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Journal Cover Ecosystem Services
  [SJR: 2.169]   [H-I: 21]   [6 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 2212-0416
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3039 journals]
  • Images of nature as a boundary object in social and integrated ecosystem
           services assessments. Reflections from a Belgian case study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 September 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): R. De Vreese, M. Leys, N. Dendoncker, A. Van Herzele, C.M. Fontaine
      This paper contributes to the discussion on involving stakeholders in ecosystem services (ES) assessments and contributes to the practice of integrated ES assessments through introducing the “images of nature” concept. An inductive analysis of stakeholders’ notions of nature, their use of nature and the perceived importance of ES functioning in their municipality generated a two-dimensional images of nature valuation framework. The first dimension describes a Nature versus Culture continuum. The second dimension refers to the Nature-Humankind relationship, including three relations: Nature and Landscape for People, People for Nature and Landscape and an Imbalanced relation. We discuss the potential of the images of nature concept as a boundary object for participatory integrated ES assessment, planning and management. We situate the emerged images of nature within traditional approaches to human-nature relations. Based on our observations, we challenge the ES concept and ES typology, and plea for an integrated ES assessment framework incorporating social, economic and biophysical perspectives. We finish with outlining how images of nature can be a tool within participatory integrated ES assessments.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-09-06T17:22:04Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20




      PubDate: 2016-08-26T16:06:13Z
       
  • Multi-objective optimization to evaluate tradeoffs among forest ecosystem
           services following fire hazard reduction in the Deschutes National Forest,
           USA
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Svetlana A. (Kushch) Schroder, Sándor F. Tóth, Robert L. Deal, Gregory J. Ettl
      Forest owners worldwide are increasingly interested in managing forests to provide a broad suite of ecosystem services, balancing multiple objectives and evaluating management activities in terms of potential tradeoffs. We describe a multi-objective mathematical programming model to quantify tradeoffs in expected sediment delivery and the preservation of Northern spotted owl (NSO) habitat following fuel treatments to reduce fire hazard in the Deschutes National forest in Central Oregon, USA. Our model integrates the management objective of fire hazard reduction and the provision of ecosystem services (water quality and NSO habitat protection) and helps evaluate tradeoffs among them. Our results suggest significant reductions in fire hazard can be achieved without compromising any NSO habitat by strategically placing the treatments; however, the treatments will lead to a short term increase in sediment delivery. An analysis of environmental risks showed that over the longer term, the increase in sediment delivery and NSO habitat loss caused by wildfires would be 30–50% greater in areas without fuel treatments. The use of the multi-objective optimization model described in this study can help managers quantify and assess potential tradeoffs among ecosystem services and provide data for more informed decision making.


      PubDate: 2016-08-26T16:06:13Z
       
  • Assessment of provisioning and cultural ecosystem services in natural
           wetlands and rice fields in Kano floodplain, Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Risper Ajwang’ Ondiek, Nzula Kitaka, Steve Omondi Oduor
      This study assessed provisioning and cultural ecosystem services (ES) provided by natural wetlands and rice fields in two Kenyan wetlands; Ombeyi natural wetland and rice fields in Kore Irrigation Scheme. Data was collected through household questionnaire survey of 151 randomly selected farmers and 1 focus group discussion. The provisioning ES assessed included fibre; papyrus mats, reeds and thatching grass; fish and rice while cultural ES were religious/spiritual, eco-tourism, educational excursions and recreational use. The provisioning ES were quantified in terms of biophysical quantities and monetary value while cultural ES were graded per level of utilisation as low, medium and high. The study revealed that rice fields have enhanced food production (rice) in the area in addition to their higher value in terms of provisioning ES; rice (USD 602.49) and fish (USD 1039.50), and cultural ES (religious/spiritual and recreational use). In the natural wetland, both provisioning and cultural ES have declined over the past 20 years. The annual monetary value of USD 397.40 and 683.50 were observed for papyrus mats and fish production respectively in the natural wetland. Although rice fields seem to have higher value compared to the natural wetland sustainable utilisation of both systems is crucial in enhancing livelihoods.


      PubDate: 2016-08-26T16:06:13Z
       
  • Assessment of ecosystem services and benefits in village landscapes – A
           case study from Burkina Faso
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Hanna Sinare, Line J. Gordon, Elin Enfors Kautsky
      Most methods to assess ecosystem services have been developed on large scales and depend on secondary data. Such data is scarce in rural areas with widespread poverty. Nevertheless, the population in these areas strongly depends on local ecosystem services for their livelihoods. These regions are in focus for substantial landscape investments that aim to alleviate poverty, but current methods fail to capture the vast range of ecosystem services supporting livelihoods, and can therefore not properly assess potential trade-offs and synergies among services that might arise from the interventions. We present a new method for classifying village landscapes into social-ecological patches (landscape units corresponding to local landscape perceptions), and for assessing provisioning ecosystem services and benefits to livelihoods from these patches. We apply the method, which include a range of participatory activities and satellite image analysis, in six villages across two regions in Burkina Faso. The results show significant and diverse contributions to livelihoods from six out of seven social-ecological patches. The results also show how provisioning ecosystem services, primarily used for subsistence, become more important sources of income during years when crops fail. The method is useful in many data poor regions, and the patch-approach allows for extrapolation across larger spatial scales with similar social-ecological systems.


      PubDate: 2016-08-22T16:00:14Z
       
  • Synergies between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service
           provision: Lessons on integrated ecosystem service valuation from a
           Himalayan protected area, Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Kelvin S.-H. Peh, Ishana Thapa, Menuka Basnyat, Andrew Balmford, Gopal Prakash Bhattarai, Richard B. Bradbury, Claire Brown, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Maheshwar Dhakal, Hum Gurung, Francine M.R. Hughes, Mark Mulligan, Bhopal Pandeya, Alison J. Stattersfield, David H.L. Thomas, Matt Walpole, Jennifer C. Merriman
      We utilised a practical approach to integrated ecosystem service valuation to inform decision-making at Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park in Nepal. The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) was used to compare ecosystem services between two alternative states of the site (protection or lack of protection with consequent changed land use) to estimate the net consequences of protection. We estimated that lack of protection would have substantially reduced the annual ecosystem service flow, including a 74% reduction in the value of greenhouse gas sequestration, 60% reduction in carbon storage, 94% reduction in nature-based recreation, and 88% reduction in water quality. The net monetary benefit of the park was estimated at $11 million year-1. We conclude that: (1) simplified cost-benefit analysis between alternative states can be usefully employed to determine the ecosystem service consequences of land-use change, but monetary benefits should be subject to additional sensitivity analysis; (2) both biophysical indicators and monetary values can be standardised using rose plots, to illustrate the magnitude of synergies and trade-offs among the services; and (3) continued biodiversity protection measures can preserve carbon stock, although the benefit of doing so remains virtual unless an effective governance option is established to realise the monetary values.


