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Ecosystem Services    [5 followers]  Follow    
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2556 journals]   [H-I: 1]
  • What scope for certifying forest ecosystem services?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Erik Meijaard , Sven Wunder , Manuel R. Guariguata , Douglas Sheil
      Ecosystem services have rapidly moved to the mainstream of environmental policies. Certification has for decades been a market-based tool for sustainability. Here, we assess whether certification of ecosystem services supports forest management and conservation. We look at forest ecosystem services, such as water regulation, carbon sequestration, and pollination provision, and evaluate the opportunities and constraints for developing systems to certify them. We discuss a series of challenges, and suggest that caution is needed: insufficient demand for multiple services, high biophysical service complexity, and elevated monitoring costs all indicate that opportunities for large-scale commercial viability of certified forest ecosystem services are limited. While some certification already exists for forest carbon services, we expect the certification of other services to remain a minor niche that seldom justifies major subsidies.

      PubDate: 2014-01-24T19:32:57Z
  • Farmer participation in the equitable payments for watershed services in
           Morogoro, Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Emmanuel J. Kwayu , Susannah M. Sallu , Jouni Paavola
      This article contributes to the limited empirical evidence on the determinants of farmers' participation decision in agricultural land (land use-modifying) payments for ecosystem services (PES) in developing countries. It examines how farmer and farm characteristics, programme factors, and the institutional context of its implementation determine farmers' decisions to participate in the Equitable Payments for Watershed Services (EPWS) programme in Morogoro, Tanzania, to shed light on participation in land use-modifying PES programmes more widely. The EPWS programme in the Kibungo Juu ward of Morogoro promotes the adoption of sustainable land management practices such as agro-forestry, reforestation and terracing to improve quality and quantity of water for downstream users. We used a multi-method approach to make use of both qualitative and quantitative data. We found that farm size, information, participation of farmers in the programme design and the needed degree of change in land management determined the adoption of sustainable land management practices. To foster the participation of small farmers, attention needs to be paid to the availability and access to information, participation of farmers in the design of programmes, local compatibility of practices, and support for initial costs of adoption.

      PubDate: 2014-01-24T19:32:57Z
  • Valuing cultural ecosystem services: Agricultural heritage in Chiloé
           island, southern Chile
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): José Barrena , Laura Nahuelhual , Andrea Báez , Ignacio Schiappacasse , Claudia Cerda
      Valuation of cultural ecosystem services (CES) remains one of the most difficult and least accomplished tasks in ecosystem services research. In this study the Contingent Valuation Method with the double bounded dichotomous choice format was used to elicit WTP for agricultural heritage (AH) conservation, which was modeled using a Bivariate Probit specification. The hypothesis tested was that WTP decreased with distance from the site of provision of AH. Results show no significant differences in WTP across locations with equivalent means of US$50.8, US$36.2 and US$52.5 for Chiloé (site of AH provision), Valdivia (at 379km from Chiloé), and Santiago (at 1198km from Chiloé), respectively, suggesting that non-use values can be equally important for local as well as distant populations, particularly when the CES can be ascribed to emblematic cultural landscapes such as Chiloé. Aggregation of individual WTP demonstrates the importance of AH as a highly valued CES and sustains the recent designation of Chiloé as a Global Importance Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) pilot site. The study might prompt authorities to generate the proper incentives to move from just a GIAHS label to a real conservation initiative in Chiloé Island.

      PubDate: 2014-01-12T22:53:28Z
  • The eco-pri How environmental emergy equates to currency
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Elliott T. Campbell , David R. Tilley
      Energy flows through economies in a hierarchical pattern with vast amounts supporting the base while each step has less and less flowing through it. Money is inextricably connected to many of these energy flows in a countercurrent. At the most aggregated scale of an economy, where its gross domestic product is measured, the mean ratio between the flows of solar emergy and money is known as the emergy-to-dollar ratio (EDR). However, the relationship between solar emergy and money is not constant along the energy hierarchy of an economy. While estimates of this dynamic relationship exist for marketed goods and services, there has been less work to estimate the relationship for nonmarketed services. We develop the “eco-price” to meet the goal of better predicting correlation between environmentally derived services and currency. It is defined as the flow of emergy of an ecosystem service relative to the money estimated to flow as a countercurrent. Twenty-nine eco-prices were estimated from cases of known exchange for water, soil, air pollution and natural resource commodities. The eco-price reconciles the biophysical value of the environment with economic value and extends the capability of emergy analysis to suggest “marketable” monetary values for the work of the environment.

      PubDate: 2014-01-08T19:30:13Z
  • Evidence of Payments for Ecosystem Services as a mechanism for supporting
           biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 January 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Jane Carter Ingram , David Wilkie , Tom Clements , Roan Balas McNab , Fred Nelson , Erick Hogan Baur , Hassanali T. Sachedina , David Dean Peterson , Charles Andrew Harold Foley
      Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) represent a mechanism for promoting sustainable management of ecosystem services, and can also be useful for supporting rural development. However, few studies have demonstrated quantitatively the benefits for biodiversity and rural communities resulting from PES. In this paper we review four initiatives in Guatemala, Cambodia, and Tanzania that were designed to support the conservation of biodiversity through the use of community-based PES. Each case study documents the utility of PES for conserving biodiversity and enhancing rural livelihoods and, from these examples, we distill general lessons learned about the use of PES for conserving biodiversity and supporting poverty reduction in rural areas of tropical, developing countries.

      PubDate: 2014-01-04T19:13:20Z
  • A synoptic survey of ecosystem services from headwater catchments in the
           United States
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Brian H. Hill , Randall K. Kolka , Frank H. McCormick , Matthew A. Starry
      Ecosystem production functions for water supply, climate regulation, and water purification were estimated for 568 headwater streams and their catchments. Results are reported for nine USA ecoregions. Headwater streams represented 74–80% of total catchment stream length. Water supply per unit catchment area was highest in the Northern Appalachian Mountains ecoregion and lowest in the Northern Plains. C, N, and P sequestered in trees were highest in Northern and Southern Appalachian and Western Mountain catchments, but C, N, and P sequestered in soils were highest in the Upper Midwest ecoregion. Catchment denitrification was highest in the Western Mountains. In-stream denitrification was highest in the Temperate Plains. Ecological production functions paired with published economic values for theses services revealed the importance of mountain catchments for water supply, climate regulation, and water purification per unit catchment area. The larger catchment sizes of the plains ecoregions resulted in their higher economic value compared to the other ecoregions. The combined potential economic value across headwater catchments was INT $14,000ha−1 yr−1, or INT $30 millionyr−1 per catchment. The economic importance of headwater catchments is even greater considering that our study catchments statistically represent more than 2 million headwater catchments in the continental United States.

