be addressed

  12. 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...

  13. A participatory assessment of ecosystem services and human wellbeing in rural Costa Rica using photo-voice.

    PubMed

    Berbés-Blázquez, Marta

    2012-04-01

    Human well-being is intricately connected to ecosystem services. A keystone contribution to the ecosystem service literature has been the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, MA, (Ecosystems and human well-being: a framework for assessment, Island Press, Washington, DC; 2003, 2005). Much of the work on ecosystem services to date has focused on the assessment and classification of environmental functions. The need for inclusion of community perspectives in ecosystem assessments has been widely recognized in order to better understand the distribution of impacts and benefits resulting from natural resource use. Communities can offer a direct route to understanding the complex relationships between ecosystems and human well-being and how environmental management affects their livelihoods. Photovoice has been made popular as a tool for participatory needs assessment but it has had limited use in ecosystem assessments to date. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to present the results of a community-level assessment of environmental services in a watershed dominated by pineapple monoculture in Costa Rica; and (2) to evaluate the strengths and the limitations of photovoice as a tool for mapping the relationship between ecosystems and people. I argue that photovoice is an underutilized methodology that has the potential to complement biophysical ecosystem service assessments in the context of impoverished and resource-dependent communities, particularly, since assessing ecosystem services and acting upon that information requires integrating the knowledges of diverse stakeholders, recognizing power imbalances, and grappling with the complexity of social-ecological systems. Processes such as photovoice have the potential to catalyze community self-organization, which is a critical component for empowerment. PMID:22402931

  14. A Participatory Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing in Rural Costa Rica Using Photo-Voice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berbés-Blázquez, Marta

    2012-04-01

    Human well-being is intricately connected to ecosystem services. A keystone contribution to the ecosystem service literature has been the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, MA, (Ecosystems and human well-being: a framework for assessment, Island Press, Washington, DC; 2003, 2005). Much of the work on ecosystem services to date has focused on the assessment and classification of environmental functions. The need for inclusion of community perspectives in ecosystem assessments has been widely recognized in order to better understand the distribution of impacts and benefits resulting from natural resource use. Communities can offer a direct route to understanding the complex relationships between ecosystems and human well-being and how environmental management affects their livelihoods. Photovoice has been made popular as a tool for participatory needs assessment but it has had limited use in ecosystem assessments to date. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to present the results of a community-level assessment of environmental services in a watershed dominated by pineapple monoculture in Costa Rica; and (2) to evaluate the strengths and the limitations of photovoice as a tool for mapping the relationship between ecosystems and people. I argue that photovoice is an underutilized methodology that has the potential to complement biophysical ecosystem service assessments in the context of impoverished and resource-dependent communities, particularly, since assessing ecosystem services and acting upon that information requires integrating the knowledges of diverse stakeholders, recognizing power imbalances, and grappling with the complexity of social-ecological systems. Processes such as photovoice have the potential to catalyze community self-organization, which is a critical component for empowerment.

  15. Rangeland ecosystem services: shifting focus from supply to reconciling supply and demand

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystem services have been extensively studied in terms of their production, spatial extent, and valuation. Human reliance on ecosystem services is a function of the capacity of ecosystems to supply these services and the societal demand for these benefits. Considerably more attention has been pl...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Tradeoffs in ecosystem services of prairies managed for bioenergy production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarchow, Meghann Elizabeth

    The use of perennial plant materials as a renewable source of energy may constitute an important opportunity to improve the environmental sustainability of managed land. Currently, the production of energy from agricultural products is primarily in the form of ethanol from corn grain, which used more than 45% of the domestic U.S. corn crop in 2011. Concomitantly, using corn grain to produce ethanol has promoted landscape simplification and homogenization through conversion of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands to annual row crops, and has been implicated in increasing environmental damage, such as increased nitrate leaching into water bodies and increased rates of soil erosion. In contrast, perennial prairie vegetation has the potential to be used as a bioenergy feedstock that produces a substantial amount of biomass as well as numerous ecosystem services. Reincorporating prairies to diversify the landscape of the Midwestern U.S. at strategic locations could provide more habitat for animals, including beneficial insects, and decrease nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment movement into water bodies. In this dissertation, I present data from two field experiments that examine (1) how managing prairies for bioenergy production affects prairie ecology and agronomic performance and (2) how these prairie systems differ from corn systems managed for bioenergy production. Results of this work show that there are tradeoffs among prairie systems and between corn and prairie systems with respect to the amount of harvested biomass, root production, nutrient export, feedstock characteristics, growing season utilization, and species and functional group diversity. These results emphasize the need for a multifaceted approach to fully evaluate bioenergy feedstock production systems.

  19. Embedding ecosystem services in coastal planning leads to better outcomes for people and nature.

    PubMed

    Arkema, Katie K; Verutes, Gregory M; Wood, Spencer A; Clarke-Samuels, Chantalle; Rosado, Samir; Canto, Maritza; Rosenthal, Amy; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Guannel, Gregory; Toft, Jodie; Faries, Joe; Silver, Jessica M; Griffin, Robert; Guerry, Anne D

    2015-06-16

    Recent calls for ocean planning envision informed management of social and ecological systems to sustain delivery of ecosystem services to people. However, until now, no coastal and marine planning process has applied an ecosystem-services framework to understand how human activities affect the flow of benefits, to create scenarios, and to design a management plan. We developed models that quantify services provided by corals, mangroves, and seagrasses. We used these models within an extensive engagement process to design a national spatial plan for Belize's coastal zone. Through iteration of modeling and stakeholder engagement, we developed a preferred plan, currently under formal consideration by the Belizean government. Our results suggest that the preferred plan will lead to greater returns from coastal protection and tourism than outcomes from scenarios oriented toward achieving either conservation or development goals. The plan will also reduce impacts to coastal habitat and increase revenues from lobster fishing relative to current management. By accounting for spatial variation in the impacts of coastal and ocean activities on benefits that ecosystems provide to people, our models allowed stakeholders and policymakers to refine zones of human use. The final version of the preferred plan improved expected coastal protection by >25% and more than doubled the revenue from fishing, compared with earlier versions based on stakeholder preferences alone. Including outcomes in terms of ecosystem-service supply and value allowed for explicit consideration of multiple benefits from oceans and coasts that typically are evaluated separately in management decisions. PMID:26082545

  20. Embedding ecosystem services in coastal planning leads to better outcomes for people and nature

    PubMed Central

    Arkema, Katie K.; Verutes, Gregory M.; Wood, Spencer A.; Clarke-Samuels, Chantalle; Rosado, Samir; Canto, Maritza; Rosenthal, Amy; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Guannel, Gregory; Toft, Jodie; Faries, Joe; Silver, Jessica M.; Griffin, Robert; Guerry, Anne D.

    2015-01-01

    Recent calls for ocean planning envision informed management of social and ecological systems to sustain delivery of ecosystem services to people. However, until now, no coastal and marine planning process has applied an ecosystem-services framework to understand how human activities affect the flow of benefits, to create scenarios, and to design a management plan. We developed models that quantify services provided by corals, mangroves, and seagrasses. We used these models within an extensive engagement process to design a national spatial plan for Belize’s coastal zone. Through iteration of modeling and stakeholder engagement, we developed a preferred plan, currently under formal consideration by the Belizean government. Our results suggest that the preferred plan will lead to greater returns from coastal protection and tourism than outcomes from scenarios oriented toward achieving either conservation or development goals. The plan will also reduce impacts to coastal habitat and increase revenues from lobster fishing relative to current management. By accounting for spatial variation in the impacts of coastal and ocean activities on benefits that ecosystems provide to people, our models allowed stakeholders and policymakers to refine zones of human use. The final version of the preferred plan improved expected coastal protection by >25% and more than doubled the revenue from fishing, compared with earlier versions based on stakeholder preferences alone. Including outcomes in terms of ecosystem-service supply and value allowed for explicit consideration of multiple benefits from oceans and coasts that typically are evaluated separately in management decisions. PMID:26082545

  1. 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.

  2. Public preferences for ecosystem services on exurban landscapes: A case study from the Mid-Atlantic, USA.

    PubMed

    Duke, Joshua M; Bruck, Jules; Barton, Susan; Murray, Megan; Inamdar, Shreeram; Tallamy, Douglas W

    2016-07-01

    This paper reports data from a residential landscape preference study conducted in Delaware, USA. The researchers constructed an ecologically designed exurban residential landscape, which delivered 20 new environmental and human-related impacts, including 7 that delivered ecosystem services. Ecosystem services included impacts such as improved flood control and enhanced plant diversity. Using pictures before and after the intervention, an intercept survey of 105 non-neighboring residents estimated whether the 20 impacts positively, negatively, or did not affect the respondents' household wellbeing. The public found that most landscape-intervention impacts had a positive effect on their quality of life, especially those impacts involving ecosystem services. All but one ecosystem service were found to be strong amenities and the other (moving indoor activities outside) was an amenity. However, the landscape intervention delivered one clear disamenity: increased undesirable wildlife. Respondents also identified what impacts were the most important in affecting their welfare: undesirable wildlife (negative); flood control (positive); and water quality (positive). Ecosystem services accounted for 41.6% of the public's importance rating, while undesirable wildlife was 12.9%. A planning process seeking more ecosystem services from residential landscapes should focus on all the most important drivers of preference, if it is to be accepted by residents. PMID:27441300

  3. Distributed hydrological models to quantify ecosystem services and inform land use decisions in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilebore, Beccy; Willis, Kathy

    2016-04-01

    Landcover conversion is one of the largest anthropogenic threats to ecological services globally; in the EU around 1500 ha of biodiverse land are lost every day to changes in infrastructure and urbanisation. This land conversion directly affects key ecosystem services that support natural infrastructure, including water flow regulation and the mitigation of flood risks. We assess the sensitivity of runoff production to landcover in the UK at a high spatial resolution, using a distributed hydrologic model in the regional land-surface model JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator). This work, as part of the wider initiative 'NaturEtrade', will create a novel suite of easy-to-use tools and mechanisms to allow EU landowners to quickly map and assess the value of their land in providing key ecosystem services.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Valuing ecosystem services: theory, practice, and the need for a transdisciplinary synthesis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuang; Costanza, Robert; Farber, Stephen; Troy, Austin

    2010-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services has shifted our paradigm of how nature matters to human societies. Instead of viewing the preservation of nature as something for which we have to sacrifice our well-being, we now perceive the environment as natural capital, one of society's important assets. But ecosystem services are becoming increasingly scarce. In order to stop this trend, the challenge is to provoke society to acknowledge the value of natural capital. Ecosystem services valuation (ESV) is the method to tackle such a challenge. ESV is the process of assessing the contributions of ecosystem services to sustainable scale, fair distribution, and efficient allocation. It is a tool that (1) provides for comparisons of natural capital to physical and human capital in regard to their contributions to human welfare; (2) monitors the quantity and quality of natural capital over time with respect to its contribution to human welfare; and (3) provides for evaluation of projects that will affect natural capital stocks. This review covers: (1) what has been done in ESV research in the last 50 years; (2) how it has been used in ecosystem management; and (3) prospects for the future. Our survey of the literature has shown that over time, there has been movement toward a more transdisciplinary approach to ESV research which is more consistent with the nature of the problems being addressed. On the other hand, the contribution of ESV to ecosystem management has not been as significant as hoped nor as clearly defined. Conclusions drawn from the review are as follows: first, ESV researchers will have to transcend disciplinary boundaries and synthesize tools, skills, and methodologies from various disciplines; second, ESV research has to become more problem-driven rather than tool-driven because ultimately the success of ESV will be judged on how well it facilitates real-world decision making and the conservation of natural capital. PMID:20146762

  7. How stock of origin affects performance of individuals across a meta-ecosystem: an example from sockeye salmon.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Schindler, Daniel E; Seeb, Lisa W

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Using Bayesian Belief Networks to Explore the Effects of Nitrogen Inputs on Wetland Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spence, P. L.; Jordan, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Increased reactive nitrogen (Nr) inputs to freshwater wetlands resulting from infrastructure development due to population growth along with intensive agricultural practices associated with food production can threaten regulating (i.e. climate change, water purification, and waste treatment) and supporting (i.e. nutrient cycling) ecosystem services. Wetlands generally respond both by sequestering Nr (i.e. soil accumulation and biomass assimilation) and converting Nr into inert gaseous forms via biogeochemical processes. It is important for wetlands to be efficient in removing excessive Nr inputs from polluted waters to reduce eutrophication in downstream receiving water bodies while producing negligible amounts of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, which results from incomplete denitrification. Wetlands receiving excessive Nr lose their ability to provide a constant balance between regulating water quality and mitigating climate change. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of Nr inputs on ecosystem services provided by wetlands using a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN). The network was developed from established relationships between a variety of wetland function indicators and biogeochemical process associated with Nr removal. Empirical data for 34 freshwater wetlands were gathered from a comprehensive review of published peer-reviewed and gray literature. The BBN was trained using 30 wetlands (88% of the freshwater wetland case file) and tested using 4 wetlands (12% of the freshwater wetland case file). Sensitivity analysis suggested that Nr removal, water quality, soil Nr accumulation and N2O emissions had the greatest influence on ecosystem service tradeoffs. The magnitude of Nr inputs did not affect ecosystem services. The network implies that Nr removal efficiency has a greater influence on final ecosystem services associated with water quality impairment and atmospheric pollution. A very low error rate, which was based on 4 wetland

  12. Beyond deforestation: restoring forests and ecosystem services on degraded lands.

    PubMed

    Chazdon, Robin L

    2008-06-13

    Despite continued forest conversion and degradation, forest cover is increasing in countries across the globe. New forests are regenerating on former agricultural land, and forest plantations are being established for commercial and restoration purposes. Plantations and restored forests can improve ecosystem services and enhance biodiversity conservation, but will not match the composition and structure of the original forest cover. Approaches to restoring forest ecosystems depend strongly on levels of forest and soil degradation, residual vegetation, and desired restoration outcomes. Opportunities abound to combine ambitious forest restoration and regeneration goals with sustainable rural livelihoods and community participation. New forests will require adaptive management as dynamic, resilient systems that can withstand stresses of climate change, habitat fragmentation, and other anthropogenic effects. PMID:18556551

  13. Evaluating Ecosystem Services Provided by Non-Native Species: An Experimental Test in California Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25222028

  14. 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."