      PubDate: 2016-08-22T16:00:14Z
       
  • Is groundwater recharge always serving us well? Water supply provisioning,
           crop production, and flood attenuation in conflict in Wisconsin, USA
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Eric G. Booth, Samuel C. Zipper, Steven P. Loheide, Christopher J. Kucharik
      Ecosystem service mapping can provide an avenue for making effective land management decisions in a holistic way. However, mapped quantities do not always appropriately represent the ecosystem services that are used by humans. We highlight this issue with a case study of groundwater recharge, water supply, flooding, and agricultural production in an urbanizing agricultural watershed in southern Wisconsin, USA. Groundwater recharge is typically treated as a beneficial ecosystem service or service indicator whose value to humans monotonically increases with the amount of recharge. While appropriate from a water supply perspective, this relationship breaks down when excess groundwater recharge leads to flooding and crop damage. We suggest moving beyond groundwater recharge as a stand-alone ecosystem service, and instead propose that observations and biophysical models should be used to quantify the final service humans receive from groundwater (e.g. reliability of water supply from a municipal well). Integration of such derived, point-based metrics with other ecosystem services that are more easily represented at the landscape scale remains a challenge for regional ecosystem service inventories and analyses.


      PubDate: 2016-08-22T16:00:14Z
       
  • Considerations in the valuation of urban green space: Accounting for user
           participation
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Matthew Dennis, Philip James
      Within the ecosystem services framework, valuations of natural capital have primarily taken a landscape-scale approach. The generation of transferable monetary values for individual ecosystems has likewise depended on assessments carried out at large spatial scales. Such methods, however, lack adequate regard for complex natural habitats. This complexity is heightened in urban areas where green spaces provide multiple services according to use and participation. Hence, there is a need to acknowledge the unique value of urban nature, and the socially-mediated nature of its productivity. This need was addressed through a study of collectively managed green spaces in a north-west England conurbation (UK). Ninety-one sites were identified, followed by a case study of twelve sites assessing their value across four ecosystem services. A subsequent projection of the value of stakeholder-led land management was calculated and compared to an existing reference for the value of urban green space from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity database. The study found that collectively managed sites contribute considerable added-value to urban natural capital. In addition, the work highlights the shortcomings of applying transferable values to multi-functional habitat types, calling for a closer consideration of social-ecological contexts in the valuation of ecosystem services.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-08-16T15:49:10Z
       
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services in supply chain management in the
           global forest industry
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Katja Lähtinen, Yucong Guan, Ning Li, Anne Toppinen
      Recognizing business risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) has triggered a need for identifying, measuring, monitoring and developing business management on these issues to meet stakeholder needs. The extractive industries with direct impacts and dependence on BES are particularly apt to encounter stakeholder pressures for profound corporate responsibility (CR) reporting. In our study, we investigate how global forest industry companies address BES in supply chain management through CR reporting practices in reference to 30 environmental performance indicators (EPIs) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The objectives of this study are: to identify the information content of the GRI EPIs for assessing directly or indirectly positive or negative impacts of companies’ operations on BES; to examine the environmental strategies of these companies in relation to BES and supply chain management; and to identify needs and possibilities of indicator development. The material of the study comprises CR reports of thirteen large forest industry companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index analyzed with content analysis. According to the results, companies tend to disclose indirect BES impacts over direct ones, emphasize corporations’ positive achievements over negative consequences, and focus on the supply chain in upstream activities rather than in downstream activities.


      PubDate: 2016-08-16T15:49:10Z
       
  • Investigating the inclusion of ecosystem services in biodiversity
           offsetting
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Céline Jacob, Anne-Charlotte Vaissiere, Adeline Bas, Coralie Calvet
      In response to growing international interest regarding the consideration of ecosystem services (ES) in the framework of biodiversity offsetting (BO) and the current lack of guidelines on the subject, we investigated the potential inclusion of ES in BO, highlighting the risks and opportunities. Our argument is premised on the assumption that a practical link already exists between the two and that most of the tools required to make this approach operational are available. But so far, ES are not explicitly taken into account when calculating and designing offsets (whether regulatory or voluntary). One way to integrate ES in BO is to use the Environmental Impact Assessments' framework, here we propose a logical way to integrate ES at each step of the implementation of the mitigation hierarchy and provide details on the links with existing practice. In our proposal, the inclusion of ES is presented as a way to complement current approaches based on the assessment of habitats/species/ecological functions rather than to replace them. We argue that measures proposed to offset biodiversity losses, in addition to respecting ecological performance standards, should equally be chosen to minimize residual losses of ES. The latter require offsetting by different types of complementary measures. Implementing these recommendations as good practice should strengthen the weight of biodiversity, demonstrate consideration of social equity, and result in better acceptance of development projects and the measures proposed to offset them.


      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Well-being and the use of ecosystem services by rural households of the
           Río Cruces watershed, southern Chile
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Luisa E. Delgado, Víctor H. Marín
      The main objective of this article is to analyse the relationship between human well-being (HWB) and ecosystem services (ES). We studied the Río Cruces watershed (Chile) as a social-ecological system by means of a social survey and compared the results with those previously obtained at the Aysén watershed. We surveyed six localities characterized by different types of habitat. HWB was assessed by means of two indicators (material conditions and quality of life) and ES through the analysis of provisioning and regulating services. Results for Río Cruces show no significant HWB differences between localities, with the exception of life satisfaction (lower on isolated localities). The use of provisioning and regulating services did not differ between localities, with the exception of two components (wood and soil fertility), and we only found a significant positive correlation between regulating services and HWB material conditions. The comparison between watersheds show that changes in HWB material conditions and both types of ES are positively correlated. We conclude that the relationship between human well-being and ecosystem services seems to be contextual to the analysed social-ecological system and that generalizations across systems may not be possible.


      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Corrigendum to “Community-based groundwater and ecosystem restoration in
           semi-arid north Rajasthan (2): Reviving cultural meaning and value”
           [Ecosyst. Serv. 18 (2016) 33–44]
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Mark Everard



      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Integrated valuation of ecosystem services obtained from restoring water
           to the environment in a major regulated river basin
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Rosalind H. Bark, Matthew J. Colloff, Darla Hatton MacDonald, Carmel A. Pollino, Sue Jackson, Neville D. Crossman
      Evaluating different environmental policy options requires extensive modelling of biophysical processes and attributes linked with metrics to measure the magnitude and distribution of societal impacts. An integrated ecosystem services assessment (IESA) has potential to provide salient, credible and legitimate information for environmental policy- and decision-makers. Here we present results of an IESA of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, an Australian Government initiative to restore aspects of river flow regimes to improve the ecological condition of floodplains, rivers and wetlands in south-eastern Australia. The main outcome from the IESA is that the supply of most ecosystem services (ES) improves under Basin Plan policy and that these improvements have considerable monetary value. An IESA can provide actionable ecological, economic and social information for policy- and decision-makers. In the Basin Plan case the IESA was underpinned by hydrological scenarios that were input into ecological models and interdisciplinary integration across scales, values and variables.


      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Assessing the impact of land-cover changes on ecosystem services: A first
           step toward integrative planning in Bordeaux, France
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Pedro Cabral, Clément Feger, Harold Levrel, Mélodie Chambolle, Damien Basque
      The quantification and integration of ecosystem services (ES) into urban planning decisions is becoming increasingly important. However, studies that quantify and analyze the impacts in terms of ES changes are still scarce. We analyzed multiple ES provided by the landscape of the Urban Community of Bordeaux (CUB), in France, between 1990 and 2006 as a result of land use and cover change (LUCC) with Corine Land Cover and other open data. These ES were selected with the help of local stakeholders and were calculated using a spatially explicit modeling approach with InVEST and own-produced models. It was found that all ES, except erosion regulation, have decreased as a consequence of LUCC. Results also suggest that LUCC change decisions which do not consider policy measures for ES protection tend to generate land use patterns providing lower levels of ES. This spatial explicit approach to ES modeling enables an informed discussion with stakeholders and may be used to effectively implement, monitor, and communicate future planning policies.