      PubDate: 2013-12-31T20:58:39Z
  • Farm households' preferences for collective and individual actions to
           improve water-related ecosystem services: The Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Dawit W. Mulatu , Anne van der Veen , Pieter R. van Oel
      Interventions in payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs can involve both collective and individual actions. This study explores the potential for the development of payment for water related ecosystem services (PWES) program in the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya. Using a choice experiment approach, the willingness to accept compensation is estimated for three water-related ecosystem services (WES) attributes: one collective attribute (reforestation) and two individual attributes (environment-friendly agricultural practices and restoration of riparian land). Moreover, the preferences of upstream farm households are analysed with regard to sub-basins where a PWES program has already been implemented and sub-basins where it has not been implemented so far. For sub-basins where PWES has already been implemented, environment-friendly agricultural practices is the only significant attribute for local farmers' choice to improve WES. Reforestation and environment friendly agricultural practices are significant attributes for sub-basins where PWES has not been implemented so far. Farm households are willing to accept compensation but there appears to be heterogeneity in preferences for WES attributes. We find differences in farm households' preferences and values for collective and individual actions. Therefore, contrary to the current norm in PES interventions with a uniform compensation scheme, we recommend conservation payments to vary among ecosystem service providers.

      PubDate: 2013-12-22T18:03:43Z
  • Designing conservation tenders to support landholder participation: A
           framework and case study assessment
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 6
      Author(s): Stuart M. Whitten , Andrew Reeson , Jill Windle , John Rolfe
      Conservation tenders are emerging as a critical mechanism for supporting payments for ecosystem services in Australia and have been applied at the national, state and regional level. These tenders are designer markets or policy mechanisms in which the proactive participation of landholders is required for success. In this paper we develop a five step framework to identify barriers to participation and to support the design of conservation tenders. We consider participation in six case study tenders covering a variety of land management objectives using our framework. These case studies also provide further pragmatic lessons in managing participation in tenders. Participation supporting factors include alignment of management priorities, opportunity for payment/compensation, effective engagement via information workshops and site visits, and clear and uncomplicated bidding and contracting experiences. Post-contract support may require further attention. Attention to these design elements is likely to support adequate participation and achieve the competitive allocation of funds from which conservation tenders derive their economic efficiency outcomes.
      Highlights ► A framework for the design of conservation tenders is presented. ► We identify what influences landholder decisions to participate in a tender. ► Design and participation for six case study tenders are examined against the framework. ► Landholder decisions to participate are explained by the framework. ► Policy makers should consider participation and efficiency consequences of design decisions.

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • Payments for ecosystem services and rural development: Landowners'
           preferences and potential participation in western Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 6
      Author(s): Arturo Balderas Torres , Douglas C. MacMillan , Margaret Skutsch , Jon C. Lovett
      Incentive-based mechanisms can contribute to rural development and deliver environmental services, but need to be attractive to landowners and communities to ensure their participation. Here we study the views of landowners and agrarian communities (ejidos) from central Jalisco in Mexico to identify characteristics that payment for environmental services (PES) programs conserving/enhancing forest cover could include in their design. A choice experiment was applied to 161 landowners and ejido-landowners. Results show that importance and dependency on cash payments can decrease if interventions to promote local development through improved health and education services and generation of employment and productive projects are included. Responses indicate that communal forested areas in ejidos would be most likely to enroll into PES. In some cases grasslands could be afforested. Agroforestry practices providing other environmental services could also be implemented (e.g. windbreaks). Potential enrollment is lower in agricultural and peri-urban areas due to higher opportunity costs. Higher payments favor enrollment but may compromise the program's efficiency since aggregated cash-flow over long periods can exceed the present value of the land itself in some areas. Offering a mix of cash and non-cash benefits based on local developmental needs might be the best way to promote participation in PES.

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • Institutional durability of payments for watershed ecosystem services:
           Lessons from two case studies from Colombia and Germany
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 6
      Author(s): Marcela Muñoz Escobar , Robert Hollaender , Camilo Pineda Weffer
      Payment for Watershed Ecosystem Services (PWES) have been widely implemented in both, developing and developed countries as an instrument to resolve upstream – downstream conflicts with effective results. Despite the growing interest in PWES only a few attempts have been made to assess the necessary conditions for designing and operating enduring schemes. This paper addresses the issue of PWES durability from an institutional perspective, drawing on research on the sustainability of common pool resource institutions. This framework is applicable for PWES analysis because of the difficulty of exclusion and rivalness characteristics of watershed ecosystems. Based on this framework, this paper presents an institutional analysis of two different PWES cases: the Bolo River water user association, Colombia; and the organic farming in the catchment area of Mangfalltal, Germany. The results from the analysis showed that despite the context differences, the cases presented more similarities than differences in all the set of conditions analysed, shedding light on relevant conditions for the design and operation of enduring PWES. In addition, the results suggest that lessons learned from common pool resources can be extended to the analysis of resource regimes other than common property, and emphasize the potential applicability of the framework used for assessing lessons about institutional durability from ongoing PWES.

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • Payments for ecosystem services: A review and comparison of developing and
           industrialized countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 6
      Author(s): Sarah Schomers , Bettina Matzdorf
      Payments for ecosystem services (PES) received a lot of academic attention in the past years. However, the concept remains loose and many different conservation approaches are published under the ‘PES label’. We reviewed 457 articles obtained in a structured literature search in order to present an overview of the PES literature. This paper (1) illustrates the different analytical perspectives on PES concepts and types, (2) shows the geographic focus of PES research and (3) identifies the major foci of the overall PES research. The paper finally (4) identifies differences and similarities in conservation programs and main research topics between developing and industrialized countries to (5) disclose potentials for research synergies, should research experiences in the two types of countries be exchanged more deliberately. We demonstrate that only few publications describe Coasean PES approaches. The majority of research refers to national governmental payment programs. The overall design of national PES programs in Latin America resembles the design of those in the US and EU considerably. Programs in the US and EU have been in place longer than most of the frequently published Latin American schemes. However the former are hardly considered in the international PES literature as research is usually published under different terminologies.
      Highlights ► Review on conservation efforts published under Payments for Ecosystem Services. ► Summarizes and compares Coasean, Pigouvian and other PES approaches. ► Shows differences and similarities of PES in developing and industrialized countries. ► Identifies research overlap between developing and industrialized countries.

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • What are PES? A review of definitions and an extension
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 6
      Author(s): Sandra Derissen , Uwe Latacz-Lohmann
      The term PES is often used to denote market incentives for the provision of public goods within the field of environmental and resource issues. In this context, PES translates into either ‘payments for environmental services’ or ‘payments for ecosystem services’—the terms that are not consistently defined in the literature and sometimes used as synonyms. Given the lack of coherent definitions, this note reviews current definitions of payments for ecosystem services and payments for environmental services entertained in the literature, discusses alternative meanings of environmental and ecosystem services in the PES context, and finally proposes a consistent definition. We argue that current definitions of PES found in the literature are insufficient to adequately describe the man-made nature of many environmental goods and services: that nature is ’produced’ through human intervention. Building upon the FAO's definition of environmental services, we propose a definition that regards environmental services as services provided through countryside management in a broader sense whilst produced either unintentionally or intentionally.
      Highlights ► The terms ecosystem services and environmental services are used interchangeably. ► Recent definitions do not distinguish between natural and man-made services. ► We define ecosystem services as services provided by nature. ► We define environmental services as services provided by humans. ► We thus propose that PES be understood as ‘payments for environmental services’.