  15. [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. PMID:26572041

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26808168

  18. 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, James R.; 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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. PMID:20556644

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:19459891

  7. 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

  8. Sustainable watersheds: integrating ecosystem services and public health.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:26662791

  11. Biological Invasions Impact Ecosystem Properties and can Affect Climate Predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Meler, M.; Matamala, R.; Cook, D. R.; Graham, S.; Fan, Z.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change models vary widely in their predictions of the effects of climate forcing, in part because of difficulties in assigning sources of uncertainties and in simulating changes in the carbon source/sink status and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems. We studied the impacts of vegetation and weather variations on carbon and energy fluxes at a restored tallgrass prairie in Illinois. The prairie was a strong carbon sink, despite a prolonged drought period and vegetation changes due to the presence of a non-native biennial plant. A model considering the combined effects of air temperature, precipitation, RH, incoming solar radiation, and vegetation was also developed and used to describe net ecosystem exchange for all years. The vegetation factor was represented in the model with summer albedo and/or NDVI. Results showed that the vegetation factor was more important than abiotic factors in describing changes in C and energy fluxes in ecosystems under disturbances. Changes from natives to a non-native forbs species had the strongest effect in reducing net ecosystem production and increasing sensible heat flux and albedo, which may result in positive feedbacks on warming. Here we show that non-native species invasions can alter the ecosystem sensitivity to climatic factors often construed in models.

  12. Riparian deforestation, stream narrowing, and loss of stream ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Bernard W; Bott, Thomas L; Jackson, John K; Kaplan, Louis A; Newbold, J Denis; Standley, Laurel J; Hession, W Cully; Horwitz, Richard J

    2004-09-28

    A study of 16 streams in eastern North America shows that riparian deforestation causes channel narrowing, which reduces the total amount of stream habitat and ecosystem per unit channel length and compromises in-stream processing of pollutants. Wide forest reaches had more macroinvertebrates, total ecosystem processing of organic matter, and nitrogen uptake per unit channel length than contiguous narrow deforested reaches. Stream narrowing nullified any potential advantages of deforestation regarding abundance of fish, quality of dissolved organic matter, and pesticide degradation. These findings show that forested stream channels have a wider and more natural configuration, which significantly affects the total in-stream amount and activity of the ecosystem, including the processing of pollutants. The results reinforce both current policy of the United States that endorses riparian forest buffers as best management practice and federal and state programs that subsidize riparian reforestation for stream restoration and water quality. Not only do forest buffers prevent nonpoint source pollutants from entering small streams, they also enhance the in-stream processing of both nonpoint and point source pollutants, thereby reducing their impact on downstream rivers and estuaries. PMID:15381768

  13. Riparian deforestation, stream narrowing, and loss of stream ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Sweeney, Bernard W.; Bott, Thomas L.; Jackson, John K.; Kaplan, Louis A.; Newbold, J. Denis; Standley, Laurel J.; Hession, W. Cully; Horwitz, Richard J.

    2004-01-01

    A study of 16 streams in eastern North America shows that riparian deforestation causes channel narrowing, which reduces the total amount of stream habitat and ecosystem per unit channel length and compromises in-stream processing of pollutants. Wide forest reaches had more macroinvertebrates, total ecosystem processing of organic matter, and nitrogen uptake per unit channel length than contiguous narrow deforested reaches. Stream narrowing nullified any potential advantages of deforestation regarding abundance of fish, quality of dissolved organic matter, and pesticide degradation. These findings show that forested stream channels have a wider and more natural configuration, which significantly affects the total in-stream amount and activity of the ecosystem, including the processing of pollutants. The results reinforce both current policy of the United States that endorses riparian forest buffers as best management practice and federal and state programs that subsidize riparian reforestation for stream restoration and water quality. Not only do forest buffers prevent nonpoint source pollutants from entering small streams, they also enhance the in-stream processing of both nonpoint and point source pollutants, thereby reducing their impact on downstream rivers and estuaries. PMID:15381768

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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. PMID:22616121

  18. 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

  19. Effects of Land Use Changes on the Ecosystem Service Values of a Reclamation Farm in Northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Fanghua; Lai, Xuehui; Ouyang, Wei; Xu, Yiming; Wei, Xinfeng; Song, Kaiyu

    2012-11-01

    Intensive agricultural development can change land use, which can further affect regional ecosystem services and functions. With the rapid growth of the population and the national demand for food, the northeast of China, which is located in the high latitudes, has experienced four agricultural developments since the 1950s. The original wetlands of this area were developed for farmland. The evaluation of ecosystem services is conducted to reveal the ecosystem status and variable trends caused by land reclamation. The aim of this study is to provide scientific basis for environmental management and for the sustainable development of agriculture in Northeast China. With GIS-RS technology, a typical farm was chosen to analyze variations in the ecosystem service value in response to land use changes during the study period. The total ecosystem service value of the farm decreased from 7523.10 million Yuan in 1979 to 4023.59 million Yuan in 2009 with an annual rate of -1.6 % due to the decreasing areas of woodland and wetland. The increased areas of cropland, water area and grassland partly offset the loss of the total value, but the loss was still greater than the compensation. Waste treatment and climate regulation were the top two service functions with high service values, contributing to approximately 50 % of the total service value. The spatial difference of the ecosystem service value also was analyzed. The wetlands located in the central and northeastern sections of the farm changed significantly. From the aspect of ecosystem service value, the wetland and water area should be conserved, as they have the highest value coefficients. The accuracy of the value coefficient, however, needs to be studied further in future research.

  20. 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...

  1. Ecosystem Warming Affects CO2 Flux in an Agricultural Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global warming seems likely based on present-day climate predictions. Our objective was to characterize and quantify the interactive effects of ecosystem warming (i.e., canopy temperature, TS), soil moisture content ('S) and microbial biomass (BM: bacteria, fungi) on the intra-row soil CO2 flux (FS)...

  2. Mapping bundles of ecosystem services reveals distinct types of multifunctionality within a Swedish landscape.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, Cibele; Meacham, Megan; Richter, Kristina; Norström, Albert V; Andersson, Erik; Norberg, Jon; Peterson, Garry

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) is a valuable concept to be used in the planning and management of social-ecological landscapes. However, the understanding of the determinant factors affecting the interaction between services in the form of synergies or trade-offs is still limited. We assessed the production of 16 ES across 62 municipalities in the Norrström drainage basin in Sweden. We combined GIS data with publically available information for quantifying and mapping the distribution of services. Additionally, we calculated the diversity of ES for each municipality and used correlations and k-means clustering analyses to assess the existence of ES bundles. We found five distinct types of bundles of ES spatially agglomerated in the landscape that could be explained by regional social and ecological gradients. Human-dominated landscapes were highly multifunctional in our study area and urban densely populated areas were hotspots of cultural services. PMID:25576284

  3. 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

  4. A methodology for adaptable and robust ecosystem services assessment.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:26129942

  7. On the effects of scale for ecosystem services mapping.

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  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. Decoupled effects (positive to negative) of nutrient enrichment on ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Antón, Andrea; Cebrian, Just; Heck, Kenneth L; Duarte, Carlos M; Sheehan, Kate L; Miller, Mary-Elizabeth C; Foster, C Drew

    2011-04-01

    Eutrophication is a widespread phenomenon that disrupts natural ecosystems around the globe. Despite the general recognition that ecosystems provide many services and benefits to humans, little effort has been made to address how increasing anthropogenic eutrophication affects those services. We conducted a field experiment to determine the effect of nutrient enrichment on five ecological services provided by a model coastal system, a shallow seagrass community near Mobile Bay, Alabama (USA): (1) the provision of shelter for fauna; (2) the quality of food provided to first-order consumers; (3) quantity of food provision to first-order consumers and O2/CO2 exchange; (4) producer carbon and nitrogen storage, and (5) water clarity. The results showed a severe negative impact on seagrass density and biomass, which greatly reduced the structural complexity of the community and provision of shelter to fauna. Water clarity and the standing stock of producer carbon were reduced in the fertilized area in comparison with the control area. In contrast, nutrient addition did not affect in any consistent way the total quantity of food available for first-order consumers, the net exchange of O2/CO2, or the standing stock of producer nitrogen in the community. The nutritional quality of the food available for first-order consumers increased with fertilization. These results show that the impacts of nutrient enrichment on the services provided by natural systems may be disparate, ranging from negative to positive. These findings suggest that management policies for anthropogenic eutrophication will depend on the specific ecosystem service targeted. In the case of shallow seagrass beds, the loss of biogenic habitat and drastic impacts on commercially important fauna may be sufficiently alarming to warrant rigorous control of coastal eutrophication. PMID:21639061

  11. 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

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. 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. PMID:24740621

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 78 FR 58287 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Social Values of Ecosystem Services (SolVES) in...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-23

    ... Values of Ecosystem Services (SolVES) in Marine Protected Areas for Management Decision-Making AGENCY...) and National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) managers in the Mission-Aransas NERR and the Olympic Coast NMS... practices affecting the coastal and ocean resources of the United States. Additionally, the National...

  19. An Integrated Model for Identifying Linkages Between the Management of Fuel Treatments, Fire and Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, R. R.; Anderson, S.; Moritz, M.; Plantinga, A.; Tague, C.

    2015-12-01

    Vegetation fuel treatments (e.g. thinning, prescribed burning) are a frequent tool for managing fire-prone landscapes. However, predicting how fuel treatments may affect future wildfire risk and associated ecosystem services, such as forest water availability and streamflow, remains a challenge. This challenge is in part due to the large range of conditions under which fuel treatments may be implemented, as response is likely to vary with species type, rates of vegetation regrowth, meteorological conditions and physiographic properties of the treated site. It is also due to insufficient understanding of how social factors such as political pressure, public demands and economic constraints affect fuel management decisions. To examine the feedbacks between ecological and social dimensions of fuel treatments, we present an integrated model that links a biophysical model that simulates vegetation and hydrology (RHESSys), a fire spread model (WMFire) and an empirical fuel treatment model that accounts for agency decision-making. We use this model to investigate how management decisions affect landscape fuel loads, which in turn affect fire severity and ecosystem services, which feedback to management decisions on fuel treatments. We hypothesize that this latter effect will be driven by salience theory, which predicts that fuel treatments are more likely to occur following major wildfire events. The integrated model provides a flexible framework for answering novel questions about fuel treatments that span social and ecological domains, areas that have previously been treated separately.

  20. Habitat Fragmentation Intensifies Trade-Offs between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Heathland Ecosystem in Southern England

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26114753

  1. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  2. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  3. The National Ecosystem Services Classification System: A Framework for Identifying and Reducing Relevant Uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhodes, C. R.; Sinha, P.; Amanda, N.

