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Journal Cover   Ecosystem Services
  [SJR: 1.053]   [H-I: 6]   [5 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2812 journals]
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14




      PubDate: 2015-07-24T01:02:17Z
       
  • Measuring the economic value of pollination services: Principles, evidence
           and knowledge gaps
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      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: 2015-07-24T01:02:17Z
       
  • A multilevel analysis on pollination-related policies
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Outi. Ratamäki, Pekka. Jokinen, Peter. Sorensen, Tom. Breeze, Simon. Potts
      The paper explores pollination from a multilevel policy perspective and analyses the institutional fit and interplay of multi-faceted pollination-related policies. First, it asks what the major policies are that frame pollination at the EU level. Second, it explores the relationship between the EU policies and localised ways of understanding pollination. Addressed third is how the concept of ecosystem services can aid in understanding the various ways of framing and governing the situation. The results show that the policy systems affecting pollination are abundant and that these systems create different kinds of pressure on stakeholders, at several levels of society. The local-level concerns are more about the loss of pollination services than about loss of pollinators. This points to the problem of fit between local activity driven by economic reasoning and biodiversity-driven EU policies. Here we see the concept of ecosystem services having some potential, since its operationalisation can combine economic and environmental considerations. Furthermore, the analysis shows how, instead of formal institutions, it seems that social norms, habits, and motivation are the key to understanding and developing effective and attractive governance measures.


      PubDate: 2015-07-24T01:02:17Z
       
  • Is ecosystem restoration worth the effort? The rehabilitation of a
           Finnish river affects recreational ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Cecilia Polizzi, Matteo Simonetto, Alberto Barausse, Ninetta Chaniotou, Riina Känkänen, Silja Keränen, Alessandro Manzardo, Kaisa Mustajärvi, Luca Palmeri, Antonio Scipioni
      The need to assess the societal consequences of human actions impacting the environment has led to the concept of “ecosystem services” (ESS), which can be valued in socio-economic terms to communicate the ecologically-based costs and benefits of management choices. Quantifying the usually-neglected value of ESS should lead to better awareness of the societal importance of ecosystems and more balanced decision-making. We examine the case of the rehabilitation project of the River Pajakkajoki (Finland), aiming to improve conditions for fish spawning and increase the recreational attractiveness of natural areas along the river. We investigated how the rehabilitation changed ESS provision and the value of such change, focusing on recreational ESS due to data availability. We conducted an economic valuation of recreational ESS based on questionnaires administered to both locals and non-locals, analyzed by combining revealed and stated preference methods. We show that the rehabilitation generated great benefits: the estimated increase in recreational ESS value was 40.0–144.7 €/person/year, with slight differences between residents and non-residents. When scaling up this value to all the visitors of the area, the benefits of river restoration were estimated to compensate for the project costs in approximately 3–10 years, justifying investments in restoration from a societal perspective.


      PubDate: 2015-07-24T01:02:17Z
       
  • Linking forest ecosystem services to corporate sustainability disclosure:
           A conceptual analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      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: 2015-07-24T01:02:17Z
       
  • Managing a boreal forest landscape for providing timber, storing and
           sequestering carbon
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): María Triviño, Artti Juutinen, Adriano Mazziotta, Kaisa Miettinen, Dmitry Podkopaev, Pasi Reunanen, Mikko Mönkkönen
      Human well-being highly depends on ecosystem services and this dependence is expected to increase in the future with increasing population and economic growth. Studies that investigate trade-offs between ecosystem services are urgently needed for informing policy-makers. We examine the trade-offs between a provisioning (revenues from timber selling) and regulating (carbon storage and sequestration) ecosystem services among seven alternative forest management regimes in a large boreal forest production landscape. First, we estimate the potential of the landscape to produce harvest revenues and store/sequester carbon across a 50-year time period. Then, we identify conflicts between harvest revenues and carbon storage and sequestration. Finally, we apply multiobjective optimization to find optimal combinations of forest management regimes that maximize harvest revenues and carbon storage/sequestration. Our results show that no management regime alone is able to either maximize harvest revenues or carbon services and that a combination of different regimes is needed. We also show that with a relatively little economic investment (5% decrease in harvest revenues), a substantial increase in carbon services could be attained (9% for carbon storage; 15–23% for carbon sequestration). We conclude that it is possible to achieve win–win situations applying diversified forest management planning at a landscape level.


      PubDate: 2015-07-24T01:02:17Z
       
  • On the value of soil biodiversity and ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 15
      Author(s): Unai Pascual, Mette Termansen, Katarina Hedlund, Lijbert Brussaard, Jack H. Faber, Sébastien Foudi, Philippe Lemanceau, Sisse Liv Jørgensen
      This paper provides a framework to understand the source of the economic value of soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services and maps out the pathways of such values. We clarify the link between components of the economic value of soil biodiversity and their associated services of particular relevance to soils. We contend that soil biodiversity and associated ecosystem services give rise to two main additive value components in the context of risk and uncertainty: an output value and an insurance value. These are illustrated with examples from soil ecology and a simple heuristic model. The paper also points towards the challenges of capturing such values highlighting the differences between private (individual) and public (global) sources of value.


