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Journal Cover Ecosystem Services
   [7 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2575 journals]   [H-I: 1]
  • Towards a comparative and critical analysis of biodiversity banks
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Géraldine Froger , Sophie Ménard , Philippe Méral
      The emergence of the concept of ecosystem services has triggered considerable discussion about the appropriate tools and institutional arrangements to provide ecosystem services. These tools include among others biodiversity “banks” that have been developed to provide biodiversity units or credits to offset environmental damage caused by economic development. So far, little attention has been focused on the design of offset schemes and on the variety of their institutional forms. The purpose of this article is to analyse the development of biodiversity banking, to evaluate its implementation to date in the light of various institutional arrangements and to summarise the outstanding theoretical and practical problems. This article distinguishes and maps different biodiversity banking mechanisms based on different characteristics, in particular statement content, ecosystem services assessment and the nature of biodiversity banking. Our mapping exercise differentiates several main categories of biodiversity banks: private non-commercial, private commercial, hybrid commercial, public commercial and public non-commercial. This article presents concrete illustrations from existing biodiversity banking systems (US, Australia, France and Germany) and then analyses advantages and limits of each mechanism (and its concrete example).


      PubDate: 2014-12-17T03:24:03Z
       
  • Landscape׳s capacities to supply ecosystem services in Bangladesh: A
           mapping assessment for Lawachara National Park
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Md Shawkat Islam Sohel , Sharif Ahmed Mukul , Benjamin Burkhard
      Land uses/land covers (LULC) are closely related to the integrity of ecosystems and associated provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services (ES). Anthropogenic activities continuously influence ecological integrity and ES through changes in LULC. An integrative approach is essential to understand and measure the relations between ecosystem functioning, associated ES and the relative contributions of the different system components. Here, using a locally justified ES scoring matrix, we linked different LULC types to ecological integrity and ES supply in the Lawachara National Park of Bangladesh. The results were used to compile spatially explicit ES maps. Our analysis revealed relatively high capacities of mixed tropical evergreen forests to supply a broad range of ES and to support ecological integrity, followed by tea (Camellia chinesis) gardens and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations. Other LULC types located on the edge or on the periphery of the park showed comparably lower ES supply capacities. Our study is the first of its type carried out in Bangladesh and can be seen as a first screening study of available ES and their supply capacities. The results can be used to form the base for ES based landscape management and future conservation priorities in the area.


      PubDate: 2014-12-17T03:24:03Z
       
  • Contrasting values of cultural ecosystem services in urban areas: The case
           of park Montjuïc in Barcelona
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Johannes Langemeyer , Francesc Baró , Peter Roebeling , Erik Gómez-Baggethun
      Urban green infrastructure attracts growing attention for its potential as a nature-based strategy to improve quality of life through the provision of ecosystem services. In this paper, we value cultural ecosystem services in relation to land-uses and management regimes of urban green infrastructure. Through a survey among 198 beneficiaries of the largest urban park in Barcelona, Spain, we assessed cultural ecosystem services in monetary and non-monetary terms in relation to land-uses and management regimes. Results from our research suggest that monetary and non-monetary valuations capture complementary information, and show that values of cultural ecosystem services change across different green infrastructure assets and management regimes. For example, ‘environmental learning’ generates low monetary values but high non-monetary values. Stronger place values were related with low management intensity, while values for tourism increase with land-uses embedding cultural facilities. We discuss monetary and non-monetary values in the light of urban green infrastructure strategies and indicate potentials for urban planning and management to proactively alter the provision of cultural ecosystem services through specific configurations of land-uses and management intensity.


      PubDate: 2014-12-17T03:24:03Z
       
  • Ecosystem disservices: Embrace the catchword
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Jari Lyytimäki