    2013-12-01

    In recent years the gap between what scientists know and what policymakers should appreciate in environmental decision making has received more attention, as the costs of the disconnect have become more apparent to both groups. Particularly for water-related policies, the EPA's Office of Water has struggled with benefit estimates held low by the inability to quantify ecological and economic effects that theory, modeling, and anecdotal or isolated case evidence suggest may prove to be larger. Better coordination with ecologists and hydrologists is being explored as a solution. The ecosystem services (ES) concept now nearly two decades old links ecosystem functions and processes to the human value system. But there remains no clear mapping of which ecosystem goods and services affect which individual or economic values. The National Ecosystem Services Classification System (NESCS, 'nexus') project brings together ecologists, hydrologists, and social scientists to do this mapping for aquatic and other ecosystem service-generating systems. The objective is to greatly reduce the uncertainty in water-related policy making by mapping and ultimately quantifying the various functions and products of aquatic systems, as well as how changes to aquatic systems impact the human economy and individual levels of non-monetary appreciation for those functions and products. Primary challenges to fostering interaction between scientists, social scientists, and policymakers are lack of a common vocabulary, and the need for a cohesive comprehensive framework that organizes concepts across disciplines and accommodates scientific data from a range of sources. NESCS builds the vocabulary and the framework so both may inform a scalable transdisciplinary policy-making application. This talk presents for discussion the process and progress in developing both this vocabulary and a classifying framework capable of bridging the gap between a newer but existing ecosystem services classification

  4. Evolving demand for ecosystem services and their impact in a coastal New England watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wollheim, W. M.; Green, M. B.; Pellerin, B. A.; Duncan, J. M.; Gettel, G. M.; Hopkinson, C.; Polsky, C.; Pontius, R.

    2009-12-01

    Human demands for ecosystem services (e.g. provision of food and water; regulation of waste) change over space and time as society, economy, and environment evolve. The distribution of population relative to watershed boundaries determines supply and demand of ecosystem services, which in turn affects watershed water and nutrient budgets. A watershed perspective is helpful to assess whether such services are sustainable with respect to freshwater and coastal ecosystems. We determined how demand for three ecosystem services (ES): food production, clean water supply, and removal of excess nutrients has changed over the last two hundred years (1800-present) in the watersheds draining to Plum Island Sound (drainage area = ~600 km2), located in Essex County MA., part of the Boston Metropolitan Area. The watersheds have gone through three distinct phases of ES demand over this period: 1) provision of food and fiber during the agricultural period (1600-1800’s), 2) increasing provision of water during the period of forest regrowth and agricultural abandonment (1880 - 1950), and 3) regulation of nitrogen pollution and provision of water during the suburban period (1950-present). As a result of changing ES, net interbasin nitrogen transfers out of the basin peaked in the mid 1800’s, water exports peaked 1960-1980 (averaging 27% of annual runoff), and net nitrogen transfers into the basin peaked in the 1960’s and stabilized thereafter (averaging 2.5x atmospheric deposition rates). ES provided by the Plum Island basins disproportionately benefited people living outside the basin prior to 1950 (e.g. internal water use was < 10% of total water extracted for domestic consumption), but were increasingly used by people living within the basin in the late 20th century (e.g. internal water use about 25-30% of total withdrawal). However, demands for ES from the Plum Island watersheds have not been accelerating in the recent suburban period despite continued population growth

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 76 FR 29783 - Agency Information Collection: Comment Request; The State of Ecosystem Services Implementation...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-23

    .... Request for Comments On September 13, 2010, we published a Federal Register notice (75 FR 55598..., atmospheric regulation, pollination, and seed dispersal are considered ecosystem services. Indirect...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services supplies and demands: a review of remote sensing applications.

    PubMed

    Ayanu, Yohannes Zergaw; Conrad, Christopher; Nauss, Thomas; Wegmann, Martin; Koellner, Thomas

    2012-08-21

    Ecosystems provide services necessary for the livelihoods and well-being of people. Quantifying and mapping supplies and demands of ecosystem services is essential for continuous monitoring of such services to support decision-making. Area-wide and spatially explicit mapping of ecosystem services based on extensive ground surveys is restricted to local scales and limited due to high costs. In contrast, remote sensing provides reliable area-wide data for quantifying and mapping ecosystem services at comparatively low costs, and with the option of fast, frequent, and continuous observations for monitoring. In this paper, we review relevant remote sensing systems, sensor types, and methods applicable in quantifying selected provisioning and regulatory services. Furthermore, opportunities, challenges, and future prospects in using remote sensing for supporting ecosystem services' quantification and mapping are discussed. PMID:22816512

  11. Measuring conditions and trends in ecosystem services at multiple scales: the Southern African Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (SAfMA) experience.

    PubMed

    van Jaarsveld, A S; Biggs, R; Scholes, R J; Bohensky, E; Reyers, B; Lynam, T; Musvoto, C; Fabricius, C

    2005-02-28

    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. 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

  13. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds.

    PubMed

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J

    2016-01-01

    Large "hypercarnivorous" felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km(2). Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  14. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds

    PubMed Central

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Large “hypercarnivorous” felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km2. Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  15. [Dynamics of ecosystem services value in Aksu River watershed in 1960 -2008].

    PubMed

    Zhou, De-Cheng; Luo, Ge-Ping; Xu, Wen-Qiang; Feng, Yi-Xing

    2010-02-01

    By using GIS-RS techniques and the table 'Equivalent weight of China terrestrial ecosystems services value', in combining with the local grain yield and grain purchasing price, this paper analyzed the changes of ecosystem services value in Aksu River watershed in 1960-2008, and explored the responses of ecosystem services value change in arid trans-boundary river watershed to land use/cover change. Overall, the ecosystem services value in Aksu River watershed in 1960-2008 changed slightly, with the total value increased after an initial decrease. The main cause of the initial decrease was the area decrease of wetland, woodland, and grassland. The area increase of cropland and water body partly offset the loss of the total value, but the loss was still larger than the gain. The contribution of each ecosystem service value to the total ecosystem services value had less change, and the service value from soil formation and protection together with waste treatment contributed most. There was a significant spatial heterogeneity in the magnitude and the variation of ecosystem services value, with the downstream of the watershed changed significantly. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the estimated total ecosystem services value in the study area was inelastic to the services value coefficients, and the results shown in this paper were robust. PMID:20462012

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. 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

    data, it emerges that production of biomass for bioenergy on field margins improves ecosystem services, depending upon the soil/agroecosystem health status of arable land displaced by the bioenergy crop. Considering that climate change is a dominant driver for agroecosystem health and perennial bionergy crops tend to stabilize soil C in arable land, it will be necessary to focus our attention to the improvement of climate regulation ecosystem service value in ecologically-degraded arable field margins. This management option seems to be the most sustainable strategy to enhance a win-win strategy: namely, sequestering carbon, producing biomasses for energetic purposes, improving the whole set of ecosystem services affected by soil organic matter, leaving, at the same time, more arable land for food and fiber crops. * The HEDGE-BIOMASS project is funded by Italian Minister of Agriculture for the period 2013-2016 and is being followed by BIOMASS Research Center at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Piacenza, Italy).

  20. Ecosystem services: developing sustainable management paradigms based on wetland functions and processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Smith, Loren M.; Conner, William H.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Hester, Mark W.; Zheng, Haochi

    2013-01-01

    findings. In comparison to older and more traditional scientific disciplines, the wetland sciences may be better equipped to tackle today’s complex problems. Since its emergence as a scientific discipline, the study of wetlands has frequently required interdisciplinary and integrated approaches. This interdisciplinary/integrated approach is largely the result of the fact that wetlands cannot be studied in isolation of upland areas that contribute surface and subsurface water, solutes, sediments, and nutrients into wetland basins. However, challenges still remain in thoroughly integrating the wetland sciences with scientific disciplines involved in upland studies, especially those involved with agriculture, development, and other land-conversion activities that influence wetland hydrology, chemistry, and sedimentation. One way to facilitate this integration is to develop an understanding of how human activities affect wetland ecosystem services, especially the trade-offs and synergisms that occur when land-use changes are made. Used in this context, an understanding of the real costs of managing for a particular ecosystem service or groups of services can be determined and quantified in terms of reduced delivery of other services and in overall sustainability of the wetland and the landscapes that support them. In this chapter, we discuss some of the more salient aspects of a few common wetland types to give the reader some background on the diversity of functions that wetlands perform and the specific ecosystem services they provide to society. Wetlands are among the most complex ecosystems on the planet, and it is often difficult to communicate to a diverse public all of the positive services wetlands provide to mankind. Our goal is to help the reader develop an understanding that management options can be approached as societal choices where decisions can be made within a spatial and temporal context to identify trade-offs, synergies, and effects on long

  1. Assessing the value of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) in Everglades restoration: an ecosystem service approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richardson, Leslie A.; Keefe, Kelly; Huber, Christopher C.; Racevskis, Laila; Gregg, Reynolds; Thourot, Scott; Miller, Ian

    2014-01-01

    This study identifies a full range of ecosystem services that could be affected by a restoration project in the central Everglades and monetizes the economic value of a subset of these services using existing data. Findings suggest that the project will potentially increase many ecosystem services that have considerable economic value to society. The ecosystem services monetized within the scope of this study are a subset of the difference between the future-with the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) and the future-without CEPP, and they totaled ~ $1.8 billion USD at a 2.5% discount rate. Findings suggest that the use of ecosystem services in project planning and communications may require acknowledgment of the difficulty of monetizing important services and the limitations associated with using only existing data and models. Results of this study highlight the need for additional valuation efforts in this region, focused on those services that are likely to be impacted by restoration activities but were notably challenging to value in this assessment due to shortages of data.

  2. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Strathdee, Fiona; Spears, Bryan M; Cates, Michael E; Allen, Rosalind J; Free, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate crucial biogeochemical, biomedical and biotechnological processes, yet our understanding of their assembly, and our ability to control its outcome, remain poor. Existing evidence presents conflicting views on whether microbial ecosystem assembly is predictable, or inherently unpredictable. We address this issue using a well-controlled laboratory model system, in which source microbial communities colonize a pristine environment to form complex, nutrient-cycling ecosystems. When the source communities colonize a novel environment, final community composition and function (as measured by redox potential) are unpredictable, although a signature of the community's previous history is maintained. However, when the source communities are pre-conditioned to their new habitat, community development is more reproducible. This situation contrasts with some studies of communities of macro-organisms, where strong selection under novel environmental conditions leads to reproducible community structure, whereas communities under weaker selection show more variability. Our results suggest that the microbial rare biosphere may have an important role in the predictability of microbial community development, and that pre-conditioning may help to reduce unpredictability in the design of microbial communities for biotechnological applications. PMID:23985743

  3. 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

  4. Soil and water related forest ecosystem services and resilience of social ecological system in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tekalign, Meron; Muys, Bart; Nyssen, Jan; Poesen, Jean

    2014-05-01

    In the central highlands of Ethiopia, deforestation and forest degradation are occurring and accelerating during the last century. The high population pressure is the most repeatedly mentioned reason. However, in the past 30 years researchers agreed that the absence of institutions, which could define the access rights to particular forest resources, is another underlying cause of forest depletion and loss. Changing forest areas into different land use types is affecting the biodiversity, which is manifested through not proper functioning of ecosystem services. Menagesha Suba forest, the focus of this study has been explored from various perspectives. However the social dimension and its interaction with the ecology have been addressed rarely. This research uses a combined theoretical framework of Ecosystem Services and that of Resilience thinking for understanding the complex social-ecological interactions in the forest and its influence on ecosystem services. For understanding the history and extent of land use land cover changes, in-depth literature review and a GIS and remote sensing analysis will be made. The effect of forest conversion into plantation and agricultural lands on soil and above ground carbon sequestration, fuel wood and timber products delivery will be analyzed with the accounting of the services on five land use types. The four ecosystem services to be considered are Supporting, Provisioning, Regulating, and Cultural services as set by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. A resilience based participatory framework approach will be used to analyze how the social and ecological systems responded towards the drivers of change that occurred in the past. The framework also will be applied to predict future uncertainties. Finally this study will focus on the possible interventions that could contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of the forest. An ecosystem services trade-off analysis and an environmental valuation of the water

  5. Implications of agricultural land use change to ecosystem services in the Ganges delta.

    PubMed

    Islam, G M Tarekul; Islam, A K M Saiful; Shopan, Ahsan Azhar; Rahman, Md Munsur; Lázár, Attila N; Mukhopadhyay, Anirban

    2015-09-15

    Ecosystems provide the basis for human civilization and natural capital for green economy and sustainable development. Ecosystem services may range from crops, fish, freshwater to those that are harder to see such as erosion regulation, carbon sequestration, and pest control. Land use changes have been identified as the main sources of coastal and marine pollution in Bangladesh. This paper explores the temporal variation of agricultural land use change and its implications with ecosystem services in the Ganges delta. With time agricultural lands have been decreased and wetlands have been increased at a very high rate mainly due to the growing popularity of saltwater shrimp farming. In a span of 28 years, the agricultural lands have been reduced by approximately 50%, while the wetlands have been increased by over 500%. A large portion (nearly 40%) of the study area is covered by the Sundarbans which remained almost constant which can be attributed to the strict regulatory intervention to preserve the Sundarbans. The settlement & others land use type has also been increased to nearly 5%. There is a gradual uptrend of shrimp and fish production in the study area. The findings suggest that there are significant linkages between agricultural land use change and ecosystem services in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh. The continuous decline of agricultural land (due to salinization) and an increase of wetland have been attributed to the conversion of agricultural land into shrimp farming in the study area. Such land use change requires significant capital, therefore, only investors and wealthier land owners can get the higher profit from the land conversion while the poor people is left with the environmental consequences that affect their long-term lives and livelihood. An environmental management plan is proposed for sustainable land use in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh. PMID:25516384

  6. 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.