      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Assessing uncertainty in the profitability of prairie biomass production
           with ecosystem service compensation
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Ryan R. Noe, Elizabeth R. Nachman, Hannah R. Heavenrich, Bonnie L. Keeler, Daniel L. Hernández, Jason D. Hill
      Compensation for ecosystem services can encourage the management of agricultural systems for a broad range of benefits beyond crop production. Here we explore how payments for carbon sequestration and phosphorus retention affect the profitability and economic competitiveness of perennial herbaceous biomass. We consider the case of converting marginal land currently in corn and soy production in southern Minnesota, United States, to native diverse prairie grown as a biofuel feedstock. We estimate the resulting changes in soil carbon storage and water quality, and the economic value of both. To test the robustness of our results, we perform Monte Carlo simulations that incorporate variability and uncertainty in our model parameters. Our analyses show that prairie biomass production on marginal lands is 22% likely to be profitable when ecosystem service compensation is included, but only 5% when it is not. This suggests that the two ecosystem services modeled here may alone be insufficient to make prairie biomass production reliably profitable. Furthermore, by using ranges of model parameters rather than point estimates, this study shows that the profitability gap between conventional row crops and prairie is too large to be closed with the two services modeled here across a range of recent economic conditions.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Temporal scales, ecosystem dynamics, stakeholders and the valuation of
           ecosystems services
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Lars Hein, C.S.A. (Kris) van Koppen, Ekko C. van Ierland, Jakob Leidekker
      Temporal dimensions are highly relevant to the analysis of ecosystem services and their economic value. In this paper, we provide a framework that can be used for analyzing temporal dimensions of ecosystem services, we present a case study including an analysis of the supply of three ecosystem services in a Dutch national park, the Hoge Veluwe, over a time span of around a century, and we analyze the implications of temporal scales for ecosystem services analysis and valuation and ecosystem management. Our paper shows there can be major shifts in the values attributed to specific ecosystem services at time scales of decades or less. Changes in values at these time scales and are not commonly included in cost benefit analysis of ecosystem management options or natural capital accounts. Yet – given the long time lapse with which ecosystems may respond to management – these changes are highly relevant. We argue that ecosystem managers using cost benefit analysis should be aware of both uncertainties and of temporal changes in ecosystem values, and – to deal with unexpected changes in ecosystem services values - consider management strategies that target multiple ecosystem services.


      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Economic valuation of coral reef ecosystem service of coastal protection:
           A pragmatic approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Nicolas Pascal, Michel Allenbach, Angelique Brathwaite, Lauretta Burke, Guillaume Le Port, Eric Clua
      The identification and economic valuation of ecosystem services (ES) are becoming important components of coral reef management. In many contexts, protection of human assets against coastal floods is one of the most important ES provided by coral reefs. The methods utilized to characterize this ES should be able to accommodate situations with low data availability, without sacrificing robustness. In this paper, we suggest such an approach that utilizes expert opinion and does not require copious amounts of data. Our primary objective is to find a balance between simple and complex models that can be used in a data scarce environment, to produce an economic valuation of the coral reef ES of protection against coastal floods. The approach has three steps: (i) identify geographic zones and assets at risk, (ii) identify the contributing role of coral reefs in the protection of coasts and, (iii) value the annual repair costs of assets through the avoided damage cost approach. The proposed method seems appropriate for advocacy with policy makers, but appears to be less effective for small scale approaches, such as those required for Payment for ES negotiations or marine spatial planning.


      PubDate: 2016-08-11T15:38:43Z
       
  • Valuing instream-related services of wastewater
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Matthew A. Weber, Thomas Meixner, Juliet C. Stromberg
      In the southwestern US water resources are increasingly scarce, leaving perennial habitats and associated environmental amenities vulnerable to off-channel water demands. To provide management insight, the value of two instream flow related ecosystem services are estimated for two river reaches, for two separate population centers. The specific services are preservation of instream flow extent and accompanying Cottonwood-Willow riparian forest, and improving water quality to be safe for full body recreational contact. The case study is of a highly modified effluent-dominated waterway, yet strong support for maintaining wet river habitat was documented, apparently due mainly to ecological rather than recreational motivations. In general, the more distant river reach with more trees was more highly valued on a per mile basis, and the population center closest to both river reaches more highly valued their preservation. Support was mixed for increasing water treatment to allow safe full body contact. Well-known multinomial and mixed logit models are compared with a relatively new generalized mixed logit framework, with the latter performing best. Documentation of public values associated with the posed river management options assist decision-making for the case study and similar contexts lacking quantification of the value of instream flow related ecosystem services.