      PubDate: 2015-07-18T08:20:14Z
       
  • Emerging ecosystem services governance issues in the Belgium ecosystem
           services community of practice
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 July 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Hans Keune, Nicolas Dendoncker, Florin Popa, Jacobs Sander, Stephan Kampelmann, Fanny Boeraeve, Marc Dufrêne, Tom Bauler, Jim Casaer, Tanya Cerulus, Geert De Blust, Bart Denayer, Lieve Janssens, Inge Liekens, Jeroen Panis, Thomas Scheppers, Ilse Simoens, Jan Staes, Francis Turkelboom, Paula Ulenaers, Katrien Van der Biest, Jan Verboven
      In this paper we will focus on how governance issues are being dealt with in the BElgium Ecosystem Services (BEES) Community of Practice and on some Belgian Ecosystem Services (ES) research projects aimed at policy or practice support. As ES governance is still mainly an aspect of policy or practice oriented research, we will specifically focus on method and methodological decision making. The system or systems we aim to govern are complex. But also the governance processes are inherently complex. How do we take this complexity into account in decision support? Do we acknowledge complexity in our approach or do we drastically simplify and reduce it to relatively simple proportions? The methodological approach of decision support methods is open for debate as neither crystal clear nor undisputed yardsticks for best practices exist. On an ambition level, BEES members generally seem to prefer transdisciplinary as well as inclusive valuation approaches, though not exclusively in all circumstances. In Belgium research projects, similar to the developments within BEES, from a research practice dominated by scientists, gradually research processes are opening up to transdisciplinary collaboration. Simultaneously these processes gradually shift from mainly top down approaches to bottom up approaches or hybrid combinations of both entry points. A closer and more nuanced view shows that real transdisciplinary collaboration in Belgian ES research still is only at the beginning. Partly this can be explained by the fact that inter- and transdisciplinary approaches are perhaps more realistic, but also have to deal with more social complexity. New balances have to be found between sophistication and pragmatics. Also the role of science can become more ambiguous: the closer to stakeholders, the more an independent role can be questioned. Regarding ES valuation methods, in general a trend towards more inclusive valuation is clearly noticeable in Belgian ES research, inclusive in the sense of a diversity of ES valuation aspects to be taken into account, diverse types of expression of value(s), a combination of quantifiable and qualitative information, and a diversity of valuators by way of more bottom-up approaches. Still, there are quite some differences between projects and challenges for integration.


      PubDate: 2015-07-18T08:20:14Z
       
  • Positive externalities, knowledge exchange and corporate farm extension
           services; a case study on creating shared value in a water scarce area
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 15
      Author(s): Colm Bowe , Dan van der Horst
      Despite much rhetoric about the 'greening business' agenda and various initiatives to promote the valuation of ecosystem services and natural capital, the corporate sector has been slow to integrate social and environmental factors into core business models and to extend this integration across their supply chain. Our effort to narrow this thematic and methodological gap focuses on the co-benefits and positive externalities that can be generated through progressive knowledge exchange between a corporation and its suppliers. Using a case study of contract farming of malting barley in water scarce Rajasthan (India), we examine the extent to which best practice agronomic advice given by corporate farm extension workers can help small scale farmers (suppliers) to increase income, improve resource efficiency (water, fertiliser, energy) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Findings from our desk study suggest positive results for all these variables, when compared to the regional benchmark of non-participating farmers. Under a scenario where advice is provided on all major crops (not just barley), we find a significant further increase of farm income. Our valuation of the reduced exploitation of ground water (alone) exceeds the advisors' annual salaries, suggesting that under full social and environmental accounting, the extension services are not a cost factor, but a profit making unit of the company. We discuss of our findings in relation to alternative approaches to PES and alternative investment strategies in green technologies.


      PubDate: 2015-06-23T15:12:07Z
       
  • The perceptions about payment schemes for ecosystem services: Study case
           of the San Miguel and Santo Tomás Ajusco community, Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Maria Perevochtchikova , Iskra Alejandra Rojo Negrete
      In this work an exercise of evaluation of different effects of the payment schemes for ecosystem services (PES) is presented, based on the analysis of the social perception because of its integrative perspective. The objective was to understand the opinions of the actors directly involved in the functioning of the federal PES program in Mexico, referred to the National Forestry Commission (as users of ecosystem services) and the forest communities (as suppliers of the services). The analysis was performed using the study case of the San Miguel and Santo Tomás Ajusco community, located in the Conservation Land of the Federal District. Eight testimony (proof) interviews were conducted with authorities and 239 structured surveys were applied to community representatives. Each of these groups was divided into two sub-groups: I) those representing authorities of the central and state offices and II) environmental workers and community members with property title deeds. From this analysis, we identified divergences and convergences among them, using four analysis criteria: program design and implementation, social, environmental and economic effects. In general terms, the authority has a positive perception of the process of PES implementing (in operation and strategy), while the community perceives positive and negative effects, due to conflicts within and outside the community, low and temporary payment, lack of knowledge and dissemination, among others. Indeed, this program encourages direct and short-term benefits, but with positive and negative effects on the environment and society, and there is also lack of conceptual rethinking and effect monitoring.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Collaborative mapping of ecosystem services: The role of
           stakeholders׳ profiles
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      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: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Quantifying and mapping ecosystem service use across stakeholder groups:
           Implications for conservation with priorities for cultural values
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      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: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Mapping of ecosystem services: Missing links between purposes and
           procedures
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Laura Nahuelhual , Pedro Laterra , Sebastián Villarino , Matías Mastrángelo , Alejandra Carmona , Amerindia Jaramillo , Paula Barral , Néstor Burgos
      The literature on ecosystem services mapping presents a diversity of procedures whose consistency might question the reliability of maps for decision-making. This study aims at analyzing the correspondence between the purpose of maps (e.g. land use planning) and the procedures used for mapping (e.g. benefit transfer, ecological transfer). Fifty scientific studies published between 2005 and 2012 were selected and analyzed according to 19 variables, applying independence tests over contingency tables, ANOVA and regression analysis. The results show that most studies declared a decision-making purpose (82%), which in 50% of the cases, was land use planning. Only few relationships were found between variables selected to describe the purpose of the maps and those selected to describe the mapping procedures. Thus for example, maps aimed at supporting land use planning did not include any level of stakeholder participation or scenario analysis, as it would have been expected given this purpose. Likewise, maps were based on either economic value or biophysical transfers, regardless of the spatial and temporal scales of mapping. This generally weak relation between map׳s purposes with the used procedures could explain the still restricted incidence of ES on decision-making by limiting the transmission, comparison and synthesis of results.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Ecosystem services visualization and communication: A demand analysis
           approach for designing information and conceptualizing decision support
           systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): T.M. Klein , E. Celio , A. Grêt-Regamey
      The concept of ecosystem services (ES) is broadly established in research and in communities of interest. The European Commission (EU) has embraced these conceptual approaches in order to provide policy makers with decision-supportive information concerning the supply of and demand for ES. It is, however, not yet clear how ES information should be represented to fulfill decision-supportive functions or even to process the data in such a manner that it is understandable. Knowledge about the ideal representation and communication of ES information integrated into decision support systems (DSSs) is particularly key for guiding users through such systems. In order to determine the correct representation type for a given situation and intended use, we developed a demand analysis, distributed through an online survey, to identify user demands for ES information. A principal component analysis depicts that requirements were highly heterogeneous among respondents of this study. Five components describing the representation type can, however, be identified, depending on the situation of application and the intended use of the ES information by the respondents: (1) 3D landscape visualizations are preferred for analyzing and exploring ES-related information; (2) texts and abstracts are preferred for communication and discussion support; (3) thematic 2D map representations are preferred to support scenario development in public applications; (4) abstract 3D landscape visualizations facilitate estimations in group applications; and (5) charts and tables, in combination with thematic 2D map representations, support analyses. However, while certain representation types are function- and/or situation-specific, no representation type can be used as a panacea. A demand analysis, as presented in this paper, can contribute to the definition of how ES information is to be integrated into DSSs and how it needs to be designed to be (decision-) supportive.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Connecting people with nature–ecosystem services as a window of
           opportunity for local and global biodiversity conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 May 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kati Vierikko , Päivi Tikka , Minttu Jaakkola , Marina von Weissenberg , Jukka-Pekka Jäppinen