      PubDate: 2014-12-17T03:24:03Z
       
  • Linking forest ecosystem services to corporate sustainability disclosure:
           A conceptual analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): D. D’Amato , N. Li , M. Rekola , A. Toppinen , F-F. Lu
      Despite the increasing awareness of corporate dependencies and impacts on ecosystems, and related business risks and opportunities, scientific and corporate-based information on these issues is lacking. In our paper we (1) summarise results of a literature review of the impacts and dependencies of plantation-based forestry on ecosystem services; (2) identify the existing and missing links between the corporate sustainability indicators and the ecosystem services framework; and (3) propose a set of possible ecosystem services indicators for corporate sustainability reporting. We particularly focus on the catalytic role of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators framework for integrating the ecosystem services approach into corporate sustainability reporting. Finally, we discuss how an ecosystem services approach could benefit future sustainability reporting practices in the context of the forest sector, especially in relation to existing gaps and challenges.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Marine habitats ecosystem service potential: A vulnerability approach in
           the Normand-Breton (Saint Malo) Gulf, France
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 October 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): P. Cabral , H. Levrel , J. Schoenn , E. Thiébaut , P. Le Mao , R. Mongruel , C. Rollet , K. Dedieu , S. Carrier , F. Morisseau , F. Daures
      In this paper is assessed the vulnerability of the benthic habitats potential to deliver ES caused by physical, chemical and biological pressures identified by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in the Normand-Breton (Saint Malo) Gulf (GNB), in France. The InVEST Habitat Risk Assessment (HRA) model provides useful information for identifying the regions on the seascape where the impacts of human activities are the highest. Additionally, and because the HRA does not address any ES in particular but the whole set of services offered by marine and coastal ecosystems, we analyze the habitats potential to deliver different types of ES (provisioning, regulating and maintenance, and cultural) using habitats vulnerability as a proxy. Concept-driven scenarios are presented to enable the understanding of existing trade-offs as a consequence of different management options. Results provide relevant ES-based information for managers to communicate with stakeholders and prioritize actions for risk mitigation.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • An economic and ecological consideration of commercial coral
           transplantation to restore the marine ecosystem in Okinawa, Japan
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 September 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Nami Okubo , Ayumi Onuma
      The deterioration of coral reefs in Japan is a serious environmental problem. Conventional conservation policies for terrestrial ecosystems are sometimes difficult to apply to coral reef protection because of the large number of stakeholders involved. In what seems to be an interesting attempt to solve this problem, tourist divers in Okinawa, Japan have begun to transplant coral fragments onto deteriorated coral reefs, by participating in a tour provided by diving shops. However, the problem here is that when the transplanted fragments have been taken out from the natural coral colonies, it tends to cause a host of potential problems such as decreasing fecundity of donor colonies, negative effects on the surrounding environment of the exploited corals and low species diversity of transplanted fragments. In this paper, we examine the merits of commercial coral transplantation in marine ecosystem conservation, and to suggest some reforms that could help to mitigate the problems encountered when using sexually propagated coral transplants. Finally, we discuss how the commercial transplantation in Okinawa could be applied to the conservation of other marine ecosystem.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Measuring the economic value of pollination services: Principles, evidence
           and knowledge gaps
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 October 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Nick Hanley , Tom D. Breeze , Ciaran Ellis , David Goulson
      An increasing degree of attention is being given to the ecosystem services which insect pollinators supply, and the economic value of these services. Recent research suggests that a range of factors are contributing to a global decline in pollination services, which are often used as a “headline” ecosystem service in terms of communicating the concept of ecosystem services, and how this ties peoples׳ well-being to the condition of ecosystems and the biodiversity found therein. Our paper offers a conceptual framework for measuring the economic value of changes in insect pollinator populations, and then reviews what evidence exists on the empirical magnitude of these values (both market and non-market). This allows us to highlight where the largest gaps in knowledge are, where the greatest conceptual and empirical challenges remain, and where research is most needed.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Empirical PPGIS/PGIS mapping of ecosystem services: A review and
           evaluation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Greg Brown , Nora Fagerholm
      We review public participation GIS (PPGIS) and participatory GIS (PGIS) approaches for ecosystem services to identify current and best practice. PPGIS/PGIS are spatially explicit methods that have evolved over the past decade to identify a range of ecosystem services. Although PPGIS/PGIS methods demonstrate high potential for the identification of ecosystem services, especially cultural services, there has been no review to evaluate the methods to identify best practice. Through examination of peer-reviewed, empirical PPGIS/PGIS studies, we describe the types of ecosystem services mapped, the spatial mapping methods, the sampling approaches and range of participants, the types of spatial analyses performed, and the methodological trade-offs associated with each PPGIS/PGIS mapping approach. We found that multiple methods were implemented in nearly 30 case studies worldwide with the mapping of cultural and provisioning services being most common. There was little evidence that mapped ecosystem data was used for actual decision support in land use planning. Best practice has yet to coalesce in this field that has been dominated by methodological pluralism and case study research. We suggest greater use of experimental design and long-term case studies where the influence of mapped ecosystem services on land use decisions can be assessed.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Valuing marine and coastal ecosystem service benefits: Case study of St
           Vincent and the Grenadines’ proposed marine protected areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Michael Christie , Kyriaki Remoundou , Ewa Siwicka , Warwick Wainwright
      This paper reports the results of a choice experiment (CE) that values the ecosystem service benefits from extending the current network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Caribbean. We considered two future options: an ‘improved’ scenario in which marine protection is increased, and a ‘decline’ scenario in which current protection mechanisms are removed. The CE was administered at two sites (the degraded St Vincent South Coast and the pristine Tobago Cays) and to tourists and local residents. Results suggest that both groups value health protection, fishing, coastal protection, ecosystem resilience, and diving/snorkelling. Values are higher for the ‘decline’ scenario compared to the ‘improved’ scenario. Also, tourists had significantly higher WTP values than locals. Our analysis also enabled an evaluation of the benefits derived from alternative policy interventions that may be used to protect and enhance SVG’s marine parks. Stopping pollution from agriculture run-off and sewage was found to generate the highest ecosystem service benefits, with restricting over-fishing and bad fishing practices also being important. We demonstrate how economic valuation of marine ecosystem service might be used to design and target marine conservation policies that maximise welfare benefits.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Quantifying and mapping ecosystem service use across stakeholder groups:
           Implications for conservation with priorities for cultural values
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Rachel Darvill , Zoë Lindo
      Economic and biophysical assessments are being used to portray the value of ecosystem services (ES) to decision makers. However, stakeholder uses of ES are rarely considered, nor are intangible cultural values. Public participatory GIS methods enabled for 16 cultural and provisioning ES indicators to be effectively mapped across seven stakeholder groups in an area lacking data. During interviews, polygons representing ES use were drawn by participants and then subsequently analyzed to produce areas of overlapping use, generating ES hotspots for each group, for cultural and provisioning ES, and for all groups combined. In many cases, cultural ES were deemed to be more important to stakeholders than provisioning ES. We demonstrate an effective non-economic tool used to visualize ES use across eight differing stakeholder groups on a regional scale, which were straightforward to disseminate during a decision-making process for a large hydroelectric dam.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Social capital as an ecosystem service: Evidence from a locally managed
           marine area
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Michele Barnes-Mauthe , Kirsten L.L. Oleson , Luke M. Brander , Bienvenue Zafindrasilivonona , Thomas A. Oliver , Pieter van Beukering
      Social capital is an important ecosystem service, yet we lack common understanding of how it fits, and can be operationalized, within the ecosystem services framework. We review the literature to clarify the role of social capital in this context, establishing it as a multidimensional concept and a fundamental constituent of human well-being that is both supported by, and affects, all categories of ecosystem services. We then draw on qualitative and quantitative data to assess and value social capital as an ecosystem service and explore its role in facilitating management goals in a Malagasy locally managed marine area. We find high levels of social capital, gauged by trust, community involvement, and social cohesion. Results of a choice experiment show positive utilities associated with high levels of social cohesion. Respondents also ranked social cohesion higher than some provisioning, regulating, and cultural ecosystem services. Qualitative data suggest social capital increased as a result of the community based management institution, and has facilitated the success of marine management measures. Our results offer insight into the ways in which social capital can both affect, and be affected by, the management of natural resources, and how it can be assessed and valued as an ecosystem service.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Valuing beaches to develop payment for ecosystem services schemes in
           Colombia’s Seaflower marine protected area
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Juliana Castaño-Isaza , Rixcie Newball , Brian Roach , Winnie W.Y. Lau