      PubDate: 2016-08-06T15:27:43Z
       
  • A conceptual framework for environmental flows assessment based on
           ecosystem services and their economic valuation
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Brij Gopal
      In recent decades, environmental flows has emerged a major instrument for sustaining and/or rehabilitating the ecosystem functions and services of rivers worldwide. The holistic methodologies of assessment of environmental flows (=EFlows) take into account the physical, biological, water quality and socio-cultural as well as livelihood aspects of riverine ecosystems, and increasingly depend upon consultations with experts and local communities to make a negotiated socio-political decision by consensus within the society. This paper presents a conceptual framework for the assessment of EFlows on the basis of a change in total ecosystem services and their total economic value with the alteration of flow regimes. Such an assessment would consider the gain and loss of ecosystem services both upstream and downstream of the point of intervention which alters the flow regime. It is also proposed that the economic valuation should provide for appropriate weightages to ecosystem services with a strong social, cultural and livelihood bearing in regional/local context. It is further argued that a top-down approach to E-Flows assessment should be followed wherever possible to convince the policy makers.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • Examining the ecosystem service of nutrient removal in a coastal watershed
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Chelsea E. Berg, Madeleine M. Mineau, Shannon H. Rogers
      Globally, managers are trying to prevent or halt the eutrophication of valuable estuaries and bays by reducing nutrient inputs, but justifying the cost of conservation or processing facility upgrades often proves challenging. We focus on a coastal watershed in Maine and New Hampshire struggling with the financial burdens of nitrogen pollution mandates due to the eutrophication of the Great Bay estuary. After creating two future watershed land cover scenarios comparing plausible extremes, we ran them through two models, the Natural Capital Project’s InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) and a detailed hydrologic and biogeochemical river network model FrAMES (Framework for Aquatic Modeling of the Earth System). Through this work, we both evaluated and valued the ecosystem service of nitrogen retention. We find that both models provide numerical arguments for conservation efforts, and decision makers would benefit from using either an ecosystem services model or a biogeochemical model when dealing with complex issues like nutrient overenrichment. According to both our modeling results, modest watershed conservation efforts as defined by our expert stakeholders, ie: protecting wetlands and forests, could reduce the amount of total nitrogen entering the Great Bay estuary in the range of 3–28 metric tons per year.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • Assessing the ecosystem service flood protection of a riparian forest by
           applying a cascade approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Nina-Christin Barth, Petra Döll
      We present a method for assessing the ecosystem service (ES) flood protection of riparian wetlands and apply it to a riparian forest in Germany. The suggested workflow implements a cascade approach to ES characterization in which current provisioning is assessed in four steps: (1) qualitative description of biophysical processes and structures, (2) definition and quantification of main and additional ecosystem functions, (3) qualitative description of economic and social benefits and (4) valuation. Future provisioning is addressed by identifying pressures and analyzing potential enhancements. Using flood hazard and risk maps produced in response to the EU floods directive, quantification of the ecosystem function water retention as well as monetary valuation by the replacement cost and avoided damage cost methods were achieved without site-specific hydrological-hydraulic modeling. Technical structures with the same water retention volume as the investigated ecosystem in case of an extreme flood would cost 68 million EUR (equivalent ES value EUR 1900/ha/yr). In case of a 10-year flood, the riparian forest avoids damage costs of at least 26 million EUR (EUR 4300/ha/yr). We provide suggestions for standardizing the application of both monetary valuation methods and discuss their information content as well approaches for non-monetary valuation of the ES flood protection.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • Assessing preconditions for implementing a Payment for Environmental
           Services initiative in Cotriguaçu (Mato Grosso, Brazil)
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Raissa Guerra
      The success of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) projects depends, in a large part, on the respect to the necessary conditions for implementing it. These preconditions are seldom studied in the literature and few authors exploit this subject. They are mostly concerned about analyzing if experiences fit the concept of PES or are successful, instead of understanding the reasons of this success. There are, thought, few authors concerned about the relevance on making ex ante analysis and looking at some preconditions, such as informational, economic, cultural, institutional, and competitive preconditions. This paper is concerned about a previous investigation of a project called Cotriguaçu Sempre Verde (CSV) in Mato Grosso and the extent to which it would be able to shelter a PES. All of these conditions were analyzed and sustained the decision taken by proponents of the initiative to not include a PES in the project. This analysis will contribute knowledge to stakeholders that are designing and implementing PES projects, and it should be part of the protocol for all PES initiatives.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • Community-based groundwater and ecosystem restoration in semi-arid north
           Rajasthan (3): Evidence from remote sensing
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Thomas Davies, Mark Everard, Michael Horswell
      Community-based measures recharging groundwater in semi-arid India has historically underpinned rural socio-ecological resilience, though are declining through technological, policy and other changes. Nevertheless, exemplars of community action are achieving catchment regeneration, including in Alwar District (Rajasthan) since the mid-1980s. This study analysed satellite remote sensing (RS) data to detect trends in groundwater and linked ecosystem services. Data from Landsat satellite missions offered a long time series and free access, though data gaps in the LandSat archive prior to 1997 limited time series analysis. ISODATA (Iterative Self Organising Data Analysis Technique) was used to analyse land cover trends, detecting increasing vegetation cover but not river rejuvenation due to limited spatial and spectral resolution. Analyses of NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) and MSI (Moisture Stress Index) were used to assess change in vegetation cover, vigour and moisture stress over time. Analytical outputs were equivocal, although inter-annual fluctuations were observed to follow antecedent rainfall as vegetation responded to rising soil moisture and groundwater. Despite these equivocal conclusions, the research strongly suggests that analysis of RS data with improved resolution can provide surrogate indicators of change in groundwater and associated ecosystem services, supporting formulation of flexible policies incorporating local action to regenerate socio-ecological systems.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • Prioritising ecosystem services in Chinese rural and urban communities
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Yuan Pan, Stuart Marshall, Lorraine Maltby
      Identifying ecosystem services that are important to society can help decision-makers to prioritize specific services for protection. However, ecosystem services may be valued differently by different sections of society. This study sets out an approach for assessing the use and prioritization of freshwater ecosystem services by people in rural and urban areas in China. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 30 rural and 30 urban respondents in the same region of Shandong province. Respondents were asked about how they used their local river and to prioritize ecosystem services provided by the river. In addition, respondents were asked to state whether they would be prepared to pay to protect their local river. The rural community used more ecosystem services and prioritized them more highly than the urban community; probably because they interacted with them more frequently. The results of this study raise the question of whether there should be different ecosystem services protection goals for rural and urban regions, as well as highlighting potential trade-offs between ecosystem services prioritized by different sections of society.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • Economic valuation of ecosystem services in Mexico: Current status and
           trends
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 21, Part A
      Author(s): Gustavo Perez-Verdin, Enrique Sanjurjo-Rivera, Leopoldo Galicia, Jose Ciro Hernandez-Diaz, Victor Hernandez-Trejo, Marco Antonio Marquez-Linares
      Using various sources of information, we reviewed the literature about the economic valuation of ecosystem services in Mexico. The objectives were to analyze the diversity and consistency of value estimations, identify research gaps, and suggest directions for future research. We found 43 studies that used non-market valuation methods to estimate the economic benefits of 24 types of ecosystem services. The most evaluated service was recreation, followed by water and food resources. Contingent valuation was the most cited method, followed by travel cost and choice experiment methods. While the number of studies is encouraging, many important ecosystem services still remain unnoticed and are not accounting towards the total economic value (e.g. pollination, medicine, bioenergy, etc.). In addition, the majority of studies revealed a lack of validity tests, which challenges the reliability of results. Hypothetical bias and the embedding effect are serious problems that must be addressed in future stated preference studies. Considering the issues reviewed here, we believe that the scientific community in Mexico should keep doing more research on economic valuation. This information can help to transit from hypothetical to real markets and to highlight the critical role of ecosystem services in society.


      PubDate: 2016-08-02T07:34:57Z
       
  • The flow regulation services of wetlands
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Andrew N. Kadykalo, C. Scott Findlay
      Wetlands potentially provide a range of ecological (or ecosystem) services including ground water recharge, nutrient retention, waste assimilation, shoreline stabilization, and carbon storage. One of the most cited and valuable services potentially provided by wetlands are their influence on flow regimes, especially flood attenuation and augmentation of low flows. Here we report the results of a meta-analysis of twenty-eight studies, including fifty-nine associated effect sizes, that have investigated the flow regulation services of wetlands. We found that, consistent with conventional wisdom, on average wetlands reduce the frequency and magnitude of floods and increase flood return period; augment low flows; and decrease runoff and streamflow. However, our results also indicate gross wetland characteristics have little predictive power with respect to the observed variation in the level of flow regulation services. This implies that in that in the absence of detailed site-specific information, estimates of flow regulation services provided by wetlands will generally have large uncertainty, as will any associated estimate of their economic value.