  7. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  8. 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. PMID:25794964

  9. 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

  10. The economic value of ecosystem services in the Great Barrier Reef: our state of knowledge.

    PubMed

    Stoeckl, Natalie; Hicks, Christina C; Mills, Morena; Fabricius, Katharina; Esparon, Michelle; Kroon, Frederieke; Kaur, Kamaljit; Costanza, Robert

    2011-02-01

    This article reviews literature relating to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and aims to assess the current state of knowledge about (1) the "value" of ecosystem services (ES) provided by the GBR and (2) the way in which activities that are carried out in regions adjacent to the GBR affect those values. It finds that most GBR valuation studies have concentrated on a narrow range of ES (e.g., tourism and fishing) and that little is known about other ES or about the social, temporal, and spatial distribution of those services. Just as the reef provides ES to humans and to other ecosystems, so too does the reef receive a variety of ES from adjoining systems (e.g., mangroves). Yet, despite the evidence that the reef's ability to provide ES has been eroded because of recent changes to adjoining ecosystems, little is known about the value of the ES provided by adjoining systems or about the value of recent changes. These information gaps may lead to suboptimal allocations of resource use within multiple realms. PMID:21332495

  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. PMID:25959973

  12. Study on the techniques of valuation of ecosystem services based on remote sensing in Anxin County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hongyan; Li, Zengyuan; Gao, Zhihai; Wang, Bengyu; Bai, Lina; Wu, Junjun; Sun, Bin; Wang, Zhibo

    2014-05-01

    The farmland ecosystem is an important component of terrestrial ecosystems and has a fundamental role in the human life. The wetland is an unique and versatile ecological system. It is important for rational development and sustainable utilization of farmland and wetland resources to study on the measurement of valuation of farmland and wetland ecosystem services. It also has important significance for improving productivity. With the rapid development of remote sensing technology, it has become a powerful tool for evaluation of the value of ecosystem services. The land cover types in Anxin County mainly was farmland and wetland, the indicator system for ecosystem services valuation was brought up based on the remote sensing data of high spatial resolution ratio(Landsat-5 TM data and SPOT-5 data), the technology system for measurement of ecosystem services value was established. The study results show that the total ecosystem services value in 2009 in Anxin was 4.216 billion yuan, and the unit area value was between 8489 yuan/hm2 and 329535 yuan/hm2. The value of natural resources, water conservation value in farmland ecosystem and eco-tourism value in wetland ecosystem were higher than the other, total of the three values reached 2.858 billion yuan, and the percentage of the total ecosystem services values in Anxin was 67.79%. Through the statistics in the nine towns and three villages of Anxin County, the juantou town has the highest services value, reached 0.736 billion yuan. Scientific and comprehensive evaluation of the ecosystem services can conducive to promoting the understanding of the importance of the ecosystem. The research results had significance to ensure the sustainable use of wetland resources and the guidance of ecological construction in Anxin County.

  13. Accounting for ecosystem services as a way to understand the requirements for sustainable development

    PubMed Central

    Mäler, Karl-Göran; Aniyar, Sara; Jansson, Åsa

    2008-01-01

    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment documented the importance of ecosystem services. It is therefore important that these services are included in our economic accounts (Standard National Accounts), as long as we believe that these accounts should tell us something about our wellbeing. This requires measures of the ecosystem assets and their accounting prices. This article discusses how the concept of inclusive wealth can be exploited for creating such accounts. PMID:18621699

  14. Protecting our life support systems: US federal research and policy on ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the United States, a broad range of federal entities are conducting research related to ecosystem services, and government agencies at all levels are increasingly interested in measuring the outcomes of proposed policy options in terms of ecosystem service benefits. However, ...

  15. The Eco-Health Relationship Browser: Linking Ecosystem Services and Human Health 11/6/13

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems provide multiple societal benefits from the production of nature-based goods and services. Many ecosystem services have been linked to a range of positive health outcomes through the buffering of pollutants and natural hazards and the promotion of healthy behaviors. A ...

  16. Ecosystem Services: Priority 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 Research Program (ERP). Understanding that the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services can help maintain and improve human health, economic vitality, and...

  17. ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AS A NEW STRATEGIC FOCUS FOR USEPA'S ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH PROGRAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The USEPA's Office of Research and Development has made ecosystem services the new strategic focus for its ecological research program (ERP). Recognizing that the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services can help maintain and improve human health, economic vitality and ov...

  18. Valuing ecosystem services of an impacted waterway in the Southwestern US

    EPA Science Inventory

    While many studies of ecosystem services focus on unaltered areas such as wilderness, management insight is also needed for those more impacted. This case study values ecosystem services of the Santa Cruz River, an effluent-dominated waterway in southern Arizona. Wastewater treat...

  19. Linking Ecosystem Services and Human Health: The Eco-Health Relationship Browser#

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems and the services they provide have been linked in the literature to multiple human health outcomes. Demonstrated and proposed mechanisms focus on hazard buffering and health-promotional aspects of ecosystems. Services such as air and water filtration, heat mitigation...

  20. Social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms mediate diverse ecosystem service benefits from coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Christina C; Cinner, Joshua E

    2014-12-16

    Ecosystem services are supplied by nature but, by definition, are received by people. Ecosystem service assessments, intended to influence the decisions people make regarding their interactions with nature, need to understand how people benefit from different ecosystem services. A critical question is therefore, What determines the distribution of ecosystem service benefits between different sections of society? Here, we use an entitlements approach to examine how people perceive ecosystem service benefits across 28 coral reef fishing communities in four countries. In doing so, we quantitatively show that bundles of benefits are mediated by key access mechanisms (e.g., rights-based, economic, knowledge, social, and institutional). We find that specific access mechanisms influence which ecosystem services people prioritize. Social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms are associated with the largest number and diversity of benefits. However, local context strongly determines whether specific access mechanisms enable or constrain benefits. Local ecological knowledge enabled people to prioritize a habitat benefit in Kenya, but constrained people from prioritizing the same benefit in Madagascar. Ecosystem service assessments, and their resultant policies, need to include the broad suite of access mechanisms that enable different people to benefit from a supply of ecosystem services. PMID:25453100

  1. Social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms mediate diverse ecosystem service benefits from coral reefs

    PubMed Central

    Cinner, Joshua E.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services are supplied by nature but, by definition, are received by people. Ecosystem service assessments, intended to influence the decisions people make regarding their interactions with nature, need to understand how people benefit from different ecosystem services. A critical question is therefore, What determines the distribution of ecosystem service benefits between different sections of society? Here, we use an entitlements approach to examine how people perceive ecosystem service benefits across 28 coral reef fishing communities in four countries. In doing so, we quantitatively show that bundles of benefits are mediated by key access mechanisms (e.g., rights-based, economic, knowledge, social, and institutional). We find that specific access mechanisms influence which ecosystem services people prioritize. Social, institutional, and knowledge mechanisms are associated with the largest number and diversity of benefits. However, local context strongly determines whether specific access mechanisms enable or constrain benefits. Local ecological knowledge enabled people to prioritize a habitat benefit in Kenya, but constrained people from prioritizing the same benefit in Madagascar. Ecosystem service assessments, and their resultant policies, need to include the broad suite of access mechanisms that enable different people to benefit from a supply of ecosystem services. PMID:25453100

  2. Comparing two tools for ecosystem service assessments regarding water resources decisions.

    PubMed

    Dennedy-Frank, P James; Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Chaubey, Indrajeet; Ziv, Guy

    2016-07-15

    We present a comparison of two ecohydrologic models commonly used for planning land management to assess the production of hydrologic ecosystem services: the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) annual water yield model. We compare these two models at two distinct sites in the US: the Wildcat Creek Watershed in Indiana and the Upper Upatoi Creek Watershed in Georgia. The InVEST and SWAT models provide similar estimates of the spatial distribution of water yield in Wildcat Creek, but very different estimates of the spatial distribution of water yield in Upper Upatoi Creek. The InVEST model may do a poor job estimating the spatial distribution of water yield in the Upper Upatoi Creek Watershed because baseflow provides a significant portion of the site's total water yield, which means that storage dynamics which are not modeled by InVEST may be important. We also compare the ability of these two models, as well as one newly developed set of ecosystem service indices, to deliver useful guidance for land management decisions focused on providing hydrologic ecosystem services in three particular decision contexts: environmental flow ecosystem services, ecosystem services for potable water supply, and ecosystem services for rainfed irrigation. We present a simple framework for selecting models or indices to evaluate hydrologic ecosystem services as a way to formalize where models deliver useful guidance. PMID:27111651

  3. Ecosystem Services: New strategic focus for US 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 Research Program (ERP). Understanding that the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services can help maintain and improve human health, economic vitality, and...

  4. Linking Ecosystem Services and Human Health: The Eco-Health Relationship Browser (paper)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objectives Ecosystems provide multiple services of benefit to society. Many of these ecosystem services have been linked to a range of positive health outcomes. The objectives of this review were to identify the set of literature related to this research topic and to subsequentl...

  5. Nitrogen, ecosystem services and environmental justice: How can a spatial valuation approach inform responsible nutrient management?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatially-explicit ecosystem service valuation (ESV) allows for the identification of the location and magnitude of services provided by natural ecosystems along with an economic measure of their value based upon benefit transfer. While this provides an important function in term...

  6. Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) Albemarle-Pamlico Watershed and Estuary Study (APWES) Research Plan

    EPA Science Inventory

    The APWES is a place-based study for the U.S. EPA Ecosystem Services Research Program conducted through the collaboration across the EPA Office of Research and Development. The mission of the APWES is to develop ecosystem services science to inform watershed and coastal manageme...

  7. Pastureland and hayland in the U.S.: conservation practices and ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage, grasslands, and grazing lands constitute more than two-thirds of all agricultural land in the U.S. and provide several ecosystem goods and services. Sustaining these ecosystem goods and services sometimes requires the investment of public resources to conserve and protect soil, water, and ai...

  8. Superorganism resilience: Eusociality and susceptibility of ecosystem service providing insects to stressors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects provide crucial ecosystem services for human food security and maintenance of biodiversity. Therefore, major declines in wild species combined with losses of managed bees have raised concern over the sustainability of their ecosystem services. Recent data suggest that honey bees appear to be...

  9. Estimating the economic value of cultural ecosystem services in an urbanizing area using hedonic pricing

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services and amenities are undeniable valuable. However, their values are poorly recognized and, as a result, ecosystem services and amenities tend to be treated as though valueless. A need thus exists to increase both knowledge and recognition of these values. In this ...

  10. Rangeland management for multiple outcomes: Explicity integrating ecosystem services into management models

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In recent decades, there has been increased interest in ecosystem services among landowners, and a growing diversity of stakeholders on rangelands. Given these changes, management cannot focus solely on maximizing ranch proceeds, but must also incorporate ecosystem service goals to sustain resources...

  11. Vacant urban lot soils and their potential to support ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    AimsUrban soils are the basis of many ecosystem services in cities. Here, we examine formerly residential vacant lot soils in Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan, USA for their potential to provide multiple ecosystem services. We examine two key contrasts: 1) differences betwee...

  12. The Importance of Context in Development and Application of Ecosystem Services Production Functions

    EPA Science Inventory

    The task of estimating ecosystem service production and delivery deserves special attention. When approached as a function of land cover at any given time, context driven facets of ecosystem service production, delivery, and resulting effects on human well-being can be overlooke...

  13. Status of the US EPA’s National Atlas of Ecosystem Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) is focused on transdisciplinary research to develop tools to enable decision-makers at all levels of governance to proactively conserve ecosystems services. A major product from the ESRP ...

  14. Temporal Evolution of the Yellow Sea Ecosystem Services (1980-2010).

    PubMed

    Wang, Qixiang; Song, Jingjing; Zhou, Jian; Zhao, Wenxi; Liu, Hongjun; Tang, Xuexi

    2016-03-01

    Marine ecosystem services refer to benefits that people obtain from marine ecosystem. Understanding temporal evolution of these services is a fundamental challenge of natural resource management in marine ecosystems. Yellow Sea is one of the most intensely exploited shallow seas in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. In this study, we analyzed the value of the four classes services (provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and supporting services, including 14 individual services) of the Yellow Sea on temporal scales. From 1980 to 2010, the total value of the four classes of services was between 297 and 2,232 billion RMB yuan. Only the proportion of cultural services as a percentage of the total value continued to increase for the entire period, from 0.9% in 1980 to 9.4% in 2010. Provisioning services reached their highest point at 18.4% in 2000, and then fell to 10.1% in 2010. Meanwhile, the percentage of regulating services and supporting services declined, falling from 14.4% and 79.4% in 1980 to 10.1% and 70.4% in 2010, respectively. This study represents the first attempt to analyze the temporal evolution of Yellow Sea ecosystem services. It will provide the theoretical basis for further study of the ecological mechanisms of marine ecosystem services. PMID:27441262

  15. Hydroeconomic Analysis of the Balance between Renewable Wind Energy, Hydropower, and Ecosystems Services in the Roanoke River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez, A.; Blumsack, S.; Reed, P.