      The Colombian Seaflower marine protected area (SMPA) is the largest MPA in the Caribbean. The economy of the main island, San Andres (SAI) relies on tourism. This study conducted 1793 surveys to capture information about tourists’ experience and the value they placed on SAI’s beaches. Tourists considered beaches as the main reason for choosing SAI as a destination and expressed that they would be willing to pay additional money, US$ 997,468 annually, on top of what they had already paid for their vacation to protect SAI’s beaches. The study also showed how beach erosion could negatively impact economically the tourism sector of SAI, reducing revenue by 66.6% (estimated at US$ 73 million annually). This research contributed to the first stage in the development of a payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme to protect SAI’s beaches. The importance of beaches for SAI and the potential loss of revenue due to beach erosion create an opportunity to incentivize the private sector to invest in natural infrastructure that maintains and protects beaches. This study also informs the potential application of valuation studies for the development of innovative financing instruments, such as PES, to achieve financial sustainability for the MPA network in Colombia.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Detecting ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies: A practice-oriented
           application in four industrialized estuaries
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Sander Jacobs , Kirsten Wolfstein , Wouter Vandenbruwaene , Dirk Vrebos , Olivier Beauchard , Tom Maris , Patrick Meire
      Estuaries connect terrestrial and marine biomes. Their ecological functioning is essential for marine matter fluxes, while their central economic role as transport hubs persists throughout history and has become ever more pronounced. Managing complex socio-ecological systems such as estuaries can benefit from an ecosystem service approach. The challenge is to combine highly complex knowledge, prone to uncertainties, to policy relevant information. This paper introduces a knowledge-based ecosystem service screening, applied in a participatory manner by including different stakeholders from four industrialized NW-European estuaries. The approach allowed to efficiently engage stakeholders from different, often opposing sectors, in order to derive a set of ecosystem services of high societal importance, link them to supply by habitats, and explore inter- and intra-estuarine variability. By introducing the notion of trade-offs and synergies and assessing these for estuaries, the interconnectedness and mutual interests for estuarine management measures were indicated. The screening is based on knowledge surveys among experts. Statistical reliability was acceptable, but to complement the assessment, quantitative validation on a local scale would be useful. Ecosystem service assessments, especially when engaging stakeholders, can inform policy on strategies for the sustainable use of ecosystem services in intensively used and ecologically fragile estuarine zones.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services as a tool for
           conservation: The case of Martinique in the Caribbean
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Pierre Failler , Élise Pètre , Thomas Binet , Jean-Philippe Maréchal
      Martinique possesses 55km2 of coral reefs, 50km2 of sea grass and 20km2 of mangroves. These three ecosystems produce services to a value estimated at 250 million € (M€)/year (valuation recently undertaken under the French initiative for Coral Reef Conservation—the IFRECOR program). It is estimated that around 60% of this value originates from direct uses such as recreational activities (diving, excursions, beach activities, etc.) tourism and fisheries. Ecosystem services (indirect uses) such as coastal protection, carbon sequestration, biomass production and water purification are significant since their total value reaches 94M€ annually (38% of the total economic value). Non-use values linked to improvements in health of coastal ecosystems is estimated to be 10M€/year. At the ecosystem level, sea grass and mangrove contribute the most (per km2) to wealth creation (2.16M €/km2, 1.87M €/km2 respectively, against 1.78M €/km2 for coral reefs). They need, therefore, to benefit from protection and management measures in the same magnitude as coral reefs already receive. The valuation also shows that, due to policy inaction, the loss of value is about 2.5M €/year, which urges politicians to develop a sound conservation policy.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Understanding the links between ecosystem service trade-offs and conflicts
           in protected areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Eszter Kovács , Eszter Kelemen , Ágnes Kalóczkai , Katalin Margóczi , György Pataki , Judit Gébert , György Málovics , Bálint Balázs , Ágnes Roboz , Eszter Krasznai Kovács , Barbara Mihók
      Land use changes induced by nature conservation regulation and management practices, especially in protected areas, often result in trade-offs between ecosystem services (ESs). Exploring trade-offs between ESs and linking them with stakeholders can help reveal the potential losers and winners of land use changes. In this paper, we demonstrate that ES trade-offs do not always go hand in hand with conflicts. The perception of local stakeholders about trade-offs between ESs at three protected sites in the Great Hungarian Plain were assessed through qualitative methods. In all areas significant conservation measures had been introduced since the 1990s resulting in land use changes. Locals (farmers at each site and inhabitants at one site) were the main ‘losers’ of the land use changes and related ES trade-offs, while there were many winners at different spatial and temporal scales. Conflicts appeared only between locals and the national park directorates, and not between locals and other beneficiaries of the new ESs. Due to scale mismatch, locals might not be in direct contact with other stakeholders, and vice versa, and therefore there is no interface between them for confrontation and negotiation. Integrating scale into the analysis also helps in advising policy instruments to minimise local-level conflicts.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Valuing the non-market benefits arising from the implementation of the EU
           Marine Strategy Framework Directive
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Daniel Norton , Stephen Hynes
      This paper uses the choice experiment methodology to estimate the value of the non-market benefits associated with the achievement of good (marine) environmental status (GES) as specified in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The MSFD requires that the ‘costs of degradation’ (the benefits foregone if GES is not achieved) be considered within a broader ‘Economic and Social Assessment’ of the marine environment by EU member states. Assessing the costs of degradation as defined by the MSFD implies that changes in marine ecosystem services provided in each State should be analysed. The results show that there are high values attached with changes to the state of the marine environment by the Irish general public. The results of a random parameters logit model also demonstrate that preferences are heterogeneous, with changes in certain marine attributes generating both positive and negative utilities.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Land use trade-offs for flood protection: A choice experiment with
           visualizations
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Andrea Nathalie Ryffel , Wolfgang Rid , Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
      Hydrological processes respond to changes in land use. Thus, hydrological ecosystem services can be affected by land use trade-offs and need to be considered in both land use management and water management. In this paper we present a choice experiment study from a medium-sized mountainous catchment area in Switzerland investigating individual preferences for long-term land use changes. The study focuses on trade-offs concerning reforestation, settlement development, and river management and on resulting effects on flow regulation and flood protection ecosystem services. Furthermore, the study investigates the influence of political choice recommendations on individual choice behavior. We report three major results: (1) Respondents showed clear but heterogeneous preferences for long-term land use changes. (2) Respondents were willing to trade off extensive agricultural land for flood protection ecosystem services, namely through reforestation and widening of the riverine zone. (3) Choice recommendations by political parties and interest groups did influence individual choice behavior in Discrete Choice Experiments but did not, as expected, decrease implicit benefit estimates.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Ecosystem function and service quantification and valuation in a
           conventional winter wheat production system with DAISY model in Denmark
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Bhim Bahadur Ghaley , John Roy Porter
      With inevitable link between ecosystem function (EF), ecosystem services (ES) and agricultural productivity, there is a need for quantification and valuation of EF and ES in agro-ecosystems. Management practices have significant effects on soil organic matter (SOM), affecting productivity, EF and ES provision. The objective was to quantify two EF: soil water storage and nitrogen mineralization and three ES: food and fodder production and carbon sequestration, in a conventional winter wheat production system at 2.6% SOM compared to 50% lower (1.3%) and 50% higher (3.9%) SOM in Denmark by DAISY model. At 2.6% SOM, the food and fodder production was 6.49 and 6.86tha−1 year−1 respectively whereas carbon sequestration and soil water storage was 9.73tha−1 year−1 and 684mmha−1 year−1 respectively and nitrogen mineralisation was 83.58kgha−1 year−1. At 2.6% SOM, the two EF and three ES values were US$ 177 and US$ 2542ha−1 year−1 respectively equivalent to US$ 96 and US$1370 millionyear−1 respectively in Denmark. The EF and ES quantities and values were positively correlated with SOM content. Hence, the quantification and valuation of EF and ES provides an empirical tool for optimising the EF and ES provision for agricultural productivity.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • A new approach to the problem of overlapping values: A case study in
           Australia׳s Great Barrier Reef
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Natalie Stoeckl , Marina Farr , Silva Larson , Vanessa M. Adams , Ida Kubiszewski , Michelle Esparon , Robert Costanza
      Estimating the value of entire ecosystems in monetary units is difficult because they are complex systems composed of non-linear, interdependent components and the value of the services they produce are interdependent and overlapping. Using the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) as a case study, this paper explores a new ‘whole ecosystem’ approach to assessing both the importance (to overall quality of life) and the monetary value of various community-defined benefits, some of which align with various ecosystem services. We find that provisioning services are considered, by residents, to be less important to their overall quality of life than other ecosystem services. But our analysis suggests that many community-defined benefits are overlapping. Using statistical techniques to identify and control for these overlapping benefits, we estimate that the collective monetary value of a broad range of services provided by the GBR is likely to be between $15 billion and $20 billion AUS per annum. We acknowledge the limitations of our methods and estimates but show how they highlight the importance of the problem, and open up promising avenues for further research. With further refinement and development, radically different ‘whole ecosystem’ valuation approaches like these may eventually become viable alternatives to the more common additive approaches.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • The relevant scales of ecosystem services demand
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): I.R. Geijzendorffer , P.K. Roche