      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Natural infrastructure investment and implications for the nexus: A global
           overview
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 May 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Genevieve Bennett , Jan Cassin , Nathaniel Carroll
      As deeply interlinked challenges to water, energy, and food security appear poised to accelerate in the coming decades, interest has grown in landscape-based approaches to manage water–energy–food (W–E–F) nexus risks and trade-offs. Both engineered and “natural infrastructure” approaches are needed to increase productivity and resilience in W–E–F systems and to meet pressures of a growing global population and changing climate. However, to date little information exists about the use of nature-based solutions globally, the scale of present investment, funders' motives, or observed results. This paper uses data from a global survey of watershed investments to examine the state of investment in “natural infrastructure”-based solutions for water, which can also address nexus challenges. We find that at least US $1 billion (B) flowed to watershed investment programs tackling nexus risks and trade-offs in 2013. But attention is focused largely on agricultural impacts on water and driven mainly by water service providers and the public sector. Our preliminary findings suggest that potential funders may be unaware of, or constrained in their ability to implement, nature-based strategies to address nexus-related challenges, and that current investment likely does not match the scale of risk or dependency of our W–E–F systems on healthy landscapes.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Biodiversity conservation under energy limitation: Possible consequences
           of human productivity appropriation for species richness, ecosystem
           functioning, and food production
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 May 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Ladislav Miko , David Storch
      The human population appropriates about one-third of global aboveground terrestrial productivity. Although we have only a limited knowledge of the consequences of this effect, it is probable that the decreasing energy available for natural ecosystems will lead to the decrease of biological diversity, ultimately leading to the loss of functioning of natural systems. Such a loss may potentially severely affect also human production systems, since they are inevitably tightly interlinked with natural systems, exemplified by soil communities. This impedes the potential for biodiversity conservation as well as the sustainability of ecosystem services necessary for maintaining human population, and calls for a new research agenda and urgent policy measures.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Framing local ecological knowledge to value marine ecosystem services for
           the customary sea tenure of aboriginal communities in southern Chile
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 May 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Luis Outeiro , Claudio Gajardo , Hugo Oyarzo , Francisco Ther , Patricio Cornejo , Sebastian Villasante , Leticia Bas Ventine
      Fishing and shellfish activities of aboriginal communities in Southern Chile have been historically associated with a high subsistence value in the past. However, the decrease of abundance of fishery resources jointly with a higher dependency on the aquaculture development and canning industry led to a decrease of dependency on algae gathering with medicinal and fertilizing use. The objectives of the paper are three-fold: (a) to investigate the links between customary uses of aboriginal communities living in the coast with marine ecosystem services (ES), (b) to characterize benefits, values of marine ES used by these communities, (c) to use the ecological knowledge of them to examine their perceptions towards the co-management system of SSF. Our results provide empirical evidence of a rich body of aboriginal knowledge, practices, beliefs and perspectives in both selected sites related to marine ES which is rooted in a ancient ecosystem perspective of the Mapuche–Williche׳s communities. However, authorities should recognize the existence and validity of the Mapuche-Williche׳s ecological knowledge to develop the management plans of the customary marine areas. It is demonstrated that aboriginal communities are suffering a selective erosion of ecological knowledge which is generation dependent, and which is mainly attributed to the development of aquaculture sector.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Using ecosystem services mapping for marine spatial planning in southern
           Chile under scenario assessment
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 May 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Luis Outeiro , Vreni Häussermann , Francisco Viddi , Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete , Günter Försterra , Hugo Oyarzo , Klaus Kosiel , Sebastian Villasante
      This study presents an empirical example of how ES can be incorporated into MSP in developing countries, in particular in the Southern region of Los Lagos (Chile). This paper aims to: (a) assess the overlapping incompatibilities within each zoning area, (b) calculate the importance score of the three key ES selected, (c) assess the importance scores of the ES and develop plausible future scenarios for marine zoning. Here, we use InVEST marine models to spatially map the distribution of marine ES (ecotourism and recreation, wildlife endangered species, and habitat-forming species). Taking the current proposal of the MSP as a baseline scenario, two plausible hypothetical future scenarios were also developed based on policies and decision-making trends, and the results of the ES importance score values within each zoning area. The results of this paper indicate that the environmental conservation-aboriginal development scenario would be considered as the more appropriate future projection in terms of securing the three key ES analysed in the region. However, due to changes in the economic development paradigm for the Inner Sea of Chiloe, decision makers, the scientific community and industry representatives are facing a major challenge in allocating appropriate areas to secure ES which requires a holistic perspective.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Between incentives and coercion: the thwarted implementation of PES
           schemes in Madagascar׳s dense forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): L. Brimont , A. Karsenty
      The basic principle of PES is to pay individuals or groups to protect or enhance natural resources in exchange for financial or in-kind compensation. One striking feature of the PES concept is the diversity of “PES-like” schemes in the real world, which differ greatly from the theoretical conceptualization of PES. We assume that the wide range of designs and outcomes is due to the use of PES tools in particular environmental, political, and economic contexts. More precisely, existing conservation strategies is a determining factor in shaping the PSE-inspired interventions. Here, we analyze the implementation of an internationally-designed direct payments program in Madagascar. We show that the predominance of a coercive logic in the Malagasy conservation strategy determines the conditions under which the direct payments scheme is implemented. The direct payments scheme is intended to be a complementary device for protected area rather than an instrument for land-use change, thus producing initiatives closer to ICDP than PES. Yet, its potential to supplement the implementation of protected area is currently limited, leading us to discuss the conditions under which this potential could be fulfilled.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Exploring operational ecosystem service definitions: The case of boreal
           forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Heli Saarikoski , Kurt Jax , Paula A. Harrison , Eeva Primmer , David N. Barton , Laura Mononen , Petteri Vihervaara , Eeva Furman
      Despite the widespread use of the concept of ecosystem services, there is still much uncertainty over the precise understanding of basic terms such as ‘ecosystem services’, ‘benefits’ and ‘values’. This paper examines alternative ways of defining and classifying ecosystem services by using the specific example of boreal forests in Finland. We find the notion of final ecosystem goods and services (FEGS) operable, and suggest using it in economic valuation and other priority setting contexts, as well as in the selection of indicators. However, in the context of awareness raising it might be more effective to retain the well-established terminology of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Our analysis shows that the cascade model (Potschin and Haines-Young, 2011. Progress in Physical Geography 35(5), 575–594) is helpful in distinguishing between ecosystem structures, processes, services, benefits and values by making the sequence of links visible. Johnston and Russell’s (2011. Ecological Economics 70(12), 2243–2249) operational mechanism for determining FEGSs proves also instrumental in separating intermediate (e.g. carbon sequestration) and final ecosystem services (e.g. reduction of atmospheric carbon). However, we find their definition of importance, which is based on willingness to pay, too narrow. Furthermore, we favour the CICES approach, which defines ecosystem services as the direct contributions that ecosystems – whether natural or semi-natural – make to human well-being.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12