    2012-04-01

    Hydropower can provide inexpensive, flexible fill-in power to compensate for intermittent renewable generation. Policies for hydropower dams maintain multiple services beyond electric generation, including environmental protection, flood control and recreation. We model the decision of a hydroelectric generator to shift some of its power production capacity away from the day-ahead energy market into a "wind-following" service that smoothes the intermittent production of wind turbines. Offering such a service imposes both private and social opportunity costs. Since fluctuations in wind energy output are not perfectly correlated with day-ahead energy prices, a wind-following service will necessarily affect generator revenues. Seasonal wind patterns produce conflicts with the goal of managing rivers for "ecosystem services" - the maintenance or enhancement of downstream ecosystems. We illustrate our decision model using the Kerr Dam in PJM's territory in North Carolina. We simulate the operation of Kerr Dam over a three-year period that features hydrologic variability from normal water years to extreme drought conditions. We use an optimization framework to estimate reservation prices for Kerr Dam offering wind-following services in the PJM market. Wind-following may be profitable for Kerr Dam at low capacity levels during some time periods if ecosystems services are neglected and if side payments, or reserves-type payments, are provided. Wind-following with ecosystem services yields revenue losses that typically cannot be recovered with reserves market payments. Water release patterns are inconsistent with ecosystem-services goals when Kerr Dam dedicates significant capacity to wind-following, particularly in drought years.

  16. Are Wind Power and Hydropower Complements or Competitors? An Analysis of Ecosystem Service Constraints in the Roanoke Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, P. M.; Fernandez, A. R.; Blumsack, S.

    2011-12-01

    Hydropower can provide inexpensive, flexible fill-in power to compensate for intermittent renewable generation. Policies for hydropower dams maintain multiple services beyond electric generation, including environmental protection, flood control and recreation. We model the decision of a hydroelectric generator to shift some of its power production capacity away from the day-ahead energy market into a "wind-following" service that smoothes the intermittent production of wind turbines. Offering such a service imposes both private and social opportunity costs. Since fluctuations in wind energy output are not perfectly correlated with day-ahead energy prices, a wind-following service will necessarily affect generator revenues. Seasonal wind patterns produce conflicts with the goal of managing rivers for "ecosystem services" - the maintenance or enhancement of downstream ecosystems. We illustrate our decision model using the Kerr Dam in PJM's territory in North Carolina. We simulate the operation of Kerr Dam over a three-year period that features hydrologic variability from normal water years to extreme drought conditions. We use an optimization framework to estimate reservation prices for Kerr Dam offering wind-following services in the PJM market. Wind-following may be profitable for Kerr Dam at low capacity levels during some time periods if ecosystems services are neglected and if side payments, or reserves-type payments, are provided. Wind-following with ecosystem services yields revenue losses that typically cannot be recovered with reserves market payments. Water release patterns are inconsistent with ecosystem-services goals when Kerr Dam dedicates significant capacity to wind-following, particularly in drought years.

  17. Coastal Zone Ecosystem Services: from science to values and decision making; a case study.

    PubMed

    Luisetti, T; Turner, R K; Jickells, T; Andrews, J; Elliott, M; Schaafsma, M; Beaumont, N; Malcolm, S; Burdon, D; Adams, C; Watts, W

    2014-09-15

    This research is concerned with the following environmental research questions: socio-ecological system complexity, especially when valuing ecosystem services; ecosystems stock and services flow sustainability and valuation; the incorporation of scale issues when valuing ecosystem services; and the integration of knowledge from diverse disciplines for governance and decision making. In this case study, we focused on ecosystem services that can be jointly supplied but independently valued in economic terms: healthy climate (via carbon sequestration and storage), food (via fisheries production in nursery grounds), and nature recreation (nature watching and enjoyment). We also explored the issue of ecosystem stock and services flow, and we provide recommendations on how to value stock and flows of ecosystem services via accounting and economic values respectively. We considered broadly comparable estuarine systems located on the English North Sea coast: the Blackwater estuary and the Humber estuary. In the past, these two estuaries have undergone major land-claim. Managed realignment is a policy through which previously claimed intertidal habitats are recreated allowing the enhancement of the ecosystem services provided by saltmarshes. In this context, we investigated ecosystem service values, through biophysical estimates and welfare value estimates. Using an optimistic (extended conservation of coastal ecosystems) and a pessimistic (loss of coastal ecosystems because of, for example, European policy reversal) scenario, we find that context dependency, and hence value transfer possibilities, vary among ecosystem services and benefits. As a result, careful consideration in the use and application of value transfer, both in biophysical estimates and welfare value estimates, is advocated to supply reliable information for policy making. PMID:24992461

  18. The Landscape Framework for the Spatial Characterization and Mapping of Ecosystem Services: What is the State of the Science?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services (ESS) represent an ecosystems 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 s...

  19. Ecosystem services: Challenges and opportunities for hydrologic modeling to support decision making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guswa, Andrew J.; Brauman, Kate A.; Brown, Casey; Hamel, Perrine; Keeler, Bonnie L.; Sayre, Susan Stratton

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystem characteristics and processes provide significant value to human health and well-being, and there is growing interest in quantifying those values. Of particular interest are water-related ecosystem services and the incorporation of their value into local and regional decision making. This presents multiple challenges and opportunities to the hydrologic-modeling community. To motivate advances in water-resources research, we first present three common decision contexts that draw upon an ecosystem-service framework: scenario analysis, payments for watershed services, and spatial planning. Within these contexts, we highlight the particular challenges to hydrologic modeling, and then present a set of opportunities that arise from ecosystem-service decisions. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations regarding how we can prioritize our work to support decisions based on ecosystem-service valuation.

  20. Mapping optimal areas of ecosystem services potential in Vilnius (Lithuania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Depellegrin, Daniel; Misiune, Ieva; Cerda, Artemi

    2016-04-01

    Maps are fundamental to understand the spatial pattern of natural and human impacts on the landscape (Brevik et al., 2016; Lavado Contador et al., 2009; Pereira et al., 2010a,b). Urban areas are subjected to an intense human pressure (Beniston et al., 2015), contributing to the degradation of the ecosystems, reducing their capacity to provide services in quality and quantity (Requier-Desjardins et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2011). Environments that can provide a high number and quality of ecosystem services (ES) must be identified and managed correctly, since are spaces that can mitigate the impacts of human settlements and improve their quality. thus is of major importance have identify the areas that can provide better ES (Deppelegrin and Pereira, 2015). The aim of this work is to identify areas with high ES potential in Vilnius city. Here, we identified a total of 4 different land uses, agricultural areas (32.48%), water bodies (1.46%), forest and semi-natural (31.91%) areas and artificial surfaces (34.16%). CORINE land cover 2006 was used as base information to classify ES potential. The assessment of each land cover potential was carried out using expert assessment. Each land use type was ranked from 0 (no potential) to 5 (High potential). In this work the sum of total regulating, providing and cultural ES were assessed. The areas with optimal ES were the ones with the sum of all ranks equal or higher than the 3rd Quartil of each distribution. After identifying these areas, data was mapped using ArcGIS software. The results showed that on average Vilnius city has a higher potential for regulating services (20.35±15.92), followed by cultural (14.43±8.81) and providing (14.26±8.87). There was a significant correlation among the different type of services. Regulating vs cultural (0.92, p<0.001), regulating vs providing (0.72, p<0.001) and providing vs cultural (0.65, p<0.001). The results of Morans I autocorrelation index showed that regulating (Z-score: 10

  1. Hydrologic Modeling of Urbanizing Oregon Basins for Water-Related Ecosystem Service Assessment using SWAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Psaris, A. M.; Chang, H.; Winfield, T.; Lambrinos, J.

    2012-12-01

    Since humans rely on nature for certain goods and services, there should be accurate economic representations for them. These goods and services are commonly called ecosystem services. Our research seeks to investigate how water-related ecosystem services - water yield, sediment retention, and nutrient retention, can be measured and quantified spatially, and explores how the issue of scale affects these measurements. The water model of the ecosystem service evaluation tool Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoff (InVEST) is being tested against the well-known, physically based model, SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) in the Yamhill and Tualatin basins, located in Oregon, USA. Both models are being used to assess the potential hydrologic changes that may result from climate and land use changes in the middle of the 21st century. We build a total of five sub-basin models representing an urban-rural gradient, and use SWAT-CUP for calibration. Our study area contains a mixture of forested, agricultural, and developed land, and the Tualatin River is a regulated river with one dam and four wastewater treatment plants. Fanno Creek is a highly developed subwatershed of Tualatin and has the best model results with an NSE = 0.87 and a % BIAS = -1.15 after calibration for simulating monthly hydrograph. Dairy Creek is a forested sub-basin of the Tualatin and has an NSE = 0.72 and a % BIAS = 0.29. The upstream Tualatin gage (Dilley) has good results with an NSE = 0.77 and a % BIAS = 2.50 after calibration. While the Dilley results are acceptable, the monthly hydrograph shows clear problems during the summer due to water releases from Hagg Lake and Barney reservoirs which are not included in the model at this time. Yamhill basin has an NSE = 0.80 and a % BIAS = -13.0. This basin is mostly agricultural land which utilizes water withdrawls for irrigation. This may account for the consistent over estimation of flow. Finally, the whole Tualatin River basin has an

  2. Evaluating Ecosystem Services for Reducing Groundwater Nitrate Contamination: Nitrate Attenuation in the Unsaturated and Saturated Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, J.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrates are the most common type of groundwater contamination in agricultural regions. Environmental policies targeting nitrates have focused on input control (e.g., restricted fertilizer application), intermediate loads control (e.g., reduce nitrate leached from crop fields), and final loads control (e.g., reduce catchment nitrate loads). Nitrate loads can be affected by hydrological processes in both unsaturated and saturated zones. Although many of these processes have been extensively investigated in literature, they are commonly modeled as exogenous to farm management. A couple of recent studies by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory show that in some situations nitrate attenuation processes in the unsaturated/saturated zone, particularly denitrification, can be intensified by certain management practices to mitigate nitrate loads. Therefore, these nitrate attenuation processes can be regarded as a set of ecosystem services that farmers can take advantage of to reduce their cost of complying with environmental policies. In this paper, a representative California dairy farm is used as a case study to show how such ecosystem attenuation services can be framed within the farm owner's decision-making framework as an option for reducing groundwater nitrate contamination. I develop an integrated dynamic model, where the farmer maximizes discounted net farm profit over multiple periods subject to environmental regulations. The model consists of three submodels: animal-waste-crop, hydrologic, and economic model. In addition to common choice variables such as irrigation, fertilization, and waste disposal options, the farmer can also endogenously choose from three water sources: surface water, deep groundwater (old groundwater in the deep aquifer that is not affected by farm effluent in the short term), and shallow groundwater (drainage water that can be recycled via capture wells at the downstream end of the farm). The capture wells not only

  3. Navigating complexity through knowledge coproduction: Mainstreaming ecosystem services into disaster risk reduction

    PubMed Central

    Reyers, Belinda; Nel, Jeanne L.; O’Farrell, Patrick J.; Sitas, Nadia; Nel, Deon C.