      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • The misconception of ecosystem disservices: How a catchy term may yield
           the wrong messages for science and society
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Ferdinando Villa , Kenneth J. Bagstad , Brian Voigt , Gary W. Johnson , Ioannis N. Athanasiadis , Stefano Balbi



      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • How important are the wetlands in the middle-lower Yangtze River region:
           An ecosystem service valuation approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Xiaowei Li , Xiubo Yu , Luguang Jiang , Wenye Li , Yu Liu , Xiyong Hou
      The middle-lower Yangtze River region, with its lake groups and river systems, is one of the important wetland regions in the world. In this study, physical dimension measurement and monetary evaluation were conducted to estimate the value of wetland services in this region. Results revealed that the total value of the wetland ecosystem services in the middle-lower Yangtze River region is US $162.5 billion per year, which reflects the irreplaceable importance of wetlands in this region. The wetland ecosystem service values revealed considerable spatial variability. Poyang Lake, Hong Lake, and Shijiu Lake have the most ecosystem service value. The value of human-made wetlands (2.62×104 US$/ha/yr) is 48% lower than that of natural wetlands (5.04×104 US$/ha/yr), indicating that the conversion of natural wetlands for aquaculture from the sustainability perspective is not significant. The direct and indirect values of wetland ecosystems are 46.17% and 53.83% of the total values, respectively. Recognizing that the value of wetlands in this region is mainly embodied as indirect use values, conservation of the regulating and supporting services should be prioritized in the design of future wetland ecosystem management plans.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Ecosystem services assessment at Steart Peninsula, Somerset, UK
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Lia Vieira da Silva , Mark Everard , Robert G. Shore
      A systemic valuation was undertaken of marginal changes in ecosystem services assessed as likely to result from the Steart Coastal Management project, some in monetary terms and others semi-quantified. The Steart Coastal Management project entails allowing seawater once again to inundate formerly defended farmland, including modifications to the landform of to assist the re-creation of a range of wetland habitats on the Steart Peninsula. Primary drivers for this project include habitat creation and management of coastal flooding, although implications for a range of other connected services need also to be taken into account. Ecosystem services for which a market exists (typically traded goods with associated use values) were valued using market prices. For non-traded services, this study relied substantially on the economic valuation technique of ‘value transfer’. Despite having to rely on some wide but transparently stated assumptions and uncertainties, a conservative, yet considerable, net annual benefit range of £491,155 to £913,752 was deduced. Research gaps that limited our ability to quantify and/or value several ecosystem services were identified.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Developing spatial biophysical accounting for multiple ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Roy P. Remme , Matthias Schröter , Lars Hein
      Ecosystem accounting is receiving increasing interest as a way to systematically monitor the conditions of ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide. A critical element of ecosystem accounting is understanding spatially explicit flows of ecosystem services. We developed spatial biophysical models of seven ecosystem services in a cultural landscape (Limburg province, the Netherlands) in a way that is consistent with ecosystem accounting. We included hunting, drinking water extraction, crop production, fodder production, air quality regulation, carbon sequestration and recreational cycling. In addition, we examined how human inputs can be distinguished from ecosystem services, a critical element in ecosystem accounting. Model outcomes were used to develop an ecosystem accounting table in line with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting - Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) guidelines, in which contributions of land cover types to ecosystem service flows were recorded. Furthermore we developed spatial accounts for single statistical units. This study shows that for the case of Limburg spatial modelling for ecosystem accounting in line with SEEA EEA is feasible. The paper also analyses and discusses key challenges that need to be addressed to develop a well-functioning system for ecosystem accounting.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Simulation games that integrate research, entertainment, and learning
           around ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Robert Costanza , Karim Chichakly , Virginia Dale , Steve Farber , David Finnigan , Kat Grigg , Scott Heckbert , Ida Kubiszewski , Harry Lee , Shuang Liu , Piotr Magnuszewski , Simone Maynard , Neal McDonald , Richard Mills , Sue Ogilvy , Petina L. Pert , Jochen Renz , Lisa Wainger , Mike Young , C. Richard Ziegler
      Humans currently spend over 3 billion person-hours per week playing computer games. Most of these games are purely for entertainment, but use of computer games for education has also expanded dramatically. At the same time, experimental games have become a staple of social science research but have depended on relatively small sample sizes and simple, abstract situations, limiting their range and applicability. If only a fraction of the time spent playing computer games could be harnessed for research, it would open up a huge range of new opportunities. We review the use of games in research, education, and entertainment and develop ideas for integrating these three functions around the idea of ecosystem services valuation. This approach to valuation can be seen as a version of choice modeling that allows players to generate their own scenarios taking account of the trade-offs embedded in the game, rather than simply ranking pre-formed scenarios. We outline a prototype game called “Lagom Island” to test the proposition that gaming can be used to reveal the value of ecosystem services. Our prototype provides a potential pathway and functional building blocks for approaching the relatively untapped potential of games in the context of ecosystem services research.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Beyond the concrete: Accounting for ecosystem services from free-flowing
           rivers
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Daniel A. Auerbach , Daniel B. Deisenroth , Ryan R. McShane , Kevin E. McCluney , N. LeRoy Poff
      People derive benefits from river networks under free-flowing conditions, through ecosystem services such as fishery yield, floodplain agriculture, desirable geomorphic form, and the cultural significance of native riverine biodiversity. However, water management decisions have historically emphasized the production of ecosystem services such as hydropower and irrigation that depend on the construction of extensive infrastructure. Such decisions typically impose tradeoffs that reduce benefits from free-flowing services, yet neither these losses nor the costs of future ecosystem rehabilitation have been well represented in decision support analyses. Ecosystem service assessments can and should account for benefits in the absence of water infrastructure to inform balanced water policy and watershed management.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Networked governance and the management of ecosystem services: The case of
           urban environmental stewardship in New York City
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): James J.T. Connolly , Erika S. Svendsen , Dana R. Fisher , Lindsay K. Campbell
      Urban environmental stewardship groups have become an essential component of the governance structure that regulates ecosystem services in cities. New York City is one example where these groups have grown rapidly in number, size, and visibility since the 1970s. In this article, we combine quantitative survey data with qualitative interview data to examine the structure and development of the governance network that has grown around the management of urban ecosystem services in New York City. We find that the network is organized according to ecological function and geography. We find as well, that certain historical conditions led to the development of a hybrid institutional form with regard to management of ecosystem services in the city. We discuss the implications of this hybrid networked governance structure in New York City and what it might mean for further cross-disciplinary research around ecosystem service governance.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • De rationibus est disputandum: Psychological dimensions of choice and
           public policy design
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Laura Onofri , Paulo A.L.D. Nunes
      Taking into account the complex motivations that spurs individuals’ choices contributes to a better understanding of consumer׳s profile. This information, in turn, can be used by policy makers in cost-benefit analysis and influence the institutional decision-making design. In this line, the paper uses econometric results that focus on shedding light on a consumer׳s warm glow motivational profile, where warm glow is defined as the good feeling that economic agents experience when contributing privately to the provision of public goods. In this context, we study relationship between a motivational variable “warm glow” and selected socio-economic characteristics of individual consumers and this way further understand this psychological dimension of choice. The interpretation of our estimates allows to categorize and profile two types of “warm-glowers”: the “ego-driven” and the “social-oriented” ones. A critical discussion on whether embodying (or not) the latent estimated motivational structures (and underlying determination factors), when performing cost-benefit analysis for the provision of environmental goods is central to the interpretation of estimation results and profiling exercise and contributes to the economic debate dating back to Stiegler and Becker (1977).