      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Advancing the frontier of urban ecosystem services research
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Peleg Kremer , Erik Andersson , Timon McPhearson , Thomas Elmqvist



      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Mapping recreation supply and demand using an ecological and a social
           evaluation approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Lorena Peña , Izaskun Casado-Arzuaga , Miren Onaindia
      This paper provides a framework for addressing recreation as an example of Cultural Ecosystem Services and a methodology to support landscape management based on recreation activities at a regional scale. A GIS-based approach was used to estimate and map ecological and social factors illustrating recreation supply and demand in the Basque Country (northern Spain). The proposed methodology for recreation supply was based on recreation potential and accessibility, and the social demand was determined using a convenience sample of 629 persons that reported preferences for recreation activities using photo-questionnaires. Results showed that 23% of the viewsheds showed a high demand and higher recreation potential than accessibility, whereas only 3% showed a high demand and higher accessibility than potential. Approximately 74% of the territory showed a medium-low demand. We concluded that people׳s assessments on the basis of their aesthetic preferences may serve as a reasonable proxy for mapping recreation demand. The proposed visual method is fast, efficient and may be easily replicable in other regions. The proposed framework can be used as an input to support landscape management, to identify areas most demanded by society and to quantify spatially recreation supply and demand for supporting political strategies.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Empirical PPGIS/PGIS mapping of ecosystem services: A review and
           evaluation
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      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: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Participatory assessment and mapping of ecosystem services in a data-poor
           region: Case study of community-managed forests in central Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Kiran Paudyal , Himlal Baral , Benjamin Burkhard , Santosh P. Bhandari , Rodney J. Keenan
      Community-managed forests (CMF) provide vital ecosystem services (ES) for local communities. However, the status and trend of ES in CMF have not been assessed in many developing countries because of a lack of appropriate data, tools, appropriate policy or management framework. Using a case study of community-managed forested landscape in central Nepal, this paper aims to identify and map priority ES and assess the temporal change in the provision of ES between 1990 and 2013. Semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, transect walks and participatory mapping were used to identify and assess priority ES. The results indicated that community forestry has resulted in the substantial restoration of forests on degraded lands over the period of 1990–2013. Local community members and experts consider that this restoration has resulted in a positive impact on various ES beneficial for local, regional, national and international users. Priority ES identified in the study included timber, firewood, freshwater, carbon sequestration, water regulation, soil protection, landscape beauty as well as biodiversity. There were strong variations in the valuation of different ES between local people and experts, between genders and between different status and income classes in the local communities. In general, whereas CMF provide considerable benefits at larger scales, local people have yet to perceive the real value of these different ES provided by their forest management efforts. The study demonstrated that participatory tools, combined with free-access satellite images and repeat photography are suitable approaches to engage local communities in discussions regarding ES and to map and prioritise ES values.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Assessing community values to support mapping of ecosystem services in the
           Koshi river basin, Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Bob van Oort , Laxmi Dutt Bhatta , Himlal Baral , Rajesh Kumar Rai , Madhav Dhakal , Ieva Rucevska , Ramesh Adhikari
      Human activities and climate change are key factors impacting ecosystem functions and its goods and services, which are important to the livelihoods of mountain communities. In Nepal, community based ecosystem management has been widely adopted as a way to secure local management and empowerment, but local knowledge, perceptions and values of ecosystem change and services are often ignored, and perhaps inadequately understood, in decision-making processes at district or national level. Our objective therefore was to develop a multi-method approach to support mapping of ecosystem services and assessing their local values. Local perceptions of ecosystem use, change and values were identified using participatory mapping, key informant and focus group discussions, and an extensive household survey carried out in the upstream Koshi River basin. Results were cross-validated with scientific literature, statistics and remote sensing data. Key ecosystem services identified are water, agricultural produce, and various forest products, most of which show a declining trend. We demonstrate that the use of different methods and levels of input results in different and complementary types of insights and detail needed for balanced and informed decision-making regarding sustainable management of ESs to secure current and future livelihoods and ecosystem functioning.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Mapping ecosystem services across scales and continents – A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Rebecka Malinga , Line J. Gordon , Graham Jewitt , Regina Lindborg
      Tremendous progress in ecosystem service mapping across the world has moved the concept of ecosystem services forward towards an increasingly useful tool for policy and decision making. There is a pressing need to analyse the various spatial approaches used for the mapping studies. We reviewed ecosystem services mapping literature in respect to spatial scale, world distribution, and types of ecosystem services considered. We found that most world regions were represented among ecosystem service mapping studies and that they included a diverse set of ecosystem services, relatively well distributed across different ecosystem service categories. A majority of the studies were presented at intermediary scales (municipal and provincial level), and 66% of the studies used a fine resolution of 1 ha or less. The intermediary scale of presentation is important for land use policy and management. The fact that studies are conducted at a fine resolution is important for informing land management practices that mostly takes place at the scale of fields to villages. Ecosystem service mapping could be substantially advanced by more systematic development of cross-case comparisons and methods.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Lessons learned for spatial modelling of ecosystem services in support of
           ecosystem accounting
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Matthias Schröter , Roy P. Remme , Elham Sumarga , David N. Barton , Lars Hein
      Assessment of ecosystem services through spatial modelling plays a key role in ecosystem accounting. Spatial models for ecosystem services try to capture spatial heterogeneity with high accuracy. This endeavour, however, faces several practical constraints. In this article we analyse the trade-offs between accurately representing spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem services and the practical constraints of modelling ecosystem services. By doing so we aim to explore the boundary conditions for best practice of spatial ecosystem accounting. We distinguished seven types of spatial ES modelling methods, including four types of look-up tables, causal relationships, spatial interpolation, and environmental regression. We classified 29 spatial ES models according to a judgement of accuracy and modelling feasibility. Best practice of spatial ES models varies depending on the reliability requirements of different policy applications and decision contexts. We propose that in best practice for ecosystem accounting an approach should be adopted that provides sufficient accuracy at acceptable costs given heterogeneity of the respective service. Furthermore, we suggest that different policy applications require different accuracy and different spatial modelling approaches. Societal investment in higher data availability of ecosystem services make models of a specific accuracy more feasible or would enable achievement of higher accuracy with comparable feasibility.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Mapping cultural ecosystem services with rainforest aboriginal peoples:
           Integrating biocultural diversity, governance and social variation
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Petina L. Pert , Rosemary Hill , Kirsten Maclean , Allan Dale , Phil Rist , Joann Schmider , Leah Talbot , Lavenie Tawake
      Cultural ecosystem services (CES) include the aesthetic, artistic, educational, spiritual and/or scientific values of ecosystems and have been described as ‘intangible’ and complex, reflecting diverse people-nature interactions that are embedded in dynamic linked social-ecological systems. CES have proved difficult to value, therefore mapping CES has largely concentrated on more tangible aspects, such as tourism and recreation—presenting the risk that highly significant cultural relationships, such as those between Indigenous peoples and their traditional land, will be rendered invisible in ecosystem assessments. We present our results from co-research with a group of ‘Rainforest Aboriginal peoples׳ from the Wet Tropics, Australia that illustrates a method to address this gap through mapping their perceptions of the health of Indigenous CES. We found that categories associated with biocultural diversity and governance matched their perceptions better than the usual framework that recognizes aesthetic, spiritual and other categories. Co-produced maps presented demonstrate spatial patterns of CES that are related primarily to variations in social attributes (such as adherence to cultural protocols), rather than the ecological attributes (such as biodiversity patterns). Further application of these concepts of biocultural diversity governance, and variation in social attributes when mapping CES, particularly in partnerships with Indigenous peoples is recommended.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13




      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Editorial: Best practices for mapping ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      Author(s): Louise Willemen , Benjamin Burkhard , Neville Crossman , Evangelia G. Drakou , Ignacio Palomo