    2015-01-01

    Achieving the policy and practice shifts needed to secure ecosystem services is hampered by the inherent complexities of ecosystem services and their management. Methods for the participatory production and exchange of knowledge offer an avenue to navigate this complexity together with the beneficiaries and managers of ecosystem services. We develop and apply a knowledge coproduction approach based on social–ecological systems research and assess its utility in generating shared knowledge and action for ecosystem services. The approach was piloted in South Africa across four case studies aimed at reducing the risk of disasters associated with floods, wildfires, storm waves, and droughts. Different configurations of stakeholders (knowledge brokers, assessment teams, implementers, and bridging agents) were involved in collaboratively designing each study, generating and exchanging knowledge, and planning for implementation. The approach proved useful in the development of shared knowledge on the sizable contribution of ecosystem services to disaster risk reduction. This knowledge was used by stakeholders to design and implement several actions to enhance ecosystem services, including new investments in ecosystem restoration, institutional changes in the private and public sector, and innovative partnerships of science, practice, and policy. By bringing together multiple disciplines, sectors, and stakeholders to jointly produce the knowledge needed to understand and manage a complex system, knowledge coproduction approaches offer an effective avenue for the improved integration of ecosystem services into decision making. PMID:26082541

  4. Uncertainties in ecosystem service maps: a comparison on the European scale.

    PubMed

    Schulp, Catharina J E; Burkhard, Benjamin; Maes, Joachim; Van Vliet, Jasper; Verburg, Peter H

    2014-01-01

    Safeguarding the benefits that ecosystems provide to society is increasingly included as a target in international policies. To support such policies, ecosystem service maps are made. However, there is little attention for the accuracy of these maps. We made a systematic review and quantitative comparison of ecosystem service maps on the European scale to generate insights in the uncertainty of ecosystem service maps and discuss the possibilities for quantitative validation. Maps of climate regulation and recreation were reasonably similar while large uncertainties among maps of erosion protection and flood regulation were observed. Pollination maps had a moderate similarity. Differences among the maps were caused by differences in indicator definition, level of process understanding, mapping aim, data sources and methodology. Absence of suitable observed data on ecosystem services provisioning hampers independent validation of the maps. Consequently, there are, so far, no accurate measures for ecosystem service map quality. Policy makers and other users need to be cautious when applying ecosystem service maps for decision-making. The results illustrate the need for better process understanding and data acquisition to advance ecosystem service mapping, modelling and validation. PMID:25337913

  5. Uncertainties in Ecosystem Service Maps: A Comparison on the European Scale

    PubMed Central

    Schulp, Catharina J. E.; Burkhard, Benjamin; Maes, Joachim; Van Vliet, Jasper; Verburg, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Safeguarding the benefits that ecosystems provide to society is increasingly included as a target in international policies. To support such policies, ecosystem service maps are made. However, there is little attention for the accuracy of these maps. We made a systematic review and quantitative comparison of ecosystem service maps on the European scale to generate insights in the uncertainty of ecosystem service maps and discuss the possibilities for quantitative validation. Maps of climate regulation and recreation were reasonably similar while large uncertainties among maps of erosion protection and flood regulation were observed. Pollination maps had a moderate similarity. Differences among the maps were caused by differences in indicator definition, level of process understanding, mapping aim, data sources and methodology. Absence of suitable observed data on ecosystem services provisioning hampers independent validation of the maps. Consequently, there are, so far, no accurate measures for ecosystem service map quality. Policy makers and other users need to be cautious when applying ecosystem service maps for decision-making. The results illustrate the need for better process understanding and data acquisition to advance ecosystem service mapping, modelling and validation. PMID:25337913

  6. Navigating complexity through knowledge coproduction: Mainstreaming ecosystem services into disaster risk reduction.

    PubMed

    Reyers, Belinda; Nel, Jeanne L; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Sitas, Nadia; Nel, Deon C

    2015-06-16

    Achieving the policy and practice shifts needed to secure ecosystem services is hampered by the inherent complexities of ecosystem services and their management. Methods for the participatory production and exchange of knowledge offer an avenue to navigate this complexity together with the beneficiaries and managers of ecosystem services. We develop and apply a knowledge coproduction approach based on social-ecological systems research and assess its utility in generating shared knowledge and action for ecosystem services. The approach was piloted in South Africa across four case studies aimed at reducing the risk of disasters associated with floods, wildfires, storm waves, and droughts. Different configurations of stakeholders (knowledge brokers, assessment teams, implementers, and bridging agents) were involved in collaboratively designing each study, generating and exchanging knowledge, and planning for implementation. The approach proved useful in the development of shared knowledge on the sizable contribution of ecosystem services to disaster risk reduction. This knowledge was used by stakeholders to design and implement several actions to enhance ecosystem services, including new investments in ecosystem restoration, institutional changes in the private and public sector, and innovative partnerships of science, practice, and policy. By bringing together multiple disciplines, sectors, and stakeholders to jointly produce the knowledge needed to understand and manage a complex system, knowledge coproduction approaches offer an effective avenue for the improved integration of ecosystem services into decision making. PMID:26082541

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The ecosystem service value of living versus dead biogenic reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheehan, E. V.; Bridger, D.; Attrill, M. J.

    2015-03-01

    Mixed maerl beds (corralline red algae) comprise dead thalli with varying amounts of live maerl fragments, but previously it was not known whether the presence of the live maerl increases the ecosystem service 'habitat provision' of the dead maerl for the associated epibenthos. A 'flying array' towed sled with high definition video was used to film transects of the epibenthos in dead maerl and mixed maerl beds in two locations to the north and south of the English Channel (Falmouth and Jersey). Mixed maerl beds supported greater number of taxa and abundance than dead beds in Falmouth, while in Jersey, mixed and dead beds supported similar number of taxa and dead beds had a greater abundance of epifauna. Scallops tended to be more abundant on mixed beds than dead beds. Tube worms were more abundant on mixed beds in Falmouth and dead beds in Jersey. An increasing percentage occurrence of live maerl thalli correlated with increasing number of taxa in Falmouth but not Jersey. It was concluded that while live thalli can increase the functional role of dead maerl beds for the epibenthos, this is dependent on location and response variable. As a result of this work, maerl habitat in SE Jersey has been protected from towed demersal fishing gear.

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. The ecosystem-service chain and the biological diversity crisis

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Harold A.

    2010-01-01

    The losses that are being incurred of the Earth's biological diversity, at all levels, are now staggering. The trend lines for future loss are steeply upward as new adverse drivers of change come into play. The political processes for matching this crisis are now inadequate and the science needs to address this issue are huge and slow to fulfil, even though strong advances have been made. A more integrated approach to evaluating biodiversity in terms that are meaningful to the larger community is needed that can provide understandable metrics of the consequences to society of the losses that are occurring. Greater attention is also needed in forecasting likely diversity-loss scenarios in the near term and strategies for alleviating detrimental consequences. At the international level, the Convention on Biological Diversity must be revisited to make it more powerful to meet the needs that originally motivated its creation. Similarly, at local and regional levels, an ecosystem-service approach to conservation can bring new understanding to the value, and hence the need for protection, of the existing natural capital. PMID:20008383

  12. Impacts of climate-driven changes on coastal lagoon ecosystem and related good and services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solidoro, Cosimo; Libralato, Simone; Melaku Canu, Donata; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Giorgi, FIlippo

    2014-05-01

    Effects of IPCC climate change scenarios on a temperate coastal lagoon ecosystem, the lagoon of Venice (Italy), along with goods and services provided by this ecosystem are assessed though a downscaling experiment linking regional atmospheric model to local hydrodynamical, biogeochemical, ecosystem and target species population dynamic models. Simulations of spatio-temporal dynamics of biogeochemical properties provide evidence of significant impacts of climate change. Under both the A2 and B2 scenarios we observe a modification of the seasonal precipitation pattern which affects the timing of nutrient inputs to the lagoon and causes a reduction in plankton productivity. Simulations indicate that this changes propagate -along the food web through a multi-path cascade and that overall ecosystem good and services resulting from climatic scenarios significantly differ depending on the dynamics of the extremes (yearly maximum) values. Changes in the nutrient load maximum discharge (scenario A2) favors primary producers that have higher maximum values (peaks) that propagate up in the food web to groups directly related to the grazing food chain. Conversely, small modifications of the timing of the nutrient peaks (as in B2 scenario) implies less exploitation of nutrients by primary producers due to temperature limitations and the enhancement of the groups in the food web that are more related to detritus-based food chain. This implies significant differences on on fisheries landings in future scenarios, even assuming same fishing effort.. Ecological indicators highlighted also divergent changes in food web biodiversity and complexity in the two future scenarios. Simulations also shows that economic activity directly related to target species, such as clam aquaculture activity will suffer , and point to the need for management policies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

  13. Mediated modeling of the impacts of enhanced UV-B radiation on ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    van den Belt, Marjan; Bianciotto, Oscar A; Costanza, Robert; Demers, Serge; Diaz, Susana; Ferreyra, Gustavo A; Koch, Evamaria W; Momo, Fernando R; Vernet, Maria

    2006-01-01

    This article describes the use of group model building to facilitate interaction with stakeholders, synthesize research results and assist in the development of hypotheses about climate change at the global level in relation to UV-B radiation and ecosystem service valuation. The objective was to provide a platform for integration of the various research components within a multidisciplinary research project as a basis for interaction with stakeholders with backgrounds in areas other than science. An integrated summary of the scientific findings, along with stakeholder input, was intended to produce a bridge between science and policymaking. We used a mediated modeling approach that was implemented as a pilot project in Ushuaia, Argentina. The investigation was divided into two participatory workshops: data gathering and model evaluation. Scientists and the local stakeholders supported the valuation of ecosystem services as a useful common denominator for integrating the various scientific results. The concept of economic impacts in aquatic and marsh systems was represented by values for ecosystem services altered by UV-B radiation. In addition, direct local socioeconomic impacts of enhanced UV-B radiation were modeled, using data from Ushuaia. We worked with 5 global latitudinal regions, focusing on net primary production and biomass for the marine system and on 3 plant species for the marsh system. Ecosystem service values were calculated for both sectors. The synthesis model reflects the conclusions from the literature and from experimental research at the global level. UV-B is not a significant stress for the marshes, relative to the potential impact of increases in the sea level. Enhanced UV-B favors microbial dynamics in marine systems that could cause a significant shift from primary producers to bacteria at the community level. In addition, synergetic effects of UV-B and certain pollutants potentiate the shift to heterotrophs. This may impact the oceanic

  14. How ecosystem services knowledge and values influence farmers' decision-making.

    PubMed

    Lamarque, Pénélope; Meyfroidt, Patrick; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    The ecosystem services (ES) concept has emerged and spread widely recently, to enhance the importance of preserving ecosystems through global change in order to maintain their benefits for human well-being. Numerous studies consider various dimensions of the interactions between ecosystems and land use via ES, but integrated research addressing the complete feedback loop between biodiversity, ES and land use has remained mostly theoretical. Few studies consider feedbacks from ecosystems to land use systems through ES, exploring how ES are taken into account in land management decisions. To fill this gap, we carried out a role-playing game to explore how ES cognition mediates feedbacks from environmental change on farmers' behaviors in a mountain grassland system. On a close to real landscape game board, farmers were faced with changes in ES under climatic and socio-economic scenarios and prompted to plan for the future and to take land management decisions as they deemed necessary. The outcomes of role-playing game were complemented with additional agronomic and ecological data from interviews and fieldwork. The effects of changes in ES on decision were mainly direct, i.e. not affecting knowledge and values, when they constituted situations with which farmers were accustomed. For example, a reduction of forage quantity following droughts led farmers to shift from mowing to grazing. Sometimes, ES cognitions were affected by ES changes or by external factors, leading to an indirect feedback. This happened when fertilization was stopped after farmers learned that it was inefficient in a drought context. Farmers' behaviors did not always reflect their attitudes towards ES because other factors including topographic constraints, social value of farming or farmer individual and household characteristics also influenced land-management decisions. Those results demonstrated the interest to take into account the complete feedback loop between ES and land management

  15. How Ecosystem Services Knowledge and Values Influence Farmers' Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Lamarque, Pénélope; Meyfroidt, Patrick; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    The ecosystem services (ES) concept has emerged and spread widely recently, to enhance the importance of preserving ecosystems through global change in order to maintain their benefits for human well-being. Numerous studies consider various dimensions of the interactions between ecosystems and land use via ES, but integrated research addressing the complete feedback loop between biodiversity, ES and land use has remained mostly theoretical. Few studies consider feedbacks from ecosystems to land use systems through ES, exploring how ES are taken into account in land management decisions. To fill this gap, we carried out a role-playing game to explore how ES cognition mediates feedbacks from environmental change on farmers' behaviors in a mountain grassland system. On a close to real landscape game board, farmers were faced with changes in ES under climatic and socio-economic scenarios and prompted to plan for the future and to take land management decisions as they deemed necessary. The outcomes of role-playing game were complemented with additional agronomic and ecological data from interviews and fieldwork. The effects of changes in ES on decision were mainly direct, i.e. not affecting knowledge and values, when they constituted situations with which farmers were accustomed. For example, a reduction of forage quantity following droughts led farmers to shift from mowing to grazing. Sometimes, ES cognitions were affected by ES changes or by external factors, leading to an indirect feedback. This happened when fertilization was stopped after farmers learned that it was inefficient in a drought context. Farmers' behaviors did not always reflect their attitudes towards ES because other factors including topographic constraints, social value of farming or farmer individual and household characteristics also influenced land-management decisions. Those results demonstrated the interest to take into account the complete feedback loop between ES and land management

  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. PMID:25659310

  17. Applying principles from economics to improve the transfer of ecological production estimates in fisheries ecosystem services research

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem services (ES) represent a way to represent and quantify multiple uses, values as well as connectivity between ecosystem processes and human well-being. Ecosystem-based fisheries management approaches may seek to quantify expected trade-offs in ecosystem services due to ...