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Perception, acquisition and use of ecosystem services: Human behavior, and
           ecosystem management and policy implications
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Stanley T. Asah , Anne D. Guerry , Dale J. Blahna , Joshua J. Lawler
      Ecosystem services, fundamental to livelihoods and well-being, are reshaping environmental management and policy. However, the behavioral dimensions of ecosystem services and the responses of ordinary people to the management of those services, is less well understood. The ecosystem services framework lends itself to understanding the relationship between ecosystems and human behavior. Ecosystem services, according to the psychological theory of motivational functionalism, are motivations—the personal and social processes that initiate, direct and sustain human action. Thus, how people perceive, acquire and use ecosystem services influences the initiation, direction, and intensity of their behaviors. Profound understanding of how people perceive, acquire and use ecosystem services can help influence behavioral compliance with management and policy prescriptions. We use focus group interviewing to illustrate how ecosystem services relate to human behavior. Results show that people perceive, acquire and use indirect benefits while acquiring direct ecosystem services. Understanding indirect benefits has implications for the constitution and regulation of human behavior through ecosystem management and policy. Perceived ecosystem benefits, expressed in people׳s own words and from their own frames of reference, can facilitate better valuation of ecosystem services and setting of prices, compliance with ecosystem management and policy directives, recruitment and retention of ecosystem stewards, development of use policies, enhancement of user experiences, and encouragement of pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Cultural ecosystem services and economic development: World Heritage and
           early efforts at tourism in Albania
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Andrew Seidl
      Albania actively promotes its World Heritage sites and other attributes of its cultural heritage, including local food and beverages, dance, tapestries and even its communist era, in its marketing efforts. Better information about the emergent tourism sector, particularly with regard to Albania׳s abundant potential in nurturing and capturing the value of its cultural ecosystem services, could help the country to better manage toward its economic development objectives. In this paper, results of a survey of international visitors to Mother Theresa International Airport, highlighting their expenditure patterns, activities, their assessment of their visit with a particular focus on natural and cultural tourism are reported. For example, the average additional willingness to pay to travel to Albania under current experiential conditions is €410. On average, respondents were willing to pay an additional €95 to the Albanian government to invest in Albanian natural and cultural ecosystem services. This potentially translates into an estimated €95 million per year to invest in Albania׳s cultural and natural heritage, or €42 million for culture and €53 million for nature. The results point to the very young stage of tourism development and may illuminate strategies to introduce international audiences to Albania through conferences or other business oriented travel.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Ecosystem governance in a highland village in Peru: Facing the challenges
           of globalization and climate change
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Erin Lennox , John Gowdy
      The agricultural systems of the Peruvian Andes have been created and maintained over many generations using locally adapted management practices that help to maintain agrobiodiversity while providing for local populations. Despite their longstanding history, many of these ecosystems and the services they provide are currently threatened by a number of economic and environmental factors. We use findings from behavioral science to examine the opportunities and conflicts at different governance levels—individual, community, and global. Market pressures to produce for distant markets have resulted in reduced diversity of crops in the Andes region. Another major threat to ecosystem services in the region is climate change, which is already being observed in the form of rising temperatures, extreme temperature fluctuation, changing rainfall patterns, and increasing glacial melt. To explore the effects of, and the responses to, these pressures we used semi-structured interviews to gain insight into agricultural practices and challenges and the various levels of governance present in the agriculture of Langui, Peru. We find that low staple crop prices combined with increasing climate variability has led to a reduced production of traditional crops such as pseudocereals and tubers in favor of production of improved grasses for livestock. The growth of the livestock economy is being driven by the presence of a transnational dairy corporation in the region, plus increased migration leading to a reduced local labor force. We conclude that loss of traditional crops and community based agricultural management techniques will make it difficult for smallholders to maintain food self-sufficiency and agrobiodiversity in the face of a changing climate and global economy.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Recasting payments for ecosystem services (PES) in water resource
           management: A novel institutional approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Vijay Kolinjivadi , Jan Adamowski , Nicolás Kosoy
      Understanding linkages between human well-being and ecological stewardship at the land-water nexus is needed in order to develop effective, equitable, and resilient institutions to govern watershed resources. In this paper, we argue that payments for ecosystem services (PES) plays a useful role for achieving integrated and adaptive water resource management, but only if attention is drawn to: (a) nested governance arrangements which reflect horizontal coordination across space according to the economic characteristics of watershed goods and services as well as hierarchical legitimacy between higher and lower levels of governance; (b) ‘payments’ that are socially negotiated rather than designed according to oversimplified efficiency claims for watershed services and (c) ‘payments’ that are well placed to overcome the individual, social and physical constraints associated with watershed goods and services so that capabilities or the freedom to do and be can be enhanced. This paper illustrates the impossibility of effectuating sheer market-based trades for regulating, cultural and supporting ecosystem services due to their inherent non-rival characteristics. Furthermore, a heuristic approach to characterising watershed goods and services clearly demarcates the extent to which PES can serve as an implementation tool for integrated and adaptive water resources management.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Behavioural underpinnings of response policies for ecosystem management
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Pushpam Kumar , Manasi Kumar