      PubDate: 2016-07-27T07:20:58Z
       
  • Criticism on elasticity-sensitivity coefficient for assessing the
           robustness and sensitivity of ecosystem services values
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): V.G. Aschonitis, M. Gaglio, G. Castaldelli, E.A. Fano
      The Coefficient of Sensitivity CS (or coefficient of elasticity) is used to determine the sensitivity and robustness of prices (coefficients) in the analysis of Ecosystem Services (ESs). The common CS approach is applied based on a specific % change of an ES coefficient keeping constant the coefficients of the remaining ESs. This approach assumes that when CS value is >1 then the estimated ES value is non-robust because it is elastic. The aim of this study is to show that the common approach of CS used in ESs studies is erroneously applied and interpreted. A simplistic calculus is provided which shows that the CS values of ESs a) are always in the range between 0 and 1 leading always to the conclusion that the applied coefficients by the users are robust, and b) are always independent by the % change of an ES coefficient defined by the user. Other reasons which question the validity of the common approach are that the CS values a) are always positive which is unrealistic in real market since it always violates the “law of demand” and b) can be manipulated by the user by changing the boundaries of the study area.


      PubDate: 2016-07-27T07:20:58Z
       
  • A conceptual framework for assessing the ecosystem service of waste
           remediation: In the marine environment
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Stephen C.L. Watson, David M. Paterson, Ana M. Queirós, Andrew P. Rees, Nicholas Stephens, Stephen Widdicombe, Nicola J. Beaumont
      In the marine environment, the ecosystem service of Waste Remediation (WR) enables humans to utilise the natural functioning of ecosystems to process and detoxify a large number of waste products and therefore avoid harmful effects on human wellbeing and the environment. Despite its importance, to date the service has been poorly defined in ecosystem service classifications and rarely valued or quantified. This paper therefore addresses a gap in the literature regarding the application of this key, but poorly documented ecosystem service. Here we present a conceptual framework by which the ecosystem service of WR can be identified, placed into context within current ecosystem classifications and assessed. A working definition of WR in the marine context is provided as is an overview of the different waste types entering the marine environment. Processes influencing the provisioning of WR are categorised according to how they influence the input, cycling/detoxification, sequestration/storage and export of wastes, with operational indicators for these processes discussed. Finally a discussion of the wider significance of the service of WR is given, including how we can maximise the benefits received from it. It is noted that many methods used in the assessment, quantification and valuation of the service are currently hampered due to the benefits of the service often not being tangible assets set in the market and/or due to a lack of information surrounding the processes providing the service. Conclusively this review finds WR to be an under researched but critically important ecosystem service and provides a first attempt at providing operational guidance on the long term sustainable use of WR in marine environments.


      PubDate: 2016-07-27T07:20:58Z
       
  • Evaluation of forest ecosystem services in Mediterranean areas. A regional
           case study in South Spain
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): María Anaya-Romero, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Beatriz Ibáñez, Teodoro Marañón
      An ecosystem services approach entails the development of a set of evaluation tools in order to quantify the benefits and vulnerabilities of each ecosystem. In this context, the current research explores the conceptualization of different evaluation tools for representative forest ecosystem services in Mediterranean areas. Mediterranean forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services, nevertheless they have to confront various threats such as deforestation, fires, and urban/industrial development. The Mediterranean region has suffered intense changes in land use over the past several decades such as intensification of agricultural and urban development, while marginal croplands have been abandoned and reforested. Thus, the dynamics of land use change have become an important driving force for the potential impact on ecosystem services. Quantifying the magnitude of land use change is therefore essential to estimate its consequences on ecosystem services. Taking this into account, the general aims of this research are (a) to evaluate the state and trends of forest ecosystem services at regional scale in Andalusia (South Spain), (b) to contribute to the methodology for accounting three main forest ecosystem services: carbon storage, protection of soil erosion, and cork oak provisioning, and (c) to assess how theses ecosystem services are affected by drivers of change, such as land use change. In this sense, the main results are the methodologies for the standardization and harmonization of the types of forest ecosystems using the mappings of land use (LULCMA), obtaining an objective quantification of the balance of surface supplying forest ecosystem services, and monitoring over time.


      PubDate: 2016-07-27T07:20:58Z
       
  • Applying ecosystem benefit valuation to inform quarry restoration planning
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Jost Wilker, Karsten Rusche, Alexander Benning, Michael A. MacDonald, Phillip Blaen
      European societies and economies depend heavily on a steady supply of materials extracted from quarries. Due to this dependence, a significant amount of space in Europe is covered with minerals extraction sites. For each of these, plans for the post-extraction phase are a policy-required need. The decision on after-use offers room for support by appropriate information to assess which restoration scenario delivers the highest benefits for society and nature. In this paper, we suggest an approach for assessing the wide range of information on ecosystem benefits that are provided by alternative restoration scenarios. Three case studies are presented, for which we develop and discuss integrated ecosystem benefit valuation approaches. The results suggest that, for these three case studies, the value of socio-cultural fulfillment provided by conservation-focused restoration outweigh the value of benign climate that is foregone by restoring to habitats with lower carbon storage and sequestration. Further, these site-specific results demonstrate how information can be narrowed down to be relevant for decision making in quarry restoration. Communication of these results is also key to improve decision making in quarry restoration, in order to increase ecosystem service knowledge among all stakeholders involved.


      PubDate: 2016-07-19T07:05:44Z
       
  • A comparison of cultural ecosystem service survey methods within South
           England
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 July 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Simon Willcock, Brittany J. Camp, Kelvin S.-H. Peh
      Across all societies, humans depend on goods received from nature, termed ecosystem services. However, cultural ecosystem services (CES), the non-material benefits people obtain from ecosystems, are often overlooked in land-use decision making due to their intangible nature. This study aimed to evaluate three possible survey methods for site-based CES data collection; language-based supervised surveys (in which interviewers conduct surveys in real-time, recording verbal responses), language-based unsupervised surveys (respondents complete written surveys without an interviewer), and image-based unsupervised surveys (respondents complete surveys via image selection without an interviewer). Language-based supervised surveys were found to be more efficient in collecting CES data than language-/image-based unsupervised surveys, with a mean completion rate over 1.5-fold greater than either unsupervised survey; furthermore, survey completion was over twice as fast, and less than a sixth of the monetary cost per respondent compared to unsupervised surveys. The site-based assessment developed in this study provides robust data, and is shown to provide rapid and useful feedback to land-use decision makers. We recommend that rapid, site-based assessment methods are utilised to collect the information required to support CES-related decision making.


      PubDate: 2016-07-19T07:05:44Z
       
  • Ecosystem service status and changes of degraded natural reserves – A
           study from the Changbai Mountain Natural Reserve, China
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Dandan Yu, Shijie Han
      The natural reserves are vital to human well-being, but are also highly sensitive to natural and human-induced disturbances. This paper takes the Changbai Mountain Natural Reserve (CMNR) in Northeastern China as a case to investigate the temporal-spatial variability of ecological capital of natural reserves. The method of Specifications for Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Service in China (LY/T1721–2008) was employed to quantify multiple ecosystem services in the CMNR from 1985 to 2010. Considering the particular requirements of forest ecosystem services and the availability of relevant basic data in the CMNR, this study selected four ecosystem services for 1985, 1997 and 2010 land-use/land-cover conditions: carbon fixation and oxygen release, soil conservation, water conservation and nutrient accumulation. The results show a mix of increases in services (carbon fixation and oxygen release, nutrient accumulation) and decreases in services (water conservation and soil conservation) from 1985 to 2010. Furthermore, we combined quantified and modeled ecosystem services to generate a suite of indices to identify ecosystem services and land-use/land-cover type that need to be targeted for conservation and mitigation. Our assessment can be used by land managers and policy makers in exploring multiple management scenarios and their implications for ecosystem services in natural reserves.