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 6

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • Spatially explicit perceptions of ecosystem services and land cover change
           in forested regions of Borneo
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Nicola K. Abram , Erik Meijaard , Marc Ancrenaz , Rebecca K. Runting , Jessie A. Wells , David Gaveau , Anne-Sophie Pellier , Kerrie Mengersen
      Spatially explicit information on local perceptions of ecosystem services is needed to inform land use planning within rapidly changing landscapes. In this paper we spatially modelled local people's use and perceptions of benefits from forest ecosystem services in Borneo, from interviews of 1837 people in 185 villages. Questions related to provisioning, cultural/spiritual, regulating and supporting ecosystem services derived from forest, and attitudes towards forest conversion. We used boosted regression trees (BRTs) to combine interview data with social and environmental predictors to understand spatial variation of perceptions across Borneo. Our results show that people use a variety of products from intact and highly degraded forests. Perceptions of benefits from forests were strongest: in human-altered forest landscapes for cultural and spiritual benefits; in human-altered and intact forests landscapes for health benefits; intact forest for direct health benefits, such as medicinal plants; and in regions with little forest and extensive plantations, for environmental benefits, such as climatic impacts from deforestation. Forest clearing for small scale agriculture was predicted to be widely supported yet less so for large-scale agriculture. Understanding perceptions of rural communities in dynamic, multi-use landscapes is important where people are often directly affected by the decline in ecosystem services.

      PubDate: 2013-12-14T00:00:27Z
  • Valuing ecosystem services from Maryland forests using environmental
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Elliott T. Campbell , David R. Tilley
      Forests provide a multitude of benefits vital to the ecosystems, economies and people of Maryland. While markets exist to set the price for an economic good like timber, ecosystem services are viewed as free externalities. This research enumerates the biophysical value of forest ecosystem services in Maryland and provides a connection between biophysical and economic methods for valuing the environment. The hydrology, soil, carbon, air pollution, pollination and biodiversity of a forest are measured from a biophysical standpoint with emergy and converted to dollars using new emergy-to-dollar ratios, termed eco-prices. The functioning of the forest is compared to the most likely alternative land-use in Maryland (suburbia) and biophysical value is assigned based on this difference. The research seeks to value ecosystem services provided by forests in Maryland and proposes that society should invest commensurate value in the production and perpetuation of ecosystem services. To help ensure that Maryland forests continue to produce ecosystem services at the current rate, investment should total between $273 and $744 million per year in the State of Maryland, $270–$736 per year for a typical hectare of forest.

      PubDate: 2013-12-09T04:38:02Z
  • Emergy and ecosystem services: A national biogeographical assessment
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Luca Coscieme , Federico M. Pulselli , Nadia Marchettini , Paul C. Sutton , Sharolyn Anderson , Sharlynn Sweeney
      Ecosystem services are those resources and processes provided by ecosystems that improve human well-being. Emergy is the amount of solar energy embedded in the resources consumed by a system. In this paper we produced a ranking among nations, based on emergy (expressed in seJ/yr) and ecosystem service values (in $/yr). We document a significant correlation between the renewable emergy and ecosystem service values aggregated at the national scale. This suggests that ecosystem services are somehow dependent on energy and natural resource concentration in ecosystems. We also compare the ability of each ecosystem mosaic and economy, within national boundaries, to translate energy and matter inputs into economically valuable goods and services. For ecosystems this is calculated using the ratio between renewable emergy and ecosystem service value. In the case of national economies, it can be estimated using a ratio of the emergy use by the national economy and the GDP of the nation (called Emergy to Money Ratio). In almost all cases the ecosystems in a national territory provide a unit of monetary output using less emergy inputs than the national economy. Further comparison was performed for tropical and equatorial nations, continents, biodiversity hotspots, and biogeographical regions.

      PubDate: 2013-12-09T04:38:02Z
  • Civic ecology practices: Participatory approaches to generating and
           measuring ecosystem services in cities
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Marianne E. Krasny , Alex Russ , Keith G. Tidball , Thomas Elmqvist
      Civic ecology practices are community-based, environmental stewardship actions taken to enhance green infrastructure, ecosystem services, and human well-being in cities and other human-dominated landscapes. Examples include tree planting in post-Katrina New Orleans, oyster restoration in New York City, community gardening in Detroit, friends of parks groups in Seattle, and natural area restoration in Cape Flats, South Africa. Whereas civic ecology practices are growing in number and represent a participatory approach to management and knowledge production as called for by global sustainability initiatives, only rarely are their contributions to ecosystem services measured. In this paper, we draw on literature sources and our prior research in urban social-ecological systems to explore protocols for monitoring biodiversity, functional measures of ecosystem services, and ecosystem services valuation that can be adapted for use by practitioner-scientist partnerships in civic ecology settings. Engaging civic ecology stewards in collecting such measurements presents opportunities to gather data that can be used as feedback in an adaptive co-management process. Further, we suggest that civic ecology practices not only create green infrastructure that produces ecosystem services, but also constitute social-ecological processes that directly generate ecosystem services (e.g., recreation, education) and associated benefits to human well-being.

      PubDate: 2013-12-03T23:42:18Z
  • A comparison of Markov model-based methods for predicting the ecosystem
           service value of land use in Wuhan, central China
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 December 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Dong Luo , Wenting Zhang
      Aggressive human activity and limited natural resources cause complex land use changes that significantly affect the ecosystem service of land types. In this paper, we used the Markov model to predict future changes in the ecosystem service of each land type. We used remote sensing to evaluate the changes in five land use categories, and previously published value coefficients to calculate the ecosystem service value of each land type. Two methods were applied to acquire useful results. The first was called the A-E method. It involved predicting the future changes of areas in land use using the Markov model and multiplying the value coefficients of the ecosystem service. The second was called the B-E method. It involved calculating the initial ecosystem service value of the land type, and then directly predicting these values. From comparison the actual values in 2011 and the stationarity of the values, we determined that the predicted ecosystem service values of the five land types by the A-E method was better than those by the B-E method. Despite considering the annual changes in the coefficients of ecosystem services, our results can reflect the changes in ecosystem services with land use transformation.