      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Behavioural foundation of response policies for ecosystem management: What
           can we learn from Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Pushpam Kumar , Manasi Kumar , Lucy Garrett
      The paper evaluates response policies for the management of ecosystem services. It specifically focuses on the implementation of economic response policies and the growing popularity of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Critical aspects of PES are reviewed, such as the measurement of ecosystem services, the valuation of additional services, accountability and trust. This emphasised the importance to include social and cultural contexts of transaction and economic valuation in the design and implementation of PES initiatives. We discuss some of the factors that constrain the use of PES where mediating institutions are not readily available. Finally, the paper highlights elements of the design and implementation of PES schemes that can improve its practical application.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Value, institutional complementarity and variety in coupled
           socio-ecological systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Franz W. Gatzweiler
      Taking an interdisciplinary and complex systems approach, theoretical ground is prepared for bridging the divide between economic value assessments and adequate policy responses – the deviation problem. A conceptual framework is developed which explains how plural values emerge in a variety of interaction domains and how deviation problems in value assessments are created and can be overcome by means of institutional complementarities. Conceptualizing value as an emergent property of diverse behavioral patterns resolves the deviation problem, turns attention to behavioral assessments rather than value assessments and opens up the valuation toolbox for methods from the behavioral sciences. Conventional economic valuation approaches, especially benefit transfer methods are analyzed with respect to their ability to overcome the value deviation problem and the development of a comprehensive societal valuation system is proposed which builds on knowledge of behavioral instead of value assessments.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Mapping ecosystem service flows with land cover scoring maps for
           data-scarce regions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Dirk Vrebos , Jan Staes , Tom Vandenbroucke , Tom D׳Haeyer , Robyn Johnston , Moses Muhumuza , Clovis Kasabeke , Patrick Meire
      Natural resource management requires spatially explicit tools to assess the current state of landscapes, to analyse trends and to develop suitable management strategies and interventions. The concept of ecosystem services can help in understanding the importance of natural resources for different stakeholders and at different spatial and temporal scales. Simple methods to map ecosystem services using scoring of land cover types are particularly useful in data scarce regions, but do not reflect the dynamics of supply and demand. Within this study, GIS scripts were developed to represent and assess several different modes of ecosystem service flows between supply and demand, using ecosystem services scoring tables. By integrating the flows, the ecosystem services can be better evaluated. The outcomes do not give quantitative information on whether supply meets demand, but indicate the spatial distributions of both supply and delivery and where ecosystem services are under threat because of changes in ecosystem or flow mechanisms. The scripts allow us to identify sites that are vulnerable to ecosystem service loss and to evaluate possible management scenarios.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10