      PubDate: 2016-07-19T07:05:44Z
       
  • The co-benefits of biodiversity conservation programmes on wider ecosystem
           services
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): Zoё Austin, Alistair McVittie, Davy McCracken, Andrew Moxey, Dominic Moran, Piran C.L. White
      While multiple ecosystem service benefits are increasingly emphasised in policy as an outcome for land management, most conservation management and legislation is currently focused on conserving specific species and habitats. These management interventions may provide multiple co-benefits for other ecosystem services but more information is needed on where these synergies occur in order to realise these benefits. In this paper, we use expert data obtained from structured interviews with key stakeholders to examine the perceived impacts of 11 species-specific conservation schemes on wider ecosystem services in Scotland, UK. With some exceptions, impacts were perceived to be mostly positive or neutral, suggesting that there are many potential opportunities when looking to manage for the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. Unsurprisingly, 'wild species diversity’ and ‘environmental settings’ are the ecosystem services perceived to benefit the most from species conservation management. Despite the clear benefits of aligning biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives, many challenges remain and future policy and associated management will need to tackle issues of scale as well as the distribution of costs and benefits.


      PubDate: 2016-07-04T04:45:05Z
       
  • A spatially-explicit technique for evaluation of alternative scenarios in
           the context of ecosystem goods and services
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): A. Teague, M. Russell, J. Harvey, D. Dantin, J. Nestlerode, F. Alvarez
      Ecosystems contribute to maintaining human well-being directly through provision of goods and indirectly through provision of services that support clean water, clean air, flood protection and atmospheric stability. Transparently accounting for biophysical attributes from which humans derive benefit is essential to support dialog among the public, resource managers, decision makers, and scientists. We analyzed the potential ecosystem goods and services production from alternative future land use scenarios in the US Tampa Bay region. Ecosystem goods and service metrics included carbon sequestration, nitrogen removal, air pollutant removal, and stormwater retention. Each scenario was compared to a 2006 baseline land use. Estimated production of denitrification services changed by 28% and carbon sequestration by 20% between 2006 and the “business as usual” scenario. An alternative scenario focused on “natural resource protection” resulted in an estimated 9% loss in air pollution removal. Stormwater retention was estimated to change 18% from 2006 to 2060 projections. Cost effective areas for conservation, almost 1588ha, beyond current conservation lands, were identified by comparing ecosystem goods and services production to assessed land values. Our ecosystem goods and services approach provides a simple and quantitative way to examine a more complete set of potential outcomes from land use decisions.


      PubDate: 2016-06-29T06:32:08Z
       
  • Geosystem services: A concept in support of sustainable development of the
           subsurface
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): C.C.D.F. Van Ree, P.J.H. van Beukering
      Because functions of the subsurface are hidden from view, its important role in society is often taken for granted. Underground use in cities and subsurface resource extraction rapidly increase. Ensuring sustainability of the subsurface role requires balancing between exploitation and conservation, recognizing the non-renewability of abiotic resources and the long time cycles in the subsurface. This paper introduces the concept of geosystem services as a framework to analyze the issue of sustainable use of the subsurface in a systemic and holistic manner. Four main elements make up the framework: geosystems, services, values, and governance. Complementarity between the concepts of geosystem and ecosystems services is highlighted by classifying geosystem services in provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. Geosystem services are distinguished from ecosystem services by systematically reflecting on three cross-cutting themes (i.e. space, scale and time). Applying the concept of ‘geosystem services’ results in improved integration in areas where trade-offs occur between ‘geosystem services’ stemming from the subsurface and ‘ecosystem services’ at surface. The geosystem services concept helps framing a more sustainable process of urbanization, and contributes to a spatially explicit linkage of (mineral) resource production to consumption, environmental impacts on the ecosystem and (global) governance of resources and resource efficiencies.


      PubDate: 2016-06-29T06:32:08Z
       
  • Valuing forest ecosystem services and disservices – Case study of a
           protected area in India
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 20
      Author(s): K.N. Ninan, Andreas Kontoleon
      This study estimates the value of forest ecosystem services provided by a protected area in a biodiversity hotspot in India. It also addresses some of the shortcomings identified in existing literature by estimating the value of several intangible benefits, and disservices of forests ignored in most valuation studies, as well as the added value from intact forests as compared to from alternative landscapes. Using primary and secondary data, and economic valuation techniques the study shows that the total net benefits provided by the Nagarhole national park in Karnataka, India are considerable. The added value of benefits from the park is also higher as compared to from alternative landscapes considering just three ecosystem services. If these are factored in decision making it could strengthen the economic case for conserving forests in tropical countries such as India where there is immense pressure to divert forests for meeting development needs.


      PubDate: 2016-06-13T11:40:12Z
       
  • Provisioning ecosystem services-sharing as a coping and adaptation
           strategy among rural communities in Ghana's semi-arid ecosystem
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Yaw Agyeman Boafo, Osamu Saito, Godfred Seidu Jasaw, Kei Otsuki, Kazuhiko Takeuchi
      As complex challenges linked to changing socio-economic, environmental, political, and cultural conditions continually hamper the delivery of ecosystem services to natural resource dependent communities, local level adaptation needs attention. This paper presents the findings of an empirical survey in rural semi-arid Ghana investigating how households are employing communal sharing as a strategy to enhance access and management of nine provisioning ecosystem services (provisioning ES) namely crops and vegetables, livestock and poultry, bushmeat, freshwater, wildplants, fodder and forage, traditional medicine, fuelwood, and building materials. The results indicate that the variations in the sharing patterns of the nine provisioning ES can be linked to a mix of closely-linked socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental factors. Traditional medicine is the most commonly shared, whilst building materials are the least commonly shared. Sharing intensifies during the long dry season for majority of the provisioning ES. Logistic regression modeling indicates annual household income to be the most significant socio-demographic variable influencing participation in sharing. A greater proportion of interviewed household heads (64%) perceive sharing to be on the decline. These findings provide important baseline data for further quantitative and qualitative research exploring sharing's potential contribution to rural households’ livelihoods sustenance and ecosystem sustainability under changing conditions.


      PubDate: 2016-06-13T11:40:12Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19




      PubDate: 2016-06-13T11:40:12Z
       
  • Holistic valuation of urban ecosystem services in New York City's Central
           Park
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Paul C. Sutton, Sharolyn J. Anderson
      Central Park is iconic Green Infrastructure that provides myriad ecosystem services to New York City that have significant economic value. We used the market value of Central Park as developable real estate as a proxy measure of the minimum value of the ecosystem services provided by Central Park. We present $500 billion as a reasonable estimate of the market value of Central Park as developable real estate. We assume this $500 billion of natural capital converted to money could earn a 5% annual return ($25 Billion per year). This return is an estimate of the value of annual ecosystem services provided by the 341 ha that constitute Central Park. This is over $70 million per hectare per year which is orders of magnitude higher than the estimated value of ecosystem services provided by the most valuable biomes of previous estimates. The very high value of the ecosystem services provided by Central Park result from an interaction of social, natural, human, and built capital. These interactions are poorly addressed from the dominant economic worldview that governs social and environmental policy today. These findings also suggest that the ‘up vs. out’ questions associated with sustainable urban development do not have simple answers.