      PubDate: 2013-12-03T23:42:18Z
  • PES in a nutshell: From definitions and origins to PES in
           practice—Approaches, design process and innovative aspects
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Claudia Sattler , Bettina Matzdorf
      In this paper, introducing the special issue on “Payments for Ecosystem Services and Their Institutional Dimensions: Analyzing the Diversity of Existing PES Approaches in Developing and Industrialized Countries”, we highlight the following PES aspects. First we set out with a discussion on different definitions of PES, both in a narrow and a wider sense. We continue with a short historical outline on how the PES approach evolved in developing and industrialized countries against the backdrop of Ecological Economics theory and the Ecosystem Service concept. Then we discuss how broad the spectrum of existing PES in reality is and what kind of classification approaches are presented in the literature. We then move on to actual PES development and discuss what the different phases in PES design are and what kind of activities take place in each phase. This is followed by a discussion in how far PES can be seen as innovations in the toolbox of conservation approaches. In the last part, we conclude with a short outlook on the different individual papers in the special issue.

      PubDate: 2013-11-25T22:33:24Z
  • Payments for ecosystem services in Vietnam: market-based incentives or
           state control of resources?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Diana Suhardiman , Dennis Wichelns , Guillaume Lestrelin , Chu Thai Hoanh
      Payments for ecosystem services often are viewed as an innovative approach toward improving natural resource management, while also providing opportunities for enhancing incomes and livelihoods. Yet not all PES programs are designed and implemented in ways that reflect voluntary transactions between buyers and providers of well-defined, measurable ecosystem services. When third-party interests, such as donors or governments, design PES programs to achieve goals that lie outside the conceptual scope of payments for ecosystem services, the improvements in resource management and enhancements in livelihoods can fall short of expectations. We examine this potential dissonance in PES program implementation, taking the case of PES in the forestry sector in Vietnam. We question whether PES in Vietnam has the potential to enhance forest protection and watershed management. We highlight the importance of institutions and governance (i.e., the policies, rules, and regulations) in determining program significance and we illustrate how PES programs are implemented as part of the government's subsidy scheme. We conclude that in the absence of a competitive market structure and appropriate regulations, governments can reshape PES programs to function primarily as tools for strengthening state control over natural resources.

      PubDate: 2013-11-25T22:33:24Z
  • Payments for Water Ecosystem Services in Latin America: A literature
           review and conceptual model
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Julia Martin-Ortega , Elena Ojea , Camille Roux
      Latin America has been a pioneer in the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (PES) and numerous schemes are now in place. However, existing reviews of this experience are mostly theoretical and/or qualitative. This paper presents a comprehensive, systematic and up-to-date compilation and review of the literature on Payments for Water Ecosystem Services (PWS) in Latin America, in which 310 PWS transactions within 40 different schemes are analysed. Firstly, we quantitatively describe and discuss their key characteristics. Secondly, we identify information gaps that need to be filled to allow a more accurate analysis. Finally, we contrast PES theory versus the reported evidence. Results are discussed in the form of key messages and a conceptual model to support better design, implementation and monitoring is proposed. Among other things, our meta-study shows that there is a certain mis-match between how PES schemes are presented in theory and how they are actually practiced or reported in the literature. This mis-match concerns issues at the core of the PES principles, namely service-action conditionality, service definition and payment negotiation.

      PubDate: 2013-11-21T22:32:38Z
  • Multi-classification of payments for ecosystem services: How do
           classification characteristics relate to overall PES success?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Claudia Sattler , Susanne Trampnau , Sarah Schomers , Claas Meyer , Bettina Matzdorf
      Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) are defined in different ways and a variety of approaches is currently summarized under the PES label. This paper introduces a system for the multi-classification of PES schemes. The classification is based on different PES characteristics and their specifications. Analyzed characteristics include, amongst others: PES type, ecosystem service paid for (e.g. types of services, if the PES tries to improve the quality of the service vs. the quantity); payments specifics (e.g. funding sources, input- vs. output-based payments, etc.); involved actors (e.g. actors from the market, government or civil society sector); duration (short or long-term), and spatial scale (local to global). The classification system is then applied to 22 PES cases from Germany and the United States (US) that were assessed as successful by expert judgment. A comparative analysis (CA) is used to investigate how certain PES characteristics relate to PES success. Results of the CA indicate that characteristics such as intermediary involvement, involvement of governmental actors, contract length, co-benefits, voluntariness in entering the PES agreement, and design of PES as output-based schemes are of particular importance for the success of PES schemes.

      PubDate: 2013-11-17T20:34:00Z
  • Ecosystem services economic valuation, decision-support system or
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Yann Laurans , Laurent Mermet
      There appears to be a discrepancy between the massive presence of Ecosystem Services (economic) Valuations (ESV) in biodiversity discourse and literature and the small number of examples where it is documented and demonstrated that they have been instrumental in changing policies. Part of this discrepancy may reflect an insufficient fit of ESV to the organizational and political dimensions of decision-making. This paper thus explores the relation between decision-making as it is viewed in the theoretical roots of ESV and also as it is depicted in disciplines that take decision as their central topic. Three alternative and complementary types of decision models (rational decision-maker, organization and political process) each shed a different light on what ESV can be useful for, and what qualities are then required of it. In general, the contribution of ESV to decision-making relies both on its ability to bring rationality to decision-making, and on its procedural qualities as resource of influence that is needed for advocacy and justification. Thus, the usefulness of ESV cannot be enhanced by either the strengthening of their rigor or the enhancement of their procedural qualities alone: to successfully address the challenge, both of these measures are required in combination. This produces a tension between the rational and substantial abilities that ESV must sustain on the one hand, and the rhetorical and procedural qualities it should develop on the other hand. To overcome this tension, it may prove useful to draw lessons from the field of policy evaluation. In this field, rationalization-based and process-based methodologies once fiercely contested each other. However, process-based and content-based methodologies are now deliberately combined in diverse designs.

      PubDate: 2013-11-09T22:39:43Z
  • Understanding the relationships between ecosystem services and poverty
           alleviation: A conceptual framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Janet A. Fisher , Genevieve Patenaude , Kalpana Giri , Kristina Lewis , Patrick Meir , Patricia Pinho , Mark D.A. Rounsevell , Mathew Williams
      As interest grows in the contribution of ecosystem services to poverty alleviation, we present a new conceptual framework, synthesizing insights from existing frameworks in social–ecological systems science and international development. People have differentiated abilities to benefit from ecosystem services, and the framework places emphasis on access to services, which may constrain the poorest more than aggregate availability. Distinctions are also made between categories of ecosystem service in their contribution to wellbeing, provisioning services and cash being comparatively easy to control. The framework gives analytical space for understanding the contribution of payments for ecosystem services to wellbeing, as distinct from direct ecosystem services. It also highlights the consumption of ecosystem services by external actors, through land appropriation or agricultural commodities. Important conceptual distinctions are made between poverty reduction and prevention, and between human response options of adaptation and mitigation in response to environmental change. The framework has applications as a thinking tool, laying out important relationships such that an analyst could identify and understand these in a particular situation. Most immediately, this has research applications, as a basis for multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, but there are also applications to support practitioners in pursuing joint policy objectives of environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation.