      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Mapping ecosystem service flows with land cover scoring maps for
           data-scarce regions
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 13
      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: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Ecosystem services in urban land use planning: Integration challenges in
           complex urban settings—Case of Stockholm
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 June 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Anna Kaczorowska , Jaan-Henrik Kain , Jakub Kronenberg , Dagmar Haase
      The concept of urban ecosystem services (ES) is currently promoted in Sweden in the planning for more compact and sustainable cities. This study looks into how the implementation of the urban ES concept in Stockholm is understood by different urban professionals, based on semi-structured interviews and a stakeholder workshop. Although recognizing the usefulness of the ES concept, the professionals identified many remaining challenges linked to integrating the concept into land use planning. These are analyzed in relation to the gap between ES science and ES policy and structured according to the different types of planning uncertainties they represent. One issue that was persistently highlighted by stakeholders was that the promotion of urban ES – regardless of how beneficial it may be – will add further complexity to already strained workloads among planners, policy-makers and urban managers. Also, the political demand for increasing density in the urban areas of Stockholm seems to create a growing need for urban ES. Urban densification can thus potentially promote the interest in planning with ES as a vital parameter for urban qualities. They expressed a need for long term perspectives in planning with new tools and methods for valuing ES, supported through “high profile” projects.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • A review of urban ecosystem services: six key challenges for future
           research
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Christopher Luederitz , Ebba Brink , Fabienne Gralla , Verena Hermelingmeier , Moritz Meyer , Lisa Niven , Lars Panzer , Stefan Partelow , Anna-Lena Rau , Ryuei Sasaki , David J. Abson , Daniel J. Lang , Christine Wamsler , Henrik von Wehrden
      Global urbanization creates opportunities and challenges for human well-being and transition towards sustainability. Urban areas are human-environment systems that depend fundamentally on ecosystems, and thus require an understanding of the management of urban ecosystem services to ensure sustainable urban planning. The purpose of this study is to provide a systematic review of urban ecosystems services research, which addresses the combined domain of ecosystem services and urban development. We examined emerging trends and gaps in how urban ecosystem services are conceptualized in peer-reviewed case study literature, including the geographical distribution of research, the development and use of the urban ecosystem services concept, and the involvement of stakeholders. We highlight six challenges aimed at strengthening the concept's potential to facilitate meaningful inter- and transdisciplinary work for ecosystem services research and planning. Achieving a cohesive conceptual approach in the research field will address (i) the need for more extensive spatial and contextual coverage, (ii) continual clarification of definitions, (iii) recognition of limited data transferability, (iv) more comprehensive stakeholder involvement, (v) more integrated research efforts, and (vi) translation of scientific findings into actionable knowledge, feeding information back into planning and management. We conclude with recommendations for conducting further research while incorporating these challenges.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • What can deliberative approaches bring to the monetary valuation of
           ecosystem services? A literature review
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Lukas Bunse , Olivia Rendon , Sandra Luque
      In response to extensive criticism of the monetary valuation of ecosystem services deliberative monetary valuation (DMV) has been proposed as an improved approach that combines the benefits of deliberative decision-making with the advantages of monetary values. In this study the body of literature that has developed in the field of deliberative monetary valuation is reviewed to assess the potential advantages and challenges that this approach can bring to the valuation of ecosystem services. The studies reviewed present a range of approaches to DMV based on different paradigms and methods. While studies that implemented DMV were primarily concerned with improving monetary values within the neoclassical economic paradigm, proposals for DMV in theoretical papers are challenging this paradigm and stress the potential for DMV to produce more democratic and equitable values. It was found that DMV still faces large practical and theoretical challenges, most notably the lack of a theoretical base for the interpretation of the monetary values produced. Before these challenges are addressed it is early days to assess the usefulness of DMV for the valuation of ecosystem services.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Assessing, valuing, and mapping ecosystem services in Alpine forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Tiina Häyhä , Pier Paolo Franzese , Alessandro Paletto , Brian D. Fath
      Forests support human economy and well-being with multiple ecosystem services. In this paper, the ecosystem services generated in a mountainous forest area in North Italy were assessed in biophysical and monetary units. GIS was used to analyze and visualize the distribution and provision of different services. The assessment of ecosystem services in biophysical units was an important step to investigate ecosystem functions and actual service flows supporting socio-ecological systems. The Total Economic Value (TEV) of all the investigated ecosystem services was about 33M€/yr, corresponding to 820€/ha/yr. The provisioning services represented 40% of the TEV while the regulating and cultural services were 49% and 11%. The service of hydrogeological protection, particularly important in areas characterized by a high risk of avalanches and landslides, showed a major importance among the regulating services (81%) and within the TEV (40%). Results from mapping ecosystem services were useful in identifying and visualizing priority areas for different services, as well as exploring trade-offs and synergies between services. Finally, we argue that while a biophysical perspective can ensure a solid accounting base, a comprehensive economic valuation of all categories of forest ecosystem services can facilitate communication of their importance to policy makers.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Ecosystem services: Where on earth?
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Luisa E. Delgado , Víctor H. Marín
      The analysis of temporal changes in the number of scientific articles written on ecosystem services shows an exponential growth from 1991 to 2013. However, it also shows a lack of information regarding the location of the studies and the type of ecosystem analyzed. A literature search showed that some regions (Antarctica) and ecosystems (urban) have been less studied. However, given the structure of the knowledge databases it is impossible to know if there are no studies or it is difficult to reach them.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Land cover-based ecosystem service assessment of irrigated rice cropping