      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Biodiversity offsets as market-based instruments for ecosystem
           services? From discourses to practices
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Renaud Lapeyre , Géraldine Froger , Marie Hrabanski
      Building on the analytical frameworks of policy arrangements and new institutional economics, this article introduces the special issue on biodiversity offsets as market-based instruments (MBIs) for ecosystem services, deconstructing discourses and exploring practices on the ground. The idea of compensating environmental damages from development emerged in the 1970s in the USA and Europe. From the beginning of the century, as the international community became increasingly interested in MBIs as allegedly efficient mechanisms for environmental management, MBIs have rapidly gained traction within the biodiversity compensation policy arena. Terms of compensatory mitigation, biodiversity offsets, mitigation banking, habitat banking, species banking, wetlands mitigation, etc., have therefore widely spread as policy tools around the globe. In this context, academics, practitioners and decision-makers have most often characterized those schemes theoretically as an MBI and frequently grouped them all under the umbrella term of ‘biodiversity offsets’. Building on contributions from the special issue, this article contends that biodiversity offset programs are on the contrary mainly characterized as a variety of different heterogeneous policy and institutional arrangements with limited features of market governance. Furthermore, hybrid structures, through long-term bilateral agreements with specific assets and between parties whose identity is crucial, are the rule rather than the exception.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Collaborative mapping of ecosystem services: The role of
           stakeholders׳ profiles
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Ana P. García-Nieto , Cristina Quintas-Soriano , Marina García-Llorente , Ignacio Palomo , Carlos Montes , Berta Martín-López
      Assuming the huge progress achieved in public participatory geographic information system (PPGIS) techniques and its current research gaps, this study aims to explore differences in the perception of spatial distribution of ecosystem services supply and demand between different stakeholders through collaborative mapping. The stakeholders selected included high influence stakeholder (with a high degree of interest on the ecosystem services׳ state and with an important influence into the environmental decision making process) and low influence stakeholders (with a high degree of interest on the ecosystem services׳ state and with a low influence in environmental management). Workshops took place in June 2013 in two regions of Andalusia; overall 29 participants were involved. Water provision, food from agriculture, livestock, erosion control, climate regulation, water purification, nature tourism, recreational hunting and tranquility were collaboratively mapped. Agriculture land-use and the protected area surface were also assessed in order to find patterns in ecosystem services supply, meanwhile the role of urban areas was assessed for ecosystem services demand. The results show that low and high influence stakeholders have different perceptions of the spatial distribution of ecosystem services and the scale of their demand. We call for the recognition of these knowledge differences (experiential and technical) and their inclusion in decision making processes regarding landscape planning.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Whales vs. gulls: Assessing trade-offs in wildlife and waste management in
           Patagonia, Argentina
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Stephanie F. Stefanski , Sebastian Villasante
      In Península Valdés, (Patagonia) Argentina, the consequences of poor waste management and an overpopulation of kelp gulls has led to gulls feeding on living southern right whales, potentially causing losses to the tourism industry through loss in coastal quality and suboptimal right whale viewing experiences. Despite local progress in closing waste disposal sites and culling gulls, both waste and pest problems persist. While this problem could impact the long-term viability of the site as a whale watching destination and present conservation concerns, little research has been done concerning the socio-economic aspects of the problem. The present study interviewed 650 tourists about their willingness to pay to manage the gulls versus the waste in order to reduce the gull population and remove the risk to the whales. This research finds that tourists favor addressing the human-driven component of the problem, the waste, over culling the natural component of the problem, the kelp gulls. These findings present a remarkable insight to assessing trade-offs between two management strategies to a local problem associated with coastal development and tourism. The results could further be broadened to other destinations facing waste and pest management challenges in the face of growing tourism and urbanization.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • A pathway to identifying and valuing cultural ecosystem services: An
           application to marine food webs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Corinne Baulcomb , Ruth Fletcher , Amy Lewis , Ekin Akoglu , Leonie Robinson , Amanda von Almen , Salman Hussain , Klaus Glenk
      Beyond recreation, little attention has been paid thus far to economically value Cultural Ecosystem Services (CESs), especially in the context of coastal or marine environment. This paper develops and tests a pathway to the identification and economic valuation of CESs. The pathway enables researchers to make more explicit, and to economically value, cultural dimensions of environmental change. We suggest that the valuation process includes a simultaneous development of the scenarios of environmental change including related biophysical impacts, and a documentation of culture–environment linkages. A well-defined ecosystem service typology is also needed to classify cultural–ecological linkages as specific CESs. The pathway then involves the development of detailed, multidimensional depictions of the culture–environment linkages for use in a stated preference survey. The anticipated CES interpretations should be confirmed through debriefing questions in the survey questionnaire. The proposed approach is demonstrated with a choice experiment-based case study in Turkey that focuses improvements to the food web of the Black Sea. The results of this study indicate that economic preferences for CESs other than recreation can be estimated in a way that is economically consistent using the proposed approach.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • An ecosystems perspective for food security in the Caribbean: Seagrass
           meadows in the Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 September 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Susan Baker , Jessica Paddock , Alastair M. Smith , Richard K.F. Unsworth , Leanne C. Cullen-Unsworth , Heidi Hertler
      Drawing attention to interactions between processes affecting biodiversity loss in marine environments and effects on food security, we draw on research in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), a UK Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. Seagrass meadows provide ecosystem supporting services critical for human wellbeing. They are declining globally due to coastal development, poor land management, and destructive fishing practices. These systems are linked to traditional ways of life with multiple intangible values representing an important cultural resource for coastal communities. Using the lens of food security, we undertake interdisciplinary social–ecological research, to better understand the governance of ecosystem services and the food system in TCI. Research draws on mixed qualitative methods and data gathered via SeagrassWatch, fish surveys and meta-analysis of fish assemblages, revealing anthropogenic stressors exposing TCI to economic and environmental shocks characteristic of small island Caribbean states. We find growing concern regarding the islands׳ high dependence on food imports, coupled with declining availability of local fish and seafood across socio-economic groups. Weak governance structures put TCI׳s marine resources under increasing threat, with consequences for food security. We argue for the application of the precautionary principle, suggesting conservation actions through societal participation and stakeholder engagement.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Scale and context dependence of ecosystem service providing units
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 September 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Erik Andersson , Timon McPhearson , Peleg Kremer , Erik Gomez-Baggethun , Dagmar Haase , Magnus Tuvendal , Daniel Wurster
      Ecosystem services (ES) have been broadly adopted as a conceptual framing for addressing human nature interactions and to illustrate the ways in which humans depend on ecosystems for sustained life and well-being. Additionally, ES are being increasingly included in urban planning and management as a way to create multi-functional landscapes able to meet the needs of expanding urban populations. However, while ES are generated and utilized within landscapes we still have limited understanding of the relationship between ES and spatial structure and dynamics. Here, we offer an expanded conceptualization of these relationships through the concept of service providing units (SPUs) as a way to plan and manage the structures and preconditions that are needed for, and in different ways influence, provisioning of ES. The SPU approach has two parts: the first deals with internal dimensions of the SPUs themselves, i.e. spatial and temporal scale and organizational level, and the second outlines how context and presence of external structures (e.g. built infrastructure or larger ecosystems) affect the performance of SPUs. In doing so, SPUs enable a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to managing and designing multi-functional landscapes and achieving multiple ES goals.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • The recreational value of gold coast beaches, Australia: An application of
           the travel cost method
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Fan Zhang , Xiao Hua Wang , Paulo A.L.D. Nunes , Chunbo Ma
      The Gold Coast beaches are among Australia’s most popular beaches and rank among the world’s best-known beaches. A good understanding of the characteristics of beach users and their recreational use values is of fundamental importance to formulate effective beach management policy. This paper, using the individual travel cost method, estimates the recreational use value of Gold Coast beaches. The value of a single beach visit is estimated to be $19.47 per person. Furthermore, the efficiency of the value transfer method is analysed in this study. To do this, the recreational value of Gold Coast beaches transferred from the relevant studies conducted for other Australian beaches is compared with this study.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • Cultural ecosystem services as a gateway for improving urban
           sustainability
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 September 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Erik Andersson , Maria Tengö , Timon McPhearson , Peleg Kremer
      Quality of life in cities depends, among other things, on ecosystem services (ES) generated locally within the cities by multifunctional blue and green infrastructure. Successfully protecting green infrastructure in locations also attractive for urban development requires deliberate processes of planning and policy formulation as well as broad public support. We propose that cultural ecosystem services (CES) may serve as a useful gateway for addressing and managing nature in cities. CES can help embed multifunctional ecosystems and the services they generate in urban landscapes and in the minds of urbanites and planners, and thus serve an important role in addressing urban sustainability. In the city, CES may be more directly experienced, their benefits more readily appreciated, and the environment-to-benefit linkages more easily and intuitively understood by the beneficiaries relative to many material ES. Thus, we suggest that a focus on CES supply can be a good starting point for increasing the awareness among urban residents also of the importance of ES. Furthermore, CES are often generated interdependently with other critical ES and engaging people in the stewardship of CES could provide increased awareness of the benefits of a larger group of urban non-cultural ES.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • The valuation of marine ecosystem goods and services in the Caribbean: A
           literature review and framework for future valuation efforts
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 September 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Peter W. Schuhmann , Robin Mahon
      This paper reviews economic valuation of marine ecosystem services in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) for the three major marine ecosystems addressed by the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) Project: reef, pelagic and continental shelf. A review of over 200 value estimates suggests that marine economic valuations in the WCR have focused on a limited number of benefits derived from marine ecosystems, primarily those that are relatively easy to measure and convey, such as recreation opportunities in protected areas, and benefits that are ascribed to easily measured market indicators. Values associated with reefs have received far more attention than those associated with the pelagic or shelf ecosystems. The economic impacts of overfishing remain largely unexplored. Regulating and maintenance services provided by the marine ecosystems of the WCR have been recognized as important, but have not been linked to valuation. Finally, estimates of non-use values for WCR marine ecosystem goods and services are few. It is suggested that future work on valuation be coordinated among countries and agencies so that gaps can be prioritized and valuation studies can be directed toward a more comprehensive understanding of the full value of the goods and services provided by marine ecosystems in the WCR.