      PubDate: 2013-11-05T22:32:20Z
  • Intermediary roles and payments for ecosystem services: A typology and
           program feasibility application in Panama
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 October 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Heidi R. Huber-Stearns , Joshua H. Goldstein , Esther A. Duke
      Intermediaries in payments for ecosystem services (PES) play diverse roles in facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers. From the literature, we identified major roles including information exchange; program design; networking, representation, and mediation; and administration and project coordination; and we evaluated these roles alongside crosscutting institutional factors of influence, process, and context. We applied this typology to a Western Panama case study informing PES feasibility using semi-structured interviews with 34 intermediary organizations to understand current and potential future PES roles, capacity, and connections. We found broad capacity to perform intermediary roles and ways in which the limitations of one organization (or sector) could be compensated for by another organization (sector) through partnerships. The strongest organization-to-organization connections were found between the civil and public sectors working at the local and regional scales, and between intermediaries overall and “supply-side” landowners. While beneficial, these connections highlight the need to ensure that the interests of weakly connected actors, particularly potential buyers, are adequately represented; furthermore, uncertain central government support may affect program development at the regional scale. Our study advances a more synthetic understanding of the intermediary actor landscape in relation to PES institutional analysis, which can inform future project-specific and theoretical analyses.

      PubDate: 2013-11-01T21:15:24Z
  • PES marketplace development at the local scale: The Eugene Water and
           Electric Board as a local watershed services marketplace driver
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 November 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Susan Lurie , Drew E. Bennett , Sally Duncan , Hannah Gosnell , Maria Lewis Hunter , Anita T. Morzillo , Cassandra Moseley , Max Nielsen-Pincus , Robert Parker , Eric M. White
      Payments for ecosystems services (PES) is increasingly recognized as a way to protect and enhance ecosystems by linking beneficiaries and providers through various payment options and voluntary supply arrangements. The concept of the local marketplace, which uses a non-commodity, expanded view of the PES marketplace, has significant potential for non-fungible PES such as watershed services. Water utilities can be key drivers in development of such marketplaces as they are prominent actors in communities and watersheds, and they are typically strategically situated between PES purchasers and potential providers. This article explores the potential for local PES marketplaces and the role of water utilities in their development through a case study of the Voluntary Incentives Program (VIP), a PES initiative under development by the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) in Eugene, Oregon. Using a mixed method research approach to explore institutional and social acceptability issues, findings suggest strong support for the program, and for EWEB's role among providers and purchasers. Implications include, among other things, the significant potential for water utilities to act as local marketplace drivers and the importance of carefully designing local PES programs to meet local marketplace needs and support.

      PubDate: 2013-11-01T21:15:24Z
  • Evaluating opportunities to enhance ecosystem services in public use areas
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 October 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Amy M. Villamagna , Paul L. Angermeier , Nicholas Niazi
      Public use and conservation areas (PUAs) offer opportunities to protect and enhance the delivery of ecosystem services (ES), however ES are rarely evaluated on such lands. We developed a spatially-explicit method for estimating regulating and cultural service capacity and evaluating intent to conserve ES in PUAs. We use management priority information to infer conservation intent and demonstrate the application of a social capacity metric for assessing cultural service capacity. We present a decision framework to guide efforts to enhance the delivery of benefits to public land users and downstream residents. We test this approach by pairing analyses of two ecosystem services—water purification and recreational bird watching-in PUAs throughout the Albemarle–Pamlico basin (Virginia and North Carolina). Our results reveal that management of the majority of sites does not currently give priority to either service, despite a wide range of service capacities. The decision framework suggests that managers of PUAs with moderate to high service capacity could protect ES flow by increasing awareness and other social capacity factors within PUAs. In contrast, managers of PUAs with low service capacity but high potential to influence local and regional environmental condition might focus on enhancing the biophysical capacity to provide selected services.

      PubDate: 2013-10-28T00:06:27Z
  • ECOSER 6th Volume: Special Issue on Payments for Ecosystem Services
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 October 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Leon C. Braat

      PubDate: 2013-10-28T00:06:27Z
  • Valuing ecosystem services across water bodies: Results from a discrete
           choice experiment
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 October 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Edel Doherty , Geraldine Murphy , Stephen Hynes , Cathal Buckley
      As demands on the environment and associated ecosystem services increase, the need for a more integrated approach to managing the exploitation of these natural resources also increases. This is particularly true for the alternative types of water bodies such as a sea, river and/or a lake. The purpose of this paper is to explore the preferences of residents in the Republic of Ireland for a number of ecosystem services provided by Irish water bodies. In particular the paper examines whether, and how, preferences for the same ecosystem services differ when the public is asked to consider the alternative water body types (sea, river and lake). This is relevant as the ecosystem services' economic benefits are not necessarily uniform across water bodies, a factor that has not been explored in detail previously.

      PubDate: 2013-10-19T20:04:46Z
  • Community participation in payment for ecosystem services design and
           implementation: An example from Trinidad
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 October 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Maurice A. Rawlins , Leon Westby
      The inclusion of communities in the design and implementation of payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes is not a widely publicized practice in spite of the many accepted benefits that arise from the full participation of communities in interventions which affect them. The results of a pilot PES project in the Caura Valley, Trinidad presented in this paper, show that even with the highly technical aspects of valuing ecosystem services as a requirement for PES schemes, communities can be involved in the design and implementation of such schemes. Based on an examination of the Caura community during the design and implementation of the PES project, we suggest that the successful design of the PES scheme in Caura was based on the community's active participation in the development of the project concept, the ecosystem service infrastructure, and the management framework for the PES. The paper concludes with research recommendations for improving the design and implementation of PES schemes.

      PubDate: 2013-10-15T00:38:23Z
  • A review and application of the evidence for nitrogen impacts on ecosystem
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 October 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): L. Jones , A. Provins , M. Holland , G. Mills , F. Hayes , B. Emmett , J. Hall , L. Sheppard , R. Smith , M. Sutton , K. Hicks , M. Ashmore , R. Haines-Young , L. Harper-Simmonds
      Levels of reactive nitrogen (N) in the atmosphere have declined by around 25% in Europe since 1990. Ecosystem services provide a framework for valuing N impacts on the environment, and this study provides a synthesis of evidence for atmospheric N deposition effects on ecosystem services. We estimate the marginal economic value of the decline in N deposition on six ecosystem services in the UK. This decline resulted in a net benefit (Equivalent Annual Value) of £65m (£5m to £123m, 95% CI). There was a cost (loss of value) for provisioning services: timber and livestock production of −£6.2m (−£3.5m to −£9.2m, 95% CI). There was a cost for CO2 sequestration and a benefit for N2O emissions which combined amounted to a cost for greenhouse gas regulation of −£15.7m (−£4.5m to −£30.6m). However, there were benefits for the cultural services of recreational fishing and appreciation of biodiversity, which amounted to £87.7m (£13.1m to £163.0m), outweighing costs to provisioning and regulating services. Knowledge gaps in both the under-pinning science and in the value-transfer evidence prevent economic valuation of many services, particularly for cultural services, providing only a partial picture of N impacts which may underestimate the benefits of reducing N deposition.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2013-10-10T18:37:43Z
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 5