           systems in southeast Asia—An explorative study
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Benjamin Burkhard , Anja Müller , Felix Müller , Volker Grescho , Quynh Anh , Gertrudo Arida , Jesus Victor (Jappan) Bustamante , Ho Van Chien , K.L. Heong , Monina Escalada , Leonardo Marquez , Dao Thanh Truong , Sylvia (Bong) Villareal , Josef Settele
      Continuing global population growth requires an increase in food production, but also new strategies to reduce negative effects of intensive land use on the environment. Rice as key staple food for a majority of the human population is of crucial importance for global and particularly Southeast Asian food supply. As food provision is one key ecosystem service (ES), it is important to know which ESs are provided at which places. Therefore, an ES scoring exercise harnessing local experts’ knowledge in a ‘rapid assessment’ was conducted in seven rice cropping regions in Vietnam and the Philippines. The expert-based scoring values were linked in an ‘ES-matrix’ to the different land use/land cover (LULC) classes abundant in the study areas. The LULC classifications were based on SPOT satellite image interpretation. The matrices were used to compile ES supply maps that give first indications about ES in regions with different intensive agriculture. The outcomes provide a first ‘screening’ of ES supply related to different LULC types in rice-dominated regions enabling the communication of the relevance of specific ecosystems for local communities and decision makers. Uncertainties inherent in expert- and land cover-based ES assessments are discussed and recommendations for improvements of future studies are given.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • How remote sensing supports mangrove ecosystem service valuation: A case
           study in Ca Mau province, Vietnam
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Tuan Quoc Vo , C. Kuenzer , N. Oppelt
      This paper highlights the importance of using household survey and remote sensing data for the assessment of mangrove ecosystem services (fisheries and timber related products, carbon sequestration, storm protection) in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. The results indicate that remote sensing plays an important role in ecosystem service valuation in the large areas where mangroves and aquaculture are mixed. We estimated the value of mangrove ecosystem services using market price and replacement cost approaches to determine an initial assessment of the overall contribution of mangroves to human well-being. The total estimated value was US$ 600 million/year for 187,533ha (approximately US$ 3000/ha/year), which is slightly smaller than the gross domestic product (GDP) of the province (US$ 0.69 billion in 2010). However, this is only a partial estimate that does not consider other services (tourism, biodiversity, cultural and social values), due to the absence of primary data. The main contribution of this study is that it is the first to combine the approaches of remote sensing and household survey for the quantification of mangrove ecosystem services in the mangrove-shrimp integrated system. Our findings indicate that the continued expansion of aquaculture has reduced the benefits to local communities provided by the mangrove ecosystem.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • TEEB emerging at the country level: Challenges and opportunities
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Bettina Hedden-Dunkhorst , Leon Braat , Heidi Wittmer
      Since the presentation of its international reports at the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties, TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity)—an international multi-stakeholder initiative—has been taken up in a number of countries to initiate TEEB Country Studies (TCSs). Their common aim is to take stock of natural capital, to reveal its social and economic values and to provide a basis for policy making that fosters sustainable use of ecosystem services. Depending on national circumstances and needs, TCSs differ substantially in terms of scope, ecosystem services, stakeholder involvement, sectors and policies considered etc. Key challenges faced in implementation include policy relevance, and a number of technical, methodological and conceptual issues. Integrating TEEB into existing and emerging national to local development strategies can provide substantial synergies, and linking TCSs with international or regional ecosystem initiatives and policies may add further value to advance methodological and policy issues related to ecosystems and biodiversity. Factors and interactions are depicted in a framework for TEEB implementation at country level. With a view at its pathway, we conclude that TEEB developed from an international study to a demand driven process which supports policy development and implementation at various levels.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Tropical forest conservation versus conversion trade-offs: Insights from
           analysis of ecosystem services provided by Kakamega rainforest in Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Morgan C. Mutoko , Lars Hein , Chris A. Shisanya
      Ecosystem services provided by tropical forests are becoming scarcer due to continued deforestation as demand for forest benefits increases with the growing population. There is need for comprehensive valuation of key ecosystem services in order to inform policy and implement better management systems to enhance the supply of ecosystem services. This study estimates local economic value of key ecosystem services provided by Kakamega rainforest and examines how the information can support sustainable forest management in Kenya. This is the only rainforest in Kenya and it has exceptional biodiversity value including several unique species not found anywhere else in the country. Kakamega rainforest also provides a classic case of conflict between conservation and exploitation goals given the dense population around it. We carried out elaborate household and visitors surveys to collect data used to estimate the economic value of three main ecosystem services. We estimated the total economic value of key ecosystem services (excluding biodiversity value) at about US$ 7.4 million per year or US$ 415ha−1 yr−1. The local economic benefits are considerably less than forgone returns from agricultural activities if the forest were to be converted to the best agricultural uses. Arguably, continued protection of this forest is justified on the basis of the unknown value of its rich biodiversity and capacity to sequester CO2. Empirical findings show that the existing forest management system was less effective due to resource constraints and institutional weaknesses. Our study provides insights for the need to manage this forest for multiple uses. We recommend an integrated management strategy that balances local resource needs with biodiversity conservation. We suggest that improved stakeholder collaboration can facilitate sustainable management of this forest resource. Besides, carefully crafted payment for ecosystem services mechanisms and broad environmental education programs can support sustainable forest conservation for this and other similar forest ecosystems in Africa.