      PubDate: 2016-06-13T11:40:12Z
       
  • Shedding light on the usability of ecosystem services–based decision
           support systems: An eye-tracking study linked to the cognitive probing
           approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Thomas Michael Klein, Thomas Drobnik, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
      The requirements for communicating ecosystem services (ES) information often are not considered in operationalizing ES concepts. In particular, the heterogeneous uses of ES require different functionalities and qualities for the information provided, which must be considered when processing ES data into different types of information. The relevant factors that influence the usability of ES information include the users’ knowledge and cognitive ability as well as case study–specific factors. This missing knowledge can affect the transformation of the ES concept into practice, thus preventing the use of ES for further development or for transformation to sustainable management. Providing information that is relevant and useful for decision-making thus depends on understanding potential users’ demands and their cognitive processes involving the information in making decisions. In this contribution, we present the evaluation of specific design features of a prototype ES decision support system assessed in an eye-tracking experiment. The study was conducted with more than 100 participants who were split into two groups. The participants in both groups had a background in spatial planning but differed in their connection to the case study region. The tool presented various GIS-based modeled land-use scenarios driven by a new spatial planning policy recently adopted in Switzerland that lead to various impacts on ES in the region. The ES information was shown with additional land-use indicators as well as information about the landscape aesthetic in landscape visualizations. The results show that there were significant differences between the participants in the way they perceived, interpreted and used the information for ES-based decision-making tasks. We also identified critical key factors defining the types of representation of the information that influence perception and cognitive processes. In summary, the results of the study provide design recommendations for representing ES information based on the intended use and identify critical representation features that could potentially influence the perception of ES information.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2016-05-14T06:27:27Z
       
  • Assessing the services of high mountain wetlands in tropical Andes: A case
           study of Caripe wetlands at Bolivian Altiplano
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Vanessa Gandarillas R., Yong Jiang, Kenneth Irvine
      High mountain wetlands in the tropical central Andes are a representative ecosystem critically important for both global biodiversity and local livelihoods of indigenous communities. This study was intended to characterize and highlight the socio-economic importance of high mountain wetlands in relation to the livelihood and indigenous culture of local human settlements. In this study, we focused on wetlands at Caripe in the Altiplano, a community located at the northeast edge of the Sajama National Park in central western Bolivia. We adopted the ecosystem serve framework combined with economic valuation to assess five major wetland services considered either benefiting local households or of global conservation value, including water supply, livestock grazing, recreation, cultural and natural heritage and aesthetics, and biodiversity. We conducted a field survey including household interviews to collect information needed for assessing considered wetland services that characterizes indigenous community residents, their livelihoods in relation to wetlands, local perceptions on wetlands and provided services, and household willingness to pay in labor time for protecting the cultural services of wetlands. The study found that: 1) the community was characterized by relatively young people of poor education, with most raising livestock and living in extreme poverty; 2) most community households valued local wetlands and were concerned about wetland degradation; 3) lack of awareness or knowledge about wetlands ecological complexity in relation to human impact could be the reason for wetland degradation; 4) the services of wetlands were not equally important to the community; 5) local perception and judgment on wetlands status were based much on the availability, stability, and quality of the services they can derive; 6) livestock grazing generated the highest economic benefit estimated at about US$ 323 per year per hectare of wetlands, followed by biodiversity with an economic benefit of US$200 per year per hectare; 7) the economic value of cultural and natural heritage and sense of aesthetics was estimated at US$ 55 per year per hectare; and 8) the services of recreation and water supply had the lowest economic value of about US$17 per year per hectare and US$9 per year per hectare, respectively. This study sheds some light on the importance of high Andean wetlands to indigenous communities in the Altiplano while identifying research needs for the future.


      PubDate: 2016-05-14T06:27:27Z
       
  • Are the major imperatives of food security missing in ecosystem services
           research?
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Gisella S. Cruz-Garcia, Erwan Sachet, Martha Vanegas, Kyle Piispanen
      It has been widely recognized that food security depends on the sustainable use and provisioning of ecosystem services. The goal of this paper is to present an overview of the scientific literature on ecosystem services and food security, with a major focus on case studies of farming communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in order to answer the following research questions: (1) does ecosystem services research generate knowledge that helps to address the major imperatives of food security?, and (2) are the multiple linkages between ecosystem services and food security analyzed or assumed in research? The results of the study highlighted that food utilization, access and stability, which are the major food security challenges in the world, remained under-investigated. There is a major bias on food availability in relation to crop production, and most articles assumed that food security would improve by increasing crop productivity, but this hypothesis remained largely untested. Other research blind-spots were co-production, trade-offs and off-site effects of ecosystem services in relation to food security, gender and cultural services. The study concludes that ecosystem services research needs to improve efforts to generate knowledge that helps to address the main imperatives of food security.


      PubDate: 2016-05-07T17:18:25Z
       
  • The amenity value of Abu Dhabi's coastal and marine resources to its beach
           visitors
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): James Blignaut, Myles Mander, Roula Inglesi-Lotz, Jane Glavan, Stephen Parr
      Abu Dhabi, marketed as a centre of economic development in its geographic area during the post-oil era, is renowned for being a choice destination of high value individuals and tourists, due to its rich coastal and marine resources as well as the high quality of services. Outbreaks of harmful algae blooms (HAB) (red tides) due to increased eutrophication as a result of a decline in water quality, however, is posing a serious threat to the amenity values the tourist can appreciate. The amenity values include beach and ocean views, recreation and sport opportunities and facilities, as attractions, among others. To investigate the amenity value of the coastal and marine resources of Abu Dhabi to the beach visitors, we use a contingent valuation assessment after collecting data from a sample of 103 beach visitors. We conducted an econometric analysis to examine factors that potentially affect their behaviour. We determined firstly if the respondents were willing to accept compensation for visiting another beach in the event of an outbreak of HAB and its amount; or in another scenario if they would be willing to pay an annual fee, and its amount, for restoration and mitigation of the beach pollution. The results show that the beach amenity value, therefore, is estimated at between US$8.3million/ha and US$13.8million/ha based on the beach size. Factors such as the travel time from place of current residence the beach, the residence status, the number of beach visits and household size and income have affected the willingness-to-accept (WTA) of the respondents.


      PubDate: 2016-05-07T17:18:25Z
       
  • Ethnic and locational differences in ecosystem service values: Insights
           from the communities in forest islands in the desert
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Aida Cuni-Sanchez, Marion Pfeifer, Rob Marchant, Neil D. Burgess
      Understanding cultural preferences toward different ecosystem services is of great importance for conservation and development planning. While cultural preferences toward plant species have been long studied in the field of plant utilisation, the effects of ethnicity on ecosystem services identification and valuation has received little attention. We assessed the effects of ethnicity toward different ecosystem services at three similar forest islands in northern Kenya inhabited by Samburu and Boran pastoralists. Twelve focus groups were organised in each mountain, to evaluate the ecosystem services provided by the forest, and assess which plant species are most important for provisioning different ecosystem services. While water was always identified as the most important ecosystem service, the second most important differed; and some were only mentioned by one ethnic group or in one location. Preferred plant species for food, fodder, medicine resources, poles and firewood followed the same pattern. Our results showed that ethnicity and location affect ecosystem services’ identification and importance ranking. This should be taken into account by decision-makers, e.g. as restricted access and regulated extraction is likely to affect people differently. Conservation and development projects would be more effective if they were initiated with an understanding of how people already use and value their forests.