      PubDate: 2013-09-28T17:14:11Z
  • Economic valuation of ecosystem services, a case study for aquatic
           vegetation removal in the Nete catchment (Belgium)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 September 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Annelies Boerema , Jonas Schoelynck , Kris Bal , Dirk Vrebos , Sander Jacobs , Jan Staes , Patrick Meire
      In the last decades, lowland rivers were forced to drain larger water quantities during ever shorter time periods. This is mainly caused by current and historic land-use changes (e.g. increase of built area) and increased intensification of agriculture practices (e.g. drainage). River flow, however, is hampered by human artefacts such as weirs and dams as well as by naturally occurring aquatic vegetation. To avoid flooding and water related problems, river managers opt to remove aquatic vegetation. According to the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), all costs of water management should be charged for (full cost recovery requirement). This study aims to assess whether or not this is achieved in case of aquatic vegetation removal. This method is illustrated through a case study of the Nete Catchment, Belgium. Results show that flood control benefits exceed costs by only a small amount in wet years, but costs exceed benefits in dry years. If decision makers account for even a few ecosystem services, the costs of vegetation removal exceed the benefits in both scenarios. Only local stakeholders in flood risk areas can benefit from aquatic vegetation removal during wet summer seasons.

      PubDate: 2013-09-14T22:06:27Z
  • Mapping ecosystem services in New York City: Applying a
           social–ecological approach in urban vacant land
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Timon McPhearson , Peleg Kremer , Zoé A. Hamstead
      As urbanization expands city planners and policymakers need to consider how ecological resources can be strategically developed and managed sustainably to meet the needs of urban populations. The ecosystem services (ES) approach provides a useful framework for assessing the status quo, setting goals, identifying benchmarks and prioritizing approaches to improving ecological functioning for urban sustainability and resilience. However, new tools are required for comprehensively evaluating urban ES for ecosystem management and to understand how local and regional trends and plans may affect ES provisioning. We develop an ES assessment methodology that can be used to assess multiple ES of urban green space and integrate them with social conditions in urban neighborhoods. Our approach considers social–ecological conditions and their spatial patterns across the urban landscape. Our analysis focuses on vacant land in New York City. Results suggest that a combined social–ecological approach to ES assessment yields new tools for monitoring and stacking ES. We find that clusters of vacant lots in areas with overlapping low ecological value (e.g. low concentration of green space) and high social need for ES (e.g. high population density) are primarily concentrated in three areas of the city – East Harlem, South Bronx and Central Brooklyn.

      PubDate: 2013-09-10T15:38:16Z
  • Comparing approaches to spatially explicit ecosystem service modeling: A
           case study from the San Pedro River, Arizona
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kenneth J. Bagstad , Darius J. Semmens , Robert Winthrop
      Although the number of ecosystem service modeling tools has grown in recent years, quantitative comparative studies of these tools have been lacking. In this study, we applied two leading open-source, spatially explicit ecosystem services modeling tools – Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) – to the San Pedro River watershed in southeast Arizona, USA, and northern Sonora, Mexico. We modeled locally important services that both modeling systems could address – carbon, water, and scenic viewsheds. We then applied managerially relevant scenarios for urban growth and mesquite management to quantify ecosystem service changes. InVEST and ARIES use different modeling approaches and ecosystem services metrics; for carbon, metrics were more similar and results were more easily comparable than for viewsheds or water. However, findings demonstrate similar gains and losses of ecosystem services and conclusions when comparing effects across our scenarios. Results were more closely aligned for landscape-scale urban-growth scenarios and more divergent for a site-scale mesquite-management scenario. Follow-up studies, including testing in different geographic contexts, can improve our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these and other ecosystem services modeling tools as they move closer to readiness for supporting day-to-day resource management.

      PubDate: 2013-09-02T17:09:53Z
  • Assessment of ecosystem services in homegarden systems in Indonesia, Sri
           Lanka, and Vietnam
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 August 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Hideyuki Mohri , Shruti Lahoti , Osamu Saito , Anparasan Mahalingam , Nimal Gunatilleke , Irham , Van Thang Hoang , Gamini Hitinayake , Kazuhiko Takeuchi , Srikantha Herath
      Numerous studies have been conducted on homegarden systems by researchers from different disciplines and countries, but most of them focus on ecological structure or specific ecosystem services in a selected study area. Few studies take a comprehensive look at the ecosystem services provided by homegardens, especially on a regional scale. This paper shows how these homegardens are ecologically, socially, and economically diversified and how beneficial they are to human well-being as ecosystem services. It also investigates the impacts of drivers on homegarden systems in rural areas in three countries. These studies involved comprehensive literature reviews and field survey along with a framework of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Four types of ecosystem services—provision, regulation, cultural, and support—were assessed and compared. We found that traditional homegardens maintain high ecosystem diversity especially in rural areas; however, recent socio-economic changes are converting subsistence-oriented homegardens into commercial ones. Future challenges for further research include how to enhance the resilience of homegarden systems against socioeconomic and global climate changes by integrating traditional homegarden systems, modern technology, and the global economy.

      PubDate: 2013-08-25T14:06:31Z
  • The role of forest provisioning ecosystem services in coping with
           household stresses and shocks in Miombo woodlands, Zambia
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 August 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Felix Kanungwe Kalaba , Claire Helen Quinn , Andrew John Dougill
      This paper investigates the use of forest provisioning ecosystem services (FPES) in coping with stresses and shocks in rural households of Miombo woodland systems. It assesses the influence of socio-economic factors (wealth and gender) in households' coping decisions. The study employs a mixed methods approach by combining focus groups meetings, in-depth interviews, and interviews of 244 households stratified by household wealth classes and gender of household heads in Copperbelt province, Zambia. The results show that households face multiple shocks and that FPES are the most widely used coping strategy used by households facing idiosyncratic shocks, by households, followed by kinship. A higher proportion of poor and intermediate households rely on FPES to cope with various shocks than their wealthier counterparts. When stratified by gender, more male-headed households used FPES than female headed households. With respect to coping with household food stresses, charcoal production and sale is the most widely used strategy, followed by off-farm activities and remittances. In designing forest management strategies aimed at reconciling forest conservation and rural development, such as reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) schemes, it is vitally important that alternate coping strategies are made available to rural households to reduce pressure on forests.