      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • Resilience of and through urban ecosystem services
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 12
      Author(s): Timon McPhearson , Erik Andersson , Thomas Elmqvist , Niki Frantzeskaki
      Cities and urban areas are critical components of global sustainability as loci of sustainability progress and drivers of global transformation, especially in terms of energy efficiency, climate change adaptation, and social innovation. However, urban ecosystems have not been incorporated adequately into urban governance and planning for resilience despite mounting evidence that urban resident health and wellbeing is closely tied to the quality, quantity, and diversity of urban ecosystem services. We suggest that urban ecosystem services provide key links for bridging planning, management and governance practices seeking transitions to more sustainable cities, and serve an important role in building resilience in urban systems. Emerging city goals for resilience should explicitly incorporate the value of urban ES in city planning and governance. We argue that cities need to prioritize safeguarding of a resilient supply of ecosystem services to ensure livable, sustainable cities, especially given the dynamic nature of urban systems continually responding to global environmental change. Building urban resilience of and through ecosystem services, both in research and in practice, will require dealing with the dynamic nature of urban social–ecological systems and incorporating multiple ways of knowing into governance approaches to resilience including from scientists, practitioners, designers and planners.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-06-13T13:07:33Z
       
  • The social distribution of provisioning forest ecosystem services:
           Evidence and insights from Odisha, India
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Roan P. Lakerveld , S. Lele , T.A. Crane , K.P.J. Fortuin , O. Springate-Baginski
      Ecosystem services research has highlighted the importance of ecosystems for human well-being. Most of the research, however, focuses only on aggregate human well-being and disregards distributional and equity issues associated with ecosystem services. We review approaches from institutional economics, political ecology and the social sciences in order to develop an analytical framework to understand the distribution of benefits from ecosystems across different socio-cultural groups and the underlying social processes involved. We then present a case study of the distribution of provisioning ecosystem services in a forest-fringe village in Odisha, India. Our analysis shows the unequal distribution of ecosystem services and complex social processes that determine these. We identify the determining factors and processes to include: differential resource-specific needs, different cultural identities, differentiated social status and bargaining power, exclusionary and inclusionary social practices, differential access. Our analysis proves therefore that aggregation of forest ecosystem benefits obscures crucially important patterns of distribution, and the underlying social processes that determine these. This also demonstrates the necessity of applying social science frameworks in such analyses. Our study also shows that most ecosystem services are co-produced through both ecosystem processes and social actions, and so their assessment cannot be separated from the social context in which they are embedded. In conclusion we recommend that ecosystem services research engages more with process-oriented, context-specific and integrated approaches, based on a recognition of the complexity of social-ecological realities.


