Ecosystem Services and Uses

Applying the ecosystem services - EBM framework to sustainably manage Qatar's coral reefs and seagrass beds

Fanning LM, Al-Naimi MNasser, Range P, Ali A-SM, Bouwmeester J, Al-Jamali F, Burt JA, Ben-Hamadou R. Applying the ecosystem services - EBM framework to sustainably manage Qatar's coral reefs and seagrass beds. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2021 ;205:105566. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096456912100051X?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Given the current natural and anthropogenic threats facing Qatar's marine environment and the consequential expected decline in ecosystem services, this paper examines the potential application of the Ecosystem Services-EBM framework developed by Granek et al. (2010) to sustainably manage Qatar's coral reef and seagrass bed ecosystems. Using interviews with stakeholders and field-collected data from sixteen coral reef sites and 6 seagrass meadows as well as secondary data, the paper presents new knowledge regarding the status of these ecosystems and the benefits they provide that are most valued by stakeholders. The research identifies existing and missing ecological and socio-economic data, as well as the processes and management strategies required to implement the five-step framework within a Qatari context. Key goals for implementing EBM identified by stakeholders include: adoption of scientific planning and valuation of marine environment, contextualizing and drafting legislation, regulations and policies in support of EBM; monitoring and enforcement of laws; and, promotion of public awareness and engagement. The article concludes with recommendations for filling remaining data gaps and highlights opportunities available to Qatar to become a leader in implementing EBM. These include maximizing the increasing role that stakeholders can play in mitigating further decline of the country's coastal ecosystems and leveraging mega events planned in Qatar, such as FIFA World Cup 2022.

Applying the ecosystem services - EBM framework to sustainably manage Qatar's coral reefs and seagrass beds

Fanning LM, Al-Naimi MNasser, Range P, Ali A-SM, Bouwmeester J, Al-Jamali F, Burt JA, Ben-Hamadou R. Applying the ecosystem services - EBM framework to sustainably manage Qatar's coral reefs and seagrass beds. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2021 ;205:105566. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096456912100051X?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Given the current natural and anthropogenic threats facing Qatar's marine environment and the consequential expected decline in ecosystem services, this paper examines the potential application of the Ecosystem Services-EBM framework developed by Granek et al. (2010) to sustainably manage Qatar's coral reef and seagrass bed ecosystems. Using interviews with stakeholders and field-collected data from sixteen coral reef sites and 6 seagrass meadows as well as secondary data, the paper presents new knowledge regarding the status of these ecosystems and the benefits they provide that are most valued by stakeholders. The research identifies existing and missing ecological and socio-economic data, as well as the processes and management strategies required to implement the five-step framework within a Qatari context. Key goals for implementing EBM identified by stakeholders include: adoption of scientific planning and valuation of marine environment, contextualizing and drafting legislation, regulations and policies in support of EBM; monitoring and enforcement of laws; and, promotion of public awareness and engagement. The article concludes with recommendations for filling remaining data gaps and highlights opportunities available to Qatar to become a leader in implementing EBM. These include maximizing the increasing role that stakeholders can play in mitigating further decline of the country's coastal ecosystems and leveraging mega events planned in Qatar, such as FIFA World Cup 2022.

Towards an ecosystem service-based method to quantify the filtration services of mussels under chemical exposure

Wang J, K. Koopman R, Collas FPL, Posthuma L, de Nijs T, Leuven RSEW, A. Hendriks J. Towards an ecosystem service-based method to quantify the filtration services of mussels under chemical exposure. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2021 ;763:144196. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720377275?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As filter-feeders, freshwater mussels provide the ecosystem service (ES) of biofiltration. Chemical pollution may impinge on the provisioning of mussels' filtration services. However, few attempts have been made to estimate the impacts of chemical mixtures on mussels' filtration capacities in the field, nor to assess the economic benefits of mussel-provided filtration services for humans. The aim of the study was to derive and to apply a methodology for quantifying the economic benefits of mussel filtration services in relation to chemical mixture exposure. To this end, we first applied the bootstrapping approach to quantify the filtration capacity of dreissenid mussels when exposed to metal mixtures in the Rhine and Meuse Rivers in the Netherlands. Subsequently, we applied the value transfer method to quantify the economic benefits of mussel filtration services to surface water-dependent drinking water companies. The average mixture filtration inhibition (filtration rate reduction due to exposure to metal mixtures) to dreissenids was estimated to be <1% in the Rhine and Meuse Rivers based on the measured metal concentrations from 1999 to 2017. On average, dreissenids on groynes were estimated to filter the highest percentage of river discharge in the Nederrijn-Lek River (9.1%) and the lowest in the Waal River (0.1%). We estimated that dreissenid filtration services would save 110–12,000 euros/million m3 for drinking water production when abstracting raw water at the end of respective rivers. Economic benefits increased over time due to metal emission reduction. This study presents a novel methodology for quantifying the economic benefits of mussel filtration services associated with chemical pollution, which is understandable to policymakers. The derived approach could potentially serve as a blueprint for developing methods in examining the economic value of other filter-feeders exposed to other chemicals and environmental stressors. We explicitly discuss the uncertainties for further development and application of the method.

Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services valuation into coastal wetlands restoration: A case study from South Australia

Clarke B, Thet AKo, Sandhu H, Dittmann S. Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services valuation into coastal wetlands restoration: A case study from South Australia. Environmental Science & Policy [Internet]. 2021 ;116:220 - 229. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901120314027?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Elaborating the benefits humans receive from coastal wetlands using a Cultural Ecosystem Services assessment is an emergent and important field linking human wellbeing to ecosystem function. Translating these benefits into useable concepts for environmental policymakers, and managers is challenging yet important for supporting landscape restoration projects. This study responds to the call for Cultural Ecosystem Services case studies beyond the northern hemisphere. A household survey of residents adjacent to a peri-urban coastal wetland in South Australia and an online survey of interest groups were administered to identify co-benefits associated with a coastal restoration project in the region. A dynamic/relational cultural values framework guided the analysis. Findings reveal that visitation has a positive influence; people valued most the places with which they were familiar. The analysis confirms a mutual connection between: ‘doing’ (undertaking an activity), environmental awareness and appreciation, the formation of attachment to place, and having positive experiences. The analysis also points out that the naturalness of this coastline is highly valued. The findings here diverge from previous coastal landscape assessments based singularly on scenic value. The implication is that localised, place-based landscape assessments which include cultural values, offer a more deliberative approach to policy development and planning and will more likely incorporate what matters most to people.

Testing the ecosystem service cascade framework for Atlantic salmon

Worthington TA, Worthington I, Vaughan IP, Ormerod SJ, Durance I. Testing the ecosystem service cascade framework for Atlantic salmon. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2020 ;46:101196. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041620301388?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Aligning nature protection with human well-being for the UN Sustainable Development Goals implies that conservation monitoring should indicate the sustainability of ecosystem services (ES). Here we test the value of the ES cascade framework using national, multi-decadal data for an iconic freshwater fish, the Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. For the first time, we assemble all long-term monitoring data for England and Wales along the ES cascade for this species from resource to benefit: juvenile density to measure the biological resource, returning adult numbers to measure potential ES use, and rod catches and angling effort as measures of actual ES use. We aimed to understand how the ES cascade framework reconciled conservation with ES sustainability targets.

Only some linkages along the ES cascade could be evidenced: in catchments where juveniles declined, rod catches also generally decreased, but angling effort declined everywhere irrespective of the biological resource trends. We suggest that i) programmes focused on juvenile monitoring provide an early-warning system for ES provision as well as nature conservation, ii) the ES cascade framework can reconcile nature conservation and ES sustainability if monitoring efforts link biological resources fully to the ES, and ES monitoring explicitly relates biological resources to human use.

Identifying spatial patterns and interactions among multiple ecosystem services in an urban mangrove landscape

I JBerhane Al, Richards DRex, Gaw LYan-Feng, Masoudi M, Nathan Y, Friess DA. Identifying spatial patterns and interactions among multiple ecosystem services in an urban mangrove landscape. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2021 ;121:107042. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X2030981X?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As urbanisation pressures on ecosystems are set to increase, trade-offs between ecosystem service are also likely to increase. Management strategies that minimise trade-offs and promote sustainable development to optimise ecosystem multi-functionality are therefore needed. Many coastal cities may however struggle to find the resources and capacity to operationalise ecosystem service agendas. Therefore, the objective of this study is to propose and test the suitability of a multi-functional landscape approach to ecosystem service assessments using the case study of Singapore, with focus on five ecosystem services: water and air pollution control, global climate, local temperature and recreational potential services. Our results show clear heterogeneity in the capacity of mangroves to supply different ecosystem services, with a general tendency for greater amounts of supply in larger mangrove patches, and for ecosystem services to aggregate producing hotspots of supply. Overall, a 24% of the mangrove landscape supported aggregations of at least one, two or three ecosystem services, but only <1% of the mangrove landscape supporting overlapping aggregations of all five services. Ecosystem services also co-varied to produce trade-offs and synergies, with ecosystem service bundling largely driven by regulating services. Areas of ecosystem service synergy and hotsport overlap represent possible priority areas of future conservation or management, and highlight what might be lost if significant degradation were allowed to occur. Further, the large spatial mismatch among ecosystem service hotspots also highlights the difficulty in identifying single areas capable of delivering substantial amounts of multiple ecosystem services. We conclude that this framework provides a basis to look at ecosystem services in combination, as well as individually, and to do so in a spatially explicit manner than can be overlaid with maps of land use or other development planning.

Valuing ecosystem services of Sundarbans Mangrove forest: Approach of choice experiment

Iqbal MHafiz. Valuing ecosystem services of Sundarbans Mangrove forest: Approach of choice experiment. Global Ecology and Conservation [Internet]. 2020 ;24:e01273. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989420308143?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This study examines the marginal willingness-to-pay (MWTP) and compensating surplus (CS) in response to the policy change of ecosystem services of Sundarbans based on focus group discussion (FGD) and survey. The choice experiment approach (CE) was conducted in seven villages of Sundarbans of Bangladesh to elicit stated preference data and measure MWTP and CS. Each respondent faced three options in every choice card-two hypothetical alternatives and one status quo scheme. Four ecosystem services-payment for ecosystem services, fish, shrimp larvae, and