      PubDate: 2013-08-21T08:07:45Z
  • Editorial to the fifth volume of ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 August 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Leon C. Braat

      PubDate: 2013-08-16T18:33:05Z
  • Estimating impacts of population growth and land use policy on ecosystem
           services: A community-level case study in Virginia, USA
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 August 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Claire A. Jantz , James J. Manuel
      Despite advances in decision-making tools and frameworks, the consideration of ecosystem services in local, regional, and national scale planning remains limited. In this study, we address two broad goals: (1) By using “off the shelf” data and tools, we provide a practical example for how local policy makers can incorporate considerations of ecosystem services in land use planning; and (2) To understand the complex and non-linear relationships between population growth, land use change, land use policy, and ecosystem services. Focusing on Albemarle County and Charlottesville, VA, we assess impacts on a range of ecosystem services using a land consumption ratio that links the land use to population density patterns. Varying levels of population growth were modeled and impacts to ecosystem services quantified given current land use policies. With increasing population growth, ecosystem services that exist within areas targeted for growth are initially compromised. However, once growth pressures reach a threshold, ecosystem services across the region are dramatically degraded. These findings point to the tradeoffs that community-level planners face when ecosystem services are considered in the context of population growth. Our results also highlight the importance of maintaining permanent protection on lands with high natural and cultural value.

      PubDate: 2013-08-16T18:33:05Z
  • The complexity of the institution of payment for environmental services: A
           case study of two Indonesian PES schemes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 August 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Akhmad Fauzi , Zuzy Anna
      PES has been adopted in Indonesia for conservation. Nevertheless, the development of PES programs is deterred by the complexity of institutions.

      PubDate: 2013-08-08T15:37:07Z
  • What are we missing? Economic value of an urban forest in Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 July 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): William Kwadwo Dumenu
      The ecosystem services of urban forests are under threat in Ghana due to continuous conversion of urban green spaces into other land uses. The loss of urban forests is contributing to decreases in resilience and increases in vulnerability of urban dwellings to flooding and windstorms. Investing in management of urban forests and including them in urban development planning is critical and can only be pursued if economic value of urban forest services are properly assessed and appreciated. In this paper the Contingent Valuation Method is used to estimate the economic value of non-market benefits of an urban forest in Ghana. Using Cost–Benefit Analysis, the monetary value of the urban forest in the course of time was estimated. The stated monetary value of the urban forest was found to be US$694,765.50. The Net Present Value of the urban green space was US$2,786,620.65. The estimated economic value covered nine times the 10-year maintenance cost of the urban green space. As a seminal work on economic valuation of a standing urban forest in Ghana, it is envisaged that the results will inspire further research in this field, and demonstrate the need for investment in creation and management of urban forests.

      PubDate: 2013-07-30T21:24:04Z
  • Economic valuation of provisioning and cultural services of a protected
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 July 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Md. Shams Uddin , E. de Ruyter van Steveninck , Mishka Stuip , Mohammad Aminur Rahman Shah
      The Sundarbans Reserve Forest, the world's largest mangroves covering 6000km2 in Bangladesh, provides a variety of ecosystem services. The real contribution of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest to the national economy has not been evaluated so far. This study aims to provide an economic estimation of the provisioning and cultural services of the Sundarbans. Official records of revenue collected by the Forest Department were the sources of information used in the economic valuation of the forest. The major provisioning services of the Sundarbans are timber, fuel wood, fish, thatching materials, honey and waxes. And the main culture service is tourism. The provisioning and cultural services provided by the Sundarbans contributed to revenue of the Forest Department on an average US$ 744,000 and US$ 42,000 per year respectively during financial year 2001–2002 to 2009–2010. The revenue collection from the forest products and tourism showed increasing trend over the study period, except for the timbers. The Forest Department produces economic benefits out of the ecosystem services without knowing the optimum limits and how long they can harness the economic benefits. A comprehensive economic valuation of the total stock and potential of all the ecosystem services of the Sundarbans as well as defining limits of sustainable yield of the services under different socio-economic and climate change scenarios would be necessary to enhance sustainable management of the forest.

      PubDate: 2013-07-30T21:24:04Z
  • A comparative assessment of decision-support tools for ecosystem services
           quantification and valuation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 July 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kenneth J. Bagstad , Darius J. Semmens , Sissel Waage , Robert Winthrop
      To enter widespread use, ecosystem service assessments need to be quantifiable, replicable, credible, flexible, and affordable. With recent growth in the field of ecosystem services, a variety of decision-support tools has emerged to support more systematic ecosystem services assessment. Despite the growing complexity of the tool landscape, thorough reviews of tools for identifying, assessing, modeling and in some cases monetarily valuing ecosystem services have generally been lacking. In this study, we describe 17 ecosystem services tools and rate their performance against eight evaluative criteria that gauge their readiness for widespread application in public- and private-sector decision making. We describe each of the tools′ intended uses, services modeled, analytical approaches, data requirements, and outputs, as well time requirements to run seven tools in a first comparative concurrent application of multiple tools to a common location – the San Pedro River watershed in southeast Arizona, USA, and northern Sonora, Mexico. Based on this work, we offer conclusions about these tools′ current ‘readiness’ for widespread application within both public- and private-sector decision making processes. Finally, we describe potential pathways forward to reduce the resource requirements for running ecosystem services models, which are essential to facilitate their more widespread use in environmental decision making.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2013-07-30T21:24:04Z
  • The relationship between social values for ecosystem services and global
           land cover: An empirical analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 July 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Greg Brown
      Considerable effort has been directed into separate but related research foci—the study of ecosystem services and participatory mapping methods. The two research foci intersect in the mapping of place-based values, an operational form of social values for ecosystem services that uses public participation GIS (PPGIS) methods. The social valuation of ecosystem services through participatory mapping offers an alternative valuation approach to economic valuation of ecosystem services. This study analyzes the spatial associations between global land cover which provides a proxy indicator of ecosystem services, and place-based values from 11 PPGIS studies completed in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand that comprise a diverse set of temperate ecoregions. Key findings include: the highest frequencies of social values for ecosystem services were associated with forested land cover; water bodies were highly valuable relative to area occupied; and agricultural land and areas of permanent snow and ice were least valuable. Most land cover classes demonstrated high diversity of social values. The importance of different land cover types varies based on the selected evaluation criteria. Additional research is needed to determine whether economic and social valuation approaches provide complementary, contradictory, or redundant measures of the importance of landscapes for providing ecosystem services.

      PubDate: 2013-07-22T20:08:49Z
  • TESSA: A toolkit for rapid assessment of ecosystem services at sites of
           biodiversity conservation importance
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 July 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kelvin S.-H. Peh , Andrew Balmford , Richard B. Bradbury , Claire Brown , Stuart H.M. Butchart , Francine M.R. Hughes , Alison Stattersfield , David H.L. Thomas , Matt Walpole , Julian Bayliss , David Gowing , Julia P.G. Jones , Simon L. Lewis , Mark Mulligan , Bhopal Pandeya , Charlie Stratford , Julian R. Thompson , Kerry Turner , Bhaskar Vira , Simon Willcock , Jennifer C. Birch
      Sites that are important for biodiversity conservation can also provide significant benefits (i.e. ecosystem services) to people. Decision-makers need to know how change to a site, whether development or restoration, would affect the delivery of services and the distribution of any benefits among stakeholders. However, there are relatively few empirical studies that present this information. One reason is the lack of appropriate methods and tools for ecosystem service assessment that do not require substantial resources or specialist technical knowledge, or rely heavily upon existing data. Here we address this gap by describing the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA). It guides local non-specialists through a selection of relatively accessible methods for identifying which ecosystem services may be important at a site, and for evaluating the magnitude of benefits that people obtain from them currently, compared with those expected under alternative land-uses. The toolkit recommends use of existing data where appropriate and places emphasis on enabling users to collect new field data at relatively low cost and effort. By using TESSA, the users could also gain valuable information about the alternative land-uses; and data collected in the field could be incorporated into regular monitoring programmes.