      PubDate: 2015-05-28T01:54:05Z
       
  • Governance of Ecosystem Services: A framework for empirical analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 May 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Eeva Primmer , Pekka Jokinen , Malgorzata Blicharska , David N. Barton , Rob Bugter , Marion Potschin
      Biodiversity conservation policies justified with science and intrinsic value arguments have produced disappointing outcomes, and the need for conservation is now being additionally justified with the concept of ecosystem services. However, little, if any empirical attention is paid to ways in which different types of ecosystem service decisions are made, to what arguments are effective in turning policy into practice and further into conservation outcomes and, in general, to how ecosystem services are governed. To close this gap, this paper identifies the different modes of governance in policy implementation from biodiversity and environmental conservation literature and incorporates them in a conceptual model of ecosystem services commonly utilised at present, the cascade model. The resulting conceptual framework encompasses: (1) hierarchical governance; (2) scientific-technical governance; (3) adaptive collaborative governance; and; (4) governing strategic behaviour. This comprehensive framework provides a structure for empirical analysis of ecosystem services governance, which takes into account the people and organisations making decisions, and, in particular, the different arguments that are used when implementing policies. The framework will facilitate holistic ecosystem service analyses and support policies in generating conservation and sustainability impact.


      PubDate: 2015-05-28T01:54:05Z
       
  • Measurement matters in managing landscape carbon
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 August 2014
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Elizabeth A. Law , Brett A. Bryan , Nooshin Torabi , Sarah A. Bekessy , Clive A. McAlpine , Kerrie A. Wilson
      Carbon stocks and emissions are quantified using many different measures and metrics, and these differ in their surrogacy, measurement, and incentive value. To evaluate potential policy impacts of using different carbon measures, we modeled and mapped carbon in above-ground and below-ground stocks, as well as fluxes related to sequestration, oxidation and combustion in the Ex Mega Rice Project Area in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. We identify significant financial and carbon emission mitigation consequences of proxy choice in relation to the achievement of national emissions reduction targets. We find that measures of above-ground biomass carbon stock have both high measurement and incentive value, but low surrogacy for potential emissions or the potential for emissions reductions. The inclusion of below-ground carbon increased stocks and flows by an order of magnitude, highlighting the importance of protecting and managing soil carbon and peat. Carbon loss and potential emissions reduction is highest in the areas of deep peat, which supports the use of deep peat as a legislative metric. Divergence in patterns across sub-regions and through time further emphasizes the importance of proxy choice and highlights the need to carefully consider the objectives of the application to which the measure of carbon will be applied.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-05-18T00:55:13Z
       
  • 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: 2015-05-18T00:55:13Z
       
  • Analysis of ecosystem services provision in the Colombian Amazon using
           participatory research and mapping techniques
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Sara O.I. Ramirez-Gomez , Carlos A. Torres-Vitolas , Kate Schreckenberg , Miroslav Honzák , Gisella S. Cruz-Garcia , Simon Willcock , Erwin Palacios , Elena Pérez-Miñana , Pita A. Verweij , Guy M. Poppy
      Over the last two decades indigenous peoples in the lower Caquetá River basin in Colombia have experienced detrimental changes in the provision of important ecosystem services in ways that have significant implications for the maintenance of their traditional livelihoods. To assess these changes we conducted eight participatory mapping activities and convened 22 focus group discussions. We focused the analysis on two types of change: (1) changes in the location of ecosystem services provisioning areas and (2) changes in the stock of ecosystem services. The focal ecosystem services include services such as provision of food, raw materials and medicinal resources. Results from the study show that in the past two decades the demand for food and raw materials has intensified and, as a result, locations of provisioning areas and the stocks of ecosystem services have changed. We found anecdotal evidence that these changes correlate well with socio-economic factors such as greater need for income generation, change in livelihood practices and consumption patterns. We discuss the use of participatory mapping techniques in the context of marginalized and data-poor regions. We also show how this kind of information can strengthen existing ecosystem-based management strategies used by indigenous peoples in the Colombian Amazon.


      PubDate: 2015-05-18T00:55:13Z
       
  • A visualization and data-sharing tool for ecosystem service maps: Lessons
           learnt, challenges and the way forward
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 January 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): E.G. Drakou , N.D. Crossman , L. Willemen , B. Burkhard , I. Palomo , J. Maes , S. Peedell
      A plurality in methods, models, terminologies is used to assess, quantify, map and communicate ecosystem services (ES). The Thematic Working Groups on Mapping (TWG4) and Modeling ES (TWG5) of the Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP), recent literature and expert workshops, have highlighted the need for developing a platform that systematically organizes, visualizes and shares ES maps and related information. This led to the development of the Ecosystem Services Partnership Visualization Tool (ESP-VT), an open-access interactive platform that hosts a catalogue of ES maps with information on indicators, models and used data. Users can upload or download ES maps and associated information. ESP-VT aims at increasing transparency in ES mapping approaches to facilitate the flow of information within the ES community from academics to policy-makers and practitioners. Populating the ESP-VT with ES maps from different geographic locations, across different spatial scales, using different models and with various purposes, leads to a diverse and heterogeneous ES map library. The scientific community has not yet agreed on standards for ES terminology, methodologies and maps. However we do believe that populating and using the ESP-VT can set a basis for developing such standards and serve towards achieving interoperability among the varying ES related tools.


      PubDate: 2015-05-18T00:55:13Z
       
  • EnviroAtlas: A new geospatial tool to foster ecosystem services science
           and resource management
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2015
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 14
      Author(s): Brian R. Pickard , Jessica Daniel , Megan Mehaffey , Laura E. Jackson , Anne Neale
      In this article we present EnviroAtlas, a web-based, open access tool that seeks to meet a range of needs by bringing together environmental, economic and demographic data in an ecosystem services framework. Within EnviroAtlas, there are three primary types of geospatial data: research-derived ecosystem services indicator data in their native resolution, indicator data that have been summarized to standard reporting units, and reference data. Reporting units include watershed basins across the contiguous U.S. and Census block groups throughout featured urban areas. EnviroAtlas includes both current and future drivers of change, such as land use and climate, for addressing issues of adaptation, conservation, equity, and resiliency. In addition to geospatial data, EnviroAtlas includes geospatial and statistical tools, and resources that support research, education, and decision-making. With the development of EnviroAtlas, we facilitate the practice of ecosystem services science by providing a framework to track conditions across political boundaries and assess policies and regulations. EnviroAtlas is a robust research and educational resource, with consistent, systems-oriented information to support nationally, regionally, and locally focused decisions.


      PubDate: 2015-05-18T00:55:13Z
       
 
 
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