      PubDate: 2016-05-07T17:18:25Z
       
  • Integrated evaluation of Ecosystem Services in Prawn-Rice rotational
           crops, Vietnam
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 May 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): Ho Huu Loc, Nguyen Thi Hong Diep, Nguyen Trong Can, Kim N. Irvine, Yoshihisa Shimizu
      The hydrologic condition in Kien Giang province on the west coast of Vietnam's Mekong Delta is unique in the sense that it has extensive saline water intrusion during the dry season every year. Instead of a triple crop scheme like other areas in the Delta, a prawn and rice rotational cultivation scheme was initiated to facilitate agricultural production in Kien Giang. In this paper, the ecosystem services (ES) generated from the agriculture ecosystem under the prawn and rice rotational crops (PRRC) were assessed using an integrated approach. The specific ES identified here include water and nutrition regulation in the soil together with climate regulation in favor of the cultivated crops. A multi-disciplinary approach including remote sensing, GIS, social surveys and statistical analysis was adopted to comprehensively evaluate the geographical, biophysical, economic and social aspects of the ES. Firstly, Landsat 8 images were processed with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI) and Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI) to identify the areas cultivating PRRC. The accuracy of image classification was assessed by ground truthing and we found an 80% coincidence between the simulated results and the field observations. Then, the social survey was conducted using face to face interviews at 50 local households to collect data related to farming practices. Economic values of ecosystem services were obtained using the revised market methods by annual crop yields per unit area. The mean estimated value of ES provided through the PRRC was 1300 USD/ha/year (standard deviation of 600 USD/ha/year) which accounted for 38.1% and 59.4% of the averaged economic revenue and net benefit, respectively. The analysis of social survey data revealed the factors having the greatest effects on ecosystem services values were selling prices of prawn and farming experiences. Finally, results were synthesized with GIS to describe how ES values vary across the research area which facilitates effective communication of the importance of ES concepts to policy makers regarding land use planning and natural resources management decisions.


      PubDate: 2016-05-07T17:18:25Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 18




      PubDate: 2016-04-26T16:59:04Z
       
  • Valuation of ecosystem services to inform management of multiple-use
           landscapes
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): Shan Ma, Jennifer M. Duggan, Bradley A. Eichelberger, Brynn W. McNally, Jeffrey R. Foster, Eda Pepi, Marc N. Conte, Gretchen C. Daily, Guy Ziv
      Public agencies worldwide are increasingly adopting an ecosystem service framework to manage lands serving multiple uses. Yet, reliable, practical, and well-tailored methods remain a major limitation in moving from conceptual to actionable approaches. Together with one of the largest federal land managing agencies, we co-develop and co-demonstrate an ecosystem services approach tailored to specific decisions, through a process with potentially widespread relevance. With the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), we focus on balancing military training with biodiversity and resource conservation under both budgetary and land-use pressures at a representative installation. In an iterative process of co-design and application, we define, map, and quantify multiple ecosystem services under realistic management options. Resource management budget emerges as a major determinant of the degree to which managers can sustain both necessary training environments – a DoD-specific ecosystem service – and a prairie ecosystem with species of conservation concern. We also found clear tradeoffs between training intensity and forest-related services. Our co-developed approach brings otherwise hidden values and tradeoffs to the fore in a balanced way that can help public agencies safeguard priority services under potentially conflicting uses and budget limitations.


      PubDate: 2016-04-09T15:06:03Z
       
  • Abiotic flows should be inherent part of ecosystem services classification
    • Abstract: Publication date: June 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 19
      Author(s): E.S. van der Meulen, L.C. Braat, J.M. Brils
      Although ecosystems comprise both biotic and abiotic structures and processes, the role of abiotic output receives less attention and is addressed inconsistently in ecosystem services (ES) classification systems. The authors explore the nature and position of abiotic ecosystem output from: 1) a theoretical perspective on ecosystems, ecosystems services and natural capital; 2) a practical perspective on applying the ES concept in environmental policy, spatial planning and ecosystem management. From a theoretical point of view, excluding abiotic flows in ES frameworks such as CICES is inconsistent with the principles of the ES concept. Consequently, abiotic flows with (high) societal relevance may in practice be neglected or selectively addressed; many of them are related to sediment and the subsurface part of ecosystems. This impedes the integration strength of the ES concept. Given the large contributions to the economy and the societal costs of non-sustainable use of abiotic flows, it also impedes holistic, consistent and transparent information provision to decision makers. The authors urge to include abiotic flows as inherent part in ecosystem services classification systems such as CICES. This makes the application of the ES concept more holistic and consistent and will optimize it's integration power for practical planning and decision making.


      PubDate: 2016-04-06T14:59:29Z
       
  • Coordinated service provision in payment for ecosystem service schemes
           through adaptive governance
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 February 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services
      Author(s): David C. Cook, Nadiah P. Kristensen, Shuang Liu
      In this paper, we look to the adaptive governance literature for insight into how payment schemes for the provision of ecosystem services might be designed to achieve multiple socially desirable objectives over different spatial scales instead of simply focusing on localised benefits for service providers. Using the principles of adaptive governance, we explore how the concepts of lateral information flows and incentive alignment might shape ecosystem service payment schemes and allow the coordination of ecosystem service priorities across different jurisdictions. We suggest that progressing from purely anthropocentric assessments of payment schemes towards biocentric evaluations may lead to improved design principles. We discuss specific advantages of adaptive governance approaches over traditional centralised governance models related to policy-experimentation at multiple spatial scales, institutional variety and deliberative decision-making processes that establish dialogue between service providers and beneficiaries that promote group learning.


      PubDate: 2016-03-07T06:41:37Z
       
  • Sustainable energy potential from biomass through ecosystem services
           trade-off analysis: The case of the Province of Rovigo (Northern Italy)
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2016
      Source:Ecosystem Services, Volume 18
      Author(s): Elena Gissi, Mattias Gaglio, Matelda Reho
      Bioenergy production is an important Ecosystem Service (ES) provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems, which can concur to reach EU targets of 20% of total energy production from renewable sources. Environmental concerns with respect to bioenergy are multiple. Certification Schemes, aimed at reducing the negative effects of biomass energy supply chains, are not effective in controlling possible cumulative effects at regional level caused by both macro and micro feedstock producers and users. Sustainable feedstock production is often underestimated in energy planning and in the issuing of plant permits. This study applies an ES-based approach in order to quantify and map bioenergy sustainable potential in the Province of Rovigo (Region of Veneto, Italy), an intensively farmed agro-environment, and translate bioenergy environmental impacts in terms of ES trade-offs. The results show that the share of bioenergy potential from trade-offs with other ESs is limited. The magnitude and variability of ESs trade-offs are analyzed and discussed, resulting in a spatial distribution which is place-based and context dependent. Management solutions should be considered in order to mitigate trade-offs with other ESs, increasing ecological and social acceptability.


      PubDate: 2016-02-12T04:12:03Z
       
 
 
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