      PubDate: 2014-12-12T12:43:08Z
       
  • A tiered approach for mapping ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 November 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Adrienne Grêt-Regamey , Bettina Weibel , Felix Kienast , Sven-Erik Rabe , Grazia Zulian
      Ecosystem services (ES) mapping make the benefits of nature spatially explicit. The different methods used for ES mapping limit the comparability of outcomes and call for a more consistent but flexible approach. We present a four step tiered approach for ES mapping supporting scholars to select the adequate combination of variables: First, the user, researcher or policy maker defines the goal of the ES assessment. Second, a meta-analysis of relevant ES mapping studies is conducted to identify key variables for mapping the selected ES. Third, the identified variables are attributed to the different levels of the multitier framework according to the level at which they best answer the policy or research question. Finally, appropriate methods for mapping the ES are selected based on the reviewed studies. We illustrate the approach for recreational services at three different tiers. Main advantages of the tiered approach are that (i) it can be adapted to other ES, (ii) it supports the efforts toward a standardized ES assessment, (iii) it provides information about relevant variables to be considered in long term monitoring at different scales, (iv) it supports sustainable resource management as it ensures the inclusion of information relevant to decision makers at different levels.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-11-21T18:30:59Z
       
  • Looking below the surface: The cultural ecosystem service values of UK
           marine protected areas (MPAs)
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Niels Jobstvogt , Verity Watson , Jasper O. Kenter
      Recreational users appreciate the UK marine environment for its cultural ecosystem services (CES) and their use and non-use values. UK Governments are currently establishing a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) informed by ecological data and socio-economic evidence. Evidence on CES values is needed, but only limited data have been available. We present a case study from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) follow-on phase that elicited divers’ and anglers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for potential MPAs. The case study is an innovative combination of a travel-cost based choice experiment and an attribute-based contingent valuation method. Our study design allowed us to understand the marine users’ preferences from both a user and a stewardship perspective. Following the UK NEA’s place-based CES framework, we characterised marine CES as environmental spaces that might be protected, with features including the underwater seascape, and iconic and non-iconic species. Our survey highlighted the importance of CES to divers and anglers. A wide variety of marine spaces influenced user-WTP, while stewardship-WTP was most influenced by management restrictions, species protection, and attitudes towards marine conservation. An understanding of key stakeholders’ CES values can inform a more holistic and sustainable approach to marine management, especially for decisions involving trade-offs between marine protection and opportunity costs of the blue economy.


      PubDate: 2014-10-25T10:36:38Z
       
  • The place of agricultural sciences in the literature on ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 10
      Author(s): Elise Tancoigne , Marc Barbier , Jean-Philippe Cointet , Guy Richard
      We performed a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the scientific literature on ecosystem services in order to help tracing a research agenda for agricultural sciences. The ecosystem services concept now lies at the heart of current developments to address global environmental change. Do agricultural sciences generate knowledge that covers this emerging theme? An analysis of scientific production allowed us to return to the ecological origins of this concept and see how little it has been appropriated by agricultural sciences until now, despite major focus on the issue of agro-ecosystems in the literature. Agricultural sciences tend to be more active in the field of environmental services, defined as services rendered by humans to ecosystems. The main studied services are those which have already been clearly identified and which act in synergy. Less attention is paid to the antagonisms between different services. These findings call for the implementation of agricultural research programmes that will consider the socio-agro-ecosystem as a whole and broaden the traditional issues addressed by agricultural sciences. We insist on three main management and operational issues that needs to be overcome if this is to be done: working at the landscape scale, increasing inter-disciplinary collaborations and take uncertainties into account.


      PubDate: 2014-09-17T12:15:10Z
       
 
 
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