  18. Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to model ecosystem services: A systematic review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francesconi, Wendy; Srinivasan, Raghavan; Pérez-Miñana, Elena; Willcock, Simon P.; Quintero, Marcela

    2016-04-01

    SWAT, a watershed modeling tool has been proposed to help quantify ecosystem services. The concept of ecosystem services incorporates the collective benefits natural systems provide primarily to human beings. It is becoming increasingly important to track the impact that human activities have on the environment in order to determine its resilience and sustainability. The objectives of this paper are to provide an overview of efforts using SWAT to quantify ecosystem services, to determine the model's capability examining various types of services, and to describe the approach used by various researchers. A literature review was conducted to identify studies in which SWAT was explicitly used for quantifying ecosystem services in terms of provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural aspects. A total of 44 peer reviewed publications were identified. Most of these used SWAT to quantify provisioning services (34%), regulating services (27%), or a combination of both (25%). While studies using SWAT for evaluating ecosystem services are limited (approximately 1% of SWAT's peered review publications), and usage (vs. potential) of services by beneficiaries is a current model limitation, the available literature sets the stage for the continuous development and potential of SWAT as a methodological framework for quantifying ecosystem services to assist in decision-making.

  19. Delta Morphodynamics Matters! Ecosystem Services, Poverty and Morphodynamic Change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Mega-Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholls, R. J.; Adger, N.; Allan, A.; Darby, S. E.; Hutton, C.; Matthews, Z.; Rahman, M.; Whitehead, P. G.; Wolf, J.

    2013-12-01

    The world's deltas are probably the most vulnerable type of coastal environment, and they face multiple stresses in the coming decades. These stresses include, amongst others, local drivers due to land subsidence, population growth and urbanisation within the deltas, regional drivers due to changes in catchment management (e.g. upstream land use and dam construction), as well as global climate change impacts such as sea-level rise. At the same time, the ecosystem services of river deltas support high population densities, with around 14% of the global population inhabiting deltas. A large proportion of these people experience extremes of poverty and they are therefore severely exposed to vulnerability from environmental and ecological stress and degradation. In areas close to or below the poverty boundary, both subsistence and cash elements of the economy tend to rely disproportionately heavily on ecosystem services which underpin livelihoods. Therefore, to sustainably manage delta environments they must be viewed as complex social-environmental systems where change is only partially driven by physical drivers such as sea level rise and climate change, and human-induced development activities are also critical. Here we outline a new conceptual framework for the development of methods to understand and characterise the key drivers of change in ecosystem services that affect the environment and economic status of populous deltas, focusing specifically on the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) mega-delta. The GBM delta is characterised by densely populated coastal lowlands with significant poverty, with livelihoods supported to a large extent by natural ecosystems such as the Sunderbahns (the largest mangrove forest in the world). However, the GBM delta is under severe development pressure due to many growing cities. At present the importance of ecosystems services to poverty and livelihoods is poorly understood. This is due to due to the complexity of interactions

  20. Linking trajectories of land change, land degradation processes and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Smiraglia, D; Ceccarelli, T; Bajocco, S; Salvati, L; Perini, L

    2016-05-01

    Land Degradation (LD) is a complex phenomenon resulting in a progressive reduction in the capacity of providing ecosystem services (ES). Landscape transformations promoting an unsustainable use of land often reveal latent processes of LD. An evaluation carried out in respect to the different ecosystem services is nowadays regarded as the most appropriate approach for assessing the effects of LD. The aim of this study is to develop an evaluation framework for identifying the linkages between land changes, LD processes and ES and suggesting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) options suited to reverse (or mitigate) LD impact. A SWOT analysis was carried out with the aim to identify internal and external factors that are favorable (or unfavorable) to achieve the proposed SLM actions. The study areas are the Fortore valley and the Valpadana, in Italy. The main trajectory identified for the Fortore valley is related to land abandonment due to population aging and the progressive emigration started in the 1950s. The most relevant LD processes are soil erosion and geomorphological instability, affecting regulating services such as natural hazard and erosion control. SLM options should consider interventions to contrast geomorphological instability, the promotion of climate smart agriculture and of typical products, and an efficient water resources management. The main trajectories identified for Valpadana are related to urban expansion and farmland abandonment and, as a consequence, land take due to anthropogenic pressure and woodland expansion as the main LD process. The reduction of food production was identified as the most relevant provisioning service affected. SLM should envisage best practices finalized to water saving and soil consumption reduction: efficient irrigation solutions, climate smart agriculture and zero sealing practices. This study highlights the diagnostic value of the suggested approach where LD processes are elicited from land change trajectories

  1. Interacting Coastal Based Ecosystem Services: Recreation and Water Quality in Puget Sound, WA

    PubMed Central

    Kreitler, Jason; Papenfus, Michael; Byrd, Kristin; Labiosa, William

    2013-01-01

    Coastal recreation and water quality are major contributors to human well-being in coastal regions. They can also interact, creating opportunities for ecosystem based management, ecological restoration, and water quality improvement that can positively affect people and the environment. Yet the effect of environmental quality on human behavior is often poorly quantified, but commonly assumed in coastal ecosystem service studies. To clarify this effect we investigate a water quality dataset for evidence that environmental condition partially explains variation in recreational visitation, our indicator of human behavior. In Puget Sound, WA, we investigate variation in visitation in both visitation rate and fixed effects (FE) models. The visitation rate model relates the differences in annual recreational visitation among parks to environmental conditions, park characteristics, travel cost, and recreational demand. In our FE model we control for all time-invariant unobserved variables and compare monthly variation at the park level to determine how water quality affects visitation during the summer season. The results of our first model illustrate how visitation relates to various amenities and costs. In the FE analysis, monthly visitation was negatively related to water quality while controlling for monthly visitation trends. This indicates people are responding to changes in water quality, and an improvement would yield an increase in the value of recreation. Together, these results could help in prioritizing water quality improvements, could assist the creation of new parks or the modification of existing recreational infrastructure, and provide quantitative estimates for the expected benefits from potential changes in recreational visitation and water quality improvements. Our results also provide an example of how recreational visitation can be quantified and used in ecosystem service assessments. PMID:23451067

  2. Applying an ecosystem service approach to unravel links between ecosystems and society in the coast of central Chile.

    PubMed

    de Juan, Silvia; Gelcich, Stefan; Ospina-Alvarez, Andres; Perez-Matus, Alejandro; Fernandez, Miriam

    2015-11-15

    Ecosystem-based management implies understanding feedbacks between ecosystems and society. Such understanding can be approached with the Drivers-Pressures-State change-Impacts-Response framework (DPSIR), incorporating stakeholders' preferences for ecosystem services to assess impacts on society. This framework was adapted to six locations in the central coast of Chile, where artisanal fisheries coexist with an increasing influx of tourists, and a set of fisheries management areas alternate with open access areas and a no-take Marine Protected Area (MPA). The ecosystem services in the study area were quantified using biomass and species richness in intertidal and subtidal areas as biological indicators. The demand for ecosystem services was elicited by interviews to the principal groups of users. Our results evidenced decreasing landings and a negative perception of fishermen on temporal trends of catches. The occurrence of recreational fishing was negligible, although the consumption of seafood by tourists was relatively high. Nevertheless, the consumption of organisms associated to the study system was low, which could be linked, amongst other factors, to decreasing catches. The comparison of biological indicators between management regimens provided variable results, but a positive effect of management areas and the MPA on some of the metrics was observed. The prioritising of ecosystem attributes by tourists was highly homogenous across the six locations, with "scenic beauty" consistently selected as the preferred attribute, followed by "diversity". The DPSIR framework illustrated the complex interactions existing in these locations, with weak linkages between society's priorities, existing management objectives and the state of biological communities. Overall, this work improved our knowledge on relations between components of coastal areas in central Chile, of paramount importance to advance towards an ecosystem-based management in the area. PMID:26151656

  3. Regional scale prioritisation for key ecosystem services, renewable energy production and urban development.

    PubMed

    Casalegno, Stefano; Bennie, Jonathan J; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Although the importance of addressing ecosystem service benefits in regional land use planning and decision-making is evident, substantial practical challenges remain. In particular, methods to identify priority areas for the provision of key ecosystem services and other environmental services (benefits from the environment not directly linked to the function of ecosystems) need to be developed. Priority areas are locations which provide disproportionally high benefits from one or more service. Here we map a set of ecosystem and environmental services and delineate priority areas according to different scenarios. Each scenario is produced by a set of weightings allocated to different services and corresponds to different landscape management strategies which decision makers could undertake. Using the county of Cornwall, U.K., as a case study, we processed gridded maps of key ecosystem services and environmental services, including renewable energy production and urban development. We explored their spatial distribution patterns and their spatial covariance and spatial stationarity within the region. Finally we applied a complementarity-based priority ranking algorithm (zonation) using different weighting schemes. Our conclusions are that (i) there are two main patterns of service distribution in this region, clustered services (including agriculture, carbon stocks, urban development and plant production) and dispersed services (including cultural services, energy production and floods mitigation); (ii) more than half of the services are spatially correlated and there is high non-stationarity in the spatial covariance between services; and (iii) it is important to consider both ecosystem services and other environmental services in identifying priority areas. Different weighting schemes provoke drastic changes in the delineation of priority areas and therefore decision making processes need to carefully consider the relative values attributed to different services

  4. Regional Scale Prioritisation for Key Ecosystem Services, Renewable Energy Production and Urban Development

    PubMed Central

    Casalegno, Stefano; Bennie, Jonathan J.; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Although the importance of addressing ecosystem service benefits in regional land use planning and decision-making is evident, substantial practical challenges remain. In particular, methods to identify priority areas for the provision of key ecosystem services and other environmental services (benefits from the environment not directly linked to the function of ecosystems) need to be developed. Priority areas are locations which provide disproportionally high benefits from one or more service. Here we map a set of ecosystem and environmental services and delineate priority areas according to different scenarios. Each scenario is produced by a set of weightings allocated to different services and corresponds to different landscape management strategies which decision makers could undertake. Using the county of Cornwall, U.K., as a case study, we processed gridded maps of key ecosystem services and environmental services, including renewable energy production and urban development. We explored their spatial distribution patterns and their spatial covariance and spatial stationarity within the region. Finally we applied a complementarity-based priority ranking algorithm (zonation) using different weighting schemes. Our conclusions are that (i) there are two main patterns of service distribution in this region, clustered services (including agriculture, carbon stocks, urban development and plant production) and dispersed services (including cultural services, energy production and floods mitigation); (ii) more than half of the services are spatially correlated and there is high non-stationarity in the spatial covariance between services; and (iii) it is important to consider both ecosystem services and other environmental services in identifying priority areas. Different weighting schemes provoke drastic changes in the delineation of priority areas and therefore decision making processes need to carefully consider the relative values attributed to different services

  5. Combining direct and indirect impacts to assess ecosystem service loss due to infrastructure construction.

    PubMed

    Tardieu, Léa; Roussel, Sébastien; Thompson, John D; Labarraque, Dorothée; Salles, Jean-Michel

    2015-04-01

    The destruction of natural habitats and the associated loss of Ecosystem Services (ES) are rarely jointly assessed and quantified in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Based on a terrestrial transport infrastructure project, the objective of this paper is to quantify the potential loss of ES associated with direct and indirect impacts, and illustrate their contribution to decision-making for route options. We first quantify how much of each type of ES is generated by different land units in the absence of the infrastructure (baseline conditions). We then estimate ES loss caused by infrastructure construction in a way that discriminates among different types of ES and losses because some ES, in addition to losses that are directly proportional to the surface impacted, can show additional indirect losses associated with landscape connectivity. In addition, we illustrate how the assessment of threshold effects in particular ecosystem types that may be most sensitive to their occurrence can affect the estimation of ES loss. We compare implementation options to provide an example of how choices can be improved by assessing ES loss associated with a combination of direct and indirect impacts. This kind of analysis could be used more generally to assess development projects simply by adapting the framework of analysis to the type of project and the ecosystems concerned. PMID:25621389

  6. An integrated eco-hydrologic modeling framework for assessing the effects of interacting stressors on forest ecosystem services - ESRP mtg

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently established the Ecosystem Services Research Program to help formulate methods and models for conducting comprehensive risk assessments that quantify how multiple ecosystem services interact and respond in concert to environmental ...

  7. An integrated eco-hydrologic modeling framework for assessing the effects of interacting stressors on forest ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently established the Ecosystem Services Research Program to help formulate methods and models for conducting comprehensive risk assessments that quantify how multiple ecosystem services interact and respond in concert to environmental ...

  8. An integrated eco-hydrologic modeling framework for assessing the effects of interacting stressors on multiple ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently established the Ecosystem Services Research Program to help formulate methods and models for conducting comprehensive risk assessments that quantify how multiple ecosystem services interact and respond in concert to environmental ...

  9. Ecosystem Services Research Program: LTG 5: Place- based demonstration projects for national, regional, state, and local decisions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research Track 5a Willamette Ecosystem Services Project: Research will examine four broad categories of ecosystem services: air quality enhancement, greenhouse gas sequestration and mediation, water quality and quantity improvement, and biodiversity and habitat enhancement. T...