      PubDate: 2013-07-10T18:32:52Z
  • Spatial differences of the supply of multiple ecosystem services and the
           environmental and land use factors affecting them
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 June 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Ying Pan , Zengrang Xu , Junxi Wu
      A practical knowledge of the amount or supply level of multiple ecosystem services is the key prerequisite for enhancing local ecological stability and securing the well-being of humanity. We studied the supplies of four ecosystem services: grain provisioning, meat provisioning, water conservation, and soil retention at the county level in the Jinghe watershed in northwestern China. The spatial differences of the supply of four ecosystem services were studied using two indices, the Total Ecosystem Services (TES) and Trade-Offs (TO) indices. Then, the environmental and land use factors affecting the spatial differences were also analyzed. The results show that large spatial differences exist in the supplies of multiple ecosystem services, in which the TES and TO indices varied by as much as six and 12 times from one area to another, respectively. Precipitation was the primary constraint on the total supply of multiple ecosystem services. However, environmental factors had little impact on the ecosystem service trade-offs, although the type of land use had significant impacts. An increase in the spatial extent of grassland area resulted in reduced trade-offs and enhanced the supply of multiple ecosystem services. A spatial increase in farmland had opposite effects. This case study provides a new perspective on identifying where and how to enhance multiple ecosystem services.

      PubDate: 2013-06-27T21:37:15Z
  • Payments for ecosystem services in Vietnam: Market-based incentives or
           state control of resources?
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 June 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Diana Suhardiman , Dennis Wichelns , Guillaume Lestrelin , Chu Thai Hoanh
      Payments for ecosystem services often are viewed as an innovative approach toward improving natural resource management, while also providing opportunities for enhancing incomes and livelihoods. Yet not all PES programs are designed and implemented in ways that reflect voluntary transactions between buyers and providers of well-defined, measurable ecosystem services. When third-party interests, such as donors or governments, design PES programs to achieve goals that lie outside the conceptual scope of payments for ecosystem services, the improvements in resource management and enhancements in livelihoods can fall short of expectations. We examine this potential dissonance in PES program implementation, taking the case of PES in the forestry sector in Vietnam. We question whether PES in Vietnam has the potential to enhance forest protection and watershed management. We highlight the importance of institutions and governance (i.e., the policies, rules, and regulations) in determining program significance and we illustrate how PES programs are implemented as part of the government's subsidy scheme. We conclude that in the absence of a competitive market structure and appropriate regulations, governments can reshape PES programs to function primarily as tools for strengthening state control over natural resources.

      PubDate: 2013-06-23T18:38:35Z
  • Provision of ecosystem services by the Aysén watershed, Chilean
           Patagonia, to rural households
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 May 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Luisa E. Delgado , Ma. Belén Sepúlveda , Víctor H. Marín
      How much do ecosystems contribute to the wellbeing of rural populations in developing nations? In this article we provide an answer to this question through an eco-social study of two provisioning ecosystem services (wood from native forest and clean water) of the Aysén watershed in northern Chilean Patagonia. Social data was gathered by means of a semi-structured survey to rural households while ecological data was obtained from the available literature and Chilean Government databases. Results show that provisioning ecosystem services contribute, on average, 148USD per month (range: 155–345USD) to the livelihood of rural households. We discuss the potential effect of rural wood exploitation on native forest coverage and the role of uncertainties in the available information.

      PubDate: 2013-06-03T00:32:54Z
  • Valuing forest ecosystem services: Case study of a forest reserve in Japan
    • Abstract: Available online 28 March 2013
      Publication year: 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services

      Forests ecosystems provide several intangible benefits which policy makers ignore since these values do not register in conventional markets or are difficult to measure. Drawing on results of a case study of a forest reserve in Japan, this paper suggests that the annual value of the ecosystem services provided by forests is not only worth millions of dollars, but also in per hectare terms much more than hitherto known. This value for the Oku Aizu forest reserve ranged US$ 1.427–1.482 billion or about US$ 17,016–17,671 per ha. If these are accounted for, then governments and societies faced with the development versus conservation dilemma can make more informed decisions and policies that will help conserve forests and the ecosystem services they provide, and thereby promote human well-being and sustainable development.
      Highlights ► This study assesses the economic value of forest ecosystem services in Japan. ► The study indicates these economic values to be worth millions of dollars. ► In per hectare terms these values are much higher than hitherto known. ► If these values are accounted for it will lead to better conservation outcomes.

      PubDate: 2013-03-29T22:31:53Z
  • The role of Cloud Affected Forests (CAFs) on water inputs to dams
    • Abstract: Available online 17 March 2013
      Publication year: 2013
      Source:Ecosystem Services

      Cloud Affected Forest (CAF) environments are among the most threatened forest ecosystems of the planet. Yet, they are responsible for the supply of stable clean water, through dams, to many human communities across the tropics. Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) schemes can play a key role to mitigate CAF degradation in dam watersheds. However, a thorough scientific understanding of the hydrological role of CAFs in achieving dam performance goals is paramount to ensure the correct implementation of such financial mechanisms. By creating the most detailed dam census across the global extent of CAFs (The King’s College London Tropical Database of Dams—KCL TDD) we explored the potential contribution of CAFs to water inputs to dams in order to inform implementation of regional PWS strategies. Results indicate that whilst CAFs cover only 4.4% of the tropical extent of dam watersheds they receive and filter almost 50% of the rainfall inputs over the same area. This remarkable finding reveals both, the vital role of CAFs in stable clean water supply to tropical dams, and the considerable opportunities to optimize the performance of dams by targeting the often limited resources to improved protection of CAFs in dam watersheds.
      Highlights ► We present the most detailed geo-referenced database of dams (KCL TDD), across the global extent of CAFs, with around 18,770 dams and associated watersheds. ► About 32% of tropical, and sub-tropical land from 23.5N to 35.5S, flows into a dam. ► 41% of the current extent of CAFs is found in the watersheds of dams. ► CAFs represent only 4.4% of all tropical and sub-tropical areas (from 23.5N to 35.5S) that drain to dams but filter more than a fifth of the surface water available to downstream dams within these latitudes.

      PubDate: 2013-03-17T21:14:07Z
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