  10. ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND BEYOND: INTEGRATION OF ECOSYSTEM SCIENCE AND MULTIMEDIA EXPOSURE MODELING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Decision-making for ecosystem protection and resource management requires an integrative science and technology applied with a sufficiently comprehensive systems approach. Single media (e.g., air, soil and water) approaches that evaluate aspects of an ecosystem in a stressor-by-...

  11. 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...

  12. ASF Data Used to Monitor Wetland Ecosystem Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the advantages of using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to map ecosystems and monitor fundamental ecosystem processes are elucidated, natural resource managers are beginning to rely on SAR data as a viable alternative to optical data – which has been more commonly available and better underst...

  13. Final ecosystem services for stream ecosystems and the metrics, methods and challenges to apply them in a national monitoring context

    EPA Science Inventory

    The challenge of translating notions of ecosystem services from the theoretical arena to practical application at large scales (e.g. national) requires an interdisciplinary approach. To meet this challenge, we convened a workshop involving a broad suite of natural and social scie...

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:26082544

  16. Mapping optimal areas of ecosystem services potential in Vilnius (Lithuania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Depellegrin, Daniel; Misiune, Ieva; Cerda, Artemi

    2016-04-01

    Maps are fundamental to understand the spatial pattern of natural and human impacts on the landscape (Brevik et al., 2016; Lavado Contador et al., 2009; Pereira et al., 2010a,b). Urban areas are subjected to an intense human pressure (Beniston et al., 2015), contributing to the degradation of the ecosystems, reducing their capacity to provide services in quality and quantity (Requier-Desjardins et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2011). Environments that can provide a high number and quality of ecosystem services (ES) must be identified and managed correctly, since are spaces that can mitigate the impacts of human settlements and improve their quality. thus is of major importance have identify the areas that can provide better ES (Deppelegrin and Pereira, 2015). The aim of this work is to identify areas with high ES potential in Vilnius city. Here, we identified a total of 4 different land uses, agricultural areas (32.48%), water bodies (1.46%), forest and semi-natural (31.91%) areas and artificial surfaces (34.16%). CORINE land cover 2006 was used as base information to classify ES potential. The assessment of each land cover potential was carried out using expert assessment. Each land use type was ranked from 0 (no potential) to 5 (High potential). In this work the sum of total regulating, providing and cultural ES were assessed. The areas with optimal ES were the ones with the sum of all ranks equal or higher than the 3rd Quartil of each distribution. After identifying these areas, data was mapped using ArcGIS software. The results showed that on average Vilnius city has a higher potential for regulating services (20.35±15.92), followed by cultural (14.43±8.81) and providing (14.26±8.87). There was a significant correlation among the different type of services. Regulating vs cultural (0.92, p<0.001), regulating vs providing (0.72, p<0.001) and providing vs cultural (0.65, p<0.001). The results of Morans I autocorrelation index showed that regulating (Z-score: 10

  17. 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.

  18. Developing an Analytical Framework: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision Making - Proceedings of a Workshop

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hogan, Dianna; Arthaud, Greg; Pattison, Malka; Sayre, Roger G.; Shapiro, Carl

    2010-01-01

    The analytical framework for understanding ecosystem services in conservation, resource management, and development decisions is multidisciplinary, encompassing a combination of the natural and social sciences. This report summarizes a workshop on 'Developing an Analytical Framework: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision Making,' which focused on the analytical process and on identifying research priorities for assessing ecosystem services, their production and use, their spatial and temporal characteristics, their relationship with natural systems, and their interdependencies. Attendees discussed research directions and solutions to key challenges in developing the analytical framework. The discussion was divided into two sessions: (1) the measurement framework: quantities and values, and (2) the spatial framework: mapping and spatial relationships. This workshop was the second of three preconference workshops associated with ACES 2008 (A Conference on Ecosystem Services): Using Science for Decision Making in Dynamic Systems. These three workshops were designed to explore the ACES 2008 theme on decision making and how the concept of ecosystem services can be more effectively incorporated into conservation, restoration, resource management, and development decisions. Preconference workshop 1, 'Developing a Vision: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision Making,' was held on April 15, 2008, in Cambridge, MA. In preconference workshop 1, participants addressed what would have to happen to make ecosystem services be used more routinely and effectively in conservation, restoration, resource management, and development decisions, and they identified some key challenges in developing the analytical framework. Preconference workshop 3, 'Developing an Institutional Framework: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision Making,' was held on October 30, 2008, in Albuquerque, NM; participants examined the relationship between the institutional framework and

  19. Towards a virtual observatory for ecosystem services and poverty alleviation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    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, which is commonly referred to as the establishment of a virtual observatory, 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. In this study, we present three natural resources management cases in the Andes and the Amazon basin, and investigate how "virtual observatory" technology can improve ecosystem management. Each of these case studies present scientific challenges in terms of model coupling, real-time data assimilation and visualisation for management purposes. The first project deals with water resources management in the Peruvian Andes. Using a rainfall-runoff model, novel visualisations are used to give farmers insight in the water production and regulation capacity of their catchments, which can then be linked to land management practices such as conservation agriculture, wetland protection and grazing density control. In a project in the Amazonian floodplains, optimal allocation of the nesting availability and quality of the giant freshwater turtle are determined using a combined hydraulic model and weather forecasts. Finally, in the rainforest of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador, biodiversity models are used to

  20. Spatial Distribution of Hydrologic Ecosystem Service Estimates: Comparing Two Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennedy-Frank, P. J.; Ghile, Y.; Gorelick, S.; Logsdon, R. A.; Chaubey, I.; Ziv, G.

    2014-12-01

    We compare estimates of the spatial distribution of water quantity provided (annual water yield) from two ecohydrologic models: the widely-used Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the much simpler water models from the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) toolbox. These two models differ significantly in terms of complexity, timescale of operation, effort, and data required for calibration, and so are often used in different management contexts. We compare two study sites in the US: the Wildcat Creek Watershed (2083 km2) in Indiana, a largely agricultural watershed in a cold aseasonal climate, and the Upper Upatoi Creek Watershed (876 km2) in Georgia, a mostly forested watershed in a temperate aseasonal climate. We evaluate (1) quantitative estimates of water yield to explore how well each model represents this process, and (2) ranked estimates of water yield to indicate how useful the models are for management purposes where other social and financial factors may play significant roles. The SWAT and InVEST models provide very similar estimates of the water yield of individual subbasins in the Wildcat Creek Watershed (Pearson r = 0.92, slope = 0.89), and a similar ranking of the relative water yield of those subbasins (Spearman r = 0.86). However, the two models provide relatively different estimates of the water yield of individual subbasins in the Upper Upatoi Watershed (Pearson r = 0.25, slope = 0.14), and very different ranking of the relative water yield of those subbasins (Spearman r = -0.10). The Upper Upatoi watershed has a significant baseflow contribution due to its sandy, well-drained soils. InVEST's simple seasonality terms, which assume no change in storage over the time of the model run, may not accurately estimate water yield processes when baseflow provides such a strong contribution. Our results suggest that InVEST users take care in situations where storage changes are significant.

  1. Linking social norms to efficient conservation investment in payments for ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaodong; Lupi, Frank; He, Guangming; Liu, Jianguo

    2009-01-01

    An increasing amount of investment has been devoted to protecting and restoring ecosystem services worldwide. The efficiency of conservation investments, including payments for ecosystem services (PES), has been found to be affected by biological, political, economic, demographic, and social factors, but little is known about the effects of social norms at the neighborhood level. As a first attempt to quantify the effects of social norms, we studied the effects of a series of possible factors on people's intentions of maintaining forest on their Grain-to-Green Program (GTGP) land plots if the program ends. GTGP is one of the world's largest PES programs and plays an important role in global conservation efforts. Our study was conducted in China's Wolong Nature Reserve, home to the world-famous endangered giant pandas and >4,500 farmers. We found that, in addition to conservation payment amounts and program duration, social norms at the neighborhood level had significant impacts on program re-enrollment, suggesting that social norms can be used to leverage participation to enhance the sustainability of conservation benefits from PES programs. Moreover, our results demonstrate that economic and demographic trends also have profound implications for sustainable conservation. Thus, social norms should be incorporated with economic and demographic trends for efficient conservation investments. PMID:19564610

  2. Using ecosystem services to inform decisions on U.S. air quality standards.

    PubMed

    Rea, Anne W; Davis, Christine; Evans, David A; Heninger, Brian T; Van Houtven, George

    2012-06-19

    The ecosystem services (ES) framework provides a link between changes in a natural system's structure and function and public welfare. This systematic integration of ecology and economics allows for more consistency and transparency in environmental decision making by enabling valuation of nature's goods and services in a manner that is understood by the public. This policy analysis (1) assesses the utility of the ES conceptual framework in the context of setting a secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), (2) describes how economic valuation was used to summarize changes in ES affected by NOx and SOx in the review, and (3) uses the secondary NOxSOx NAAQS review as a case study to highlight the advantages and challenges of quantifying air pollutant effects on ES in a decision making context. Using an ES framework can benefit the decision making process by accounting for environmental, ecological, and social elements in a holistic manner. As formal quantitative linkages are developed between ecosystem structure and function and ES, this framework will increasingly allow for a clearer, more transparent link between changes in air quality and public welfare. PMID:22594541

  3. Carbon sequestration through urban ecosystem services: A case study from Finland.

    PubMed

    Kuittinen, Matti; Moinel, Caroline; Adalgeirsdottir, Kristjana

    2016-09-01

    Plants and soil are natural regulators of atmospheric CO2. Whereas plants sequester atmospheric carbon, soils deposit it for decades. As cities become increasingly more densely built, the available land area for such ecosystem services may decrease. We studied seven different housing areas in the Finnish city of Espoo to ascertain the extent to which site efficiency affects to the ecosystem services if the full life-cycle GHG emissions of these areas are taken into account. The results show that the impact of CO2 uptake through carbon sinks in growing plants and the uptake of soil organic carbon vary greatly. Its share of all emissions varied from a marginal value of 1.2% to a more considerable value of 11.9%. The highest potential was calculated for a detached house located on a large site, while the weakest was calculated for compact apartment blocks. The study revealed that in order to quantify this potential more accurately, several knowledge gaps must first be addressed. These include impartial growth algorithms for Nordic wood species, missing accumulation factors for soil organic carbon in cold climates and statistical maintenance scenarios for gardens. PMID:27213698

  4. Appreciation, Use, and Management of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in California's Working Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Ferranto, Shasta; Huntsinger, Lynn; Kelly, Maggi; Getz, Christy

    2012-09-01

    "Working landscapes" is the concept of fostering effective ecosystem stewardship and conservation through active human presence and management and integrating livestock, crop, and timber production with the provision of a broad range of ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Based on a statewide survey of private landowners of "working" forests and rangelands in California, we investigated whether owners who are engaged in commercial livestock or timber production appreciate and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services on their land in different ways than purely residential owners. Both specific uses and management practices, as well as underlying attitudes and motivations toward biodiversity and ecosystem services, were assessed. Correlation analysis showed one bundle of ecosystem goods and services (e.g., livestock, timber, crops, and housing) that is supported by some landowners at the community level. Another closely correlated bundle of biodiversity and ecosystem services includes recreation, hunting/fishing, wildlife habitat, and fire prevention. Producers were more likely to ally with the first bundle and residential owners with the second. The survey further confirmed that cultural ecosystem services and quality-of-life aspects are among the primary amenities that motivate forest and rangeland ownership regardless of ownership type. To live near natural beauty was the most important motive for both landowner groups. Producers were much more active in management for habitat improvement and other environmental goals than residential owners. As the number of production-oriented owners decreases, developing strategies for encouraging environment-positive management by all types of landowners is crucial.

  5. Evaluating ecosystem service change in Jiangxi Province of China based on Landsat imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Taiyang; Huang, Xianjing; Ma, Yuandan

    2009-10-01

    The function and services of ecosystem are important components of the life-support system in the planet, as well as the basic elements for sustainable development of environment and society. In this study, the change of ecosystem function and services in Jiangxi Province of China were estimated by employing the classification and economic parameters from Costanza et al. The types and area of terrestrial ecosystems in 1980s and 2000s were identified from Landsat imagery, based on the maximum likelihood classification methods. And then the distribution maps of ecosystem services of Jiangxi Province were drawn. The value for terrestrial ecosystem was 2522x108 RMB in 1980s, while it increased by 7.3% in 2000s, which mainly because the increased forest areas in Jiangxi Province. The estimation method employed in this study was conservative, and should be improved in future studies.

  6. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors.

    PubMed

    Marek, Michal V; Janouš, Dalibor; Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Věroslav; Marková, Irena

    2011-05-01

    By comparing five ecosystem types in the Czech Republic over several years, we recorded the highest carbon sequestration potential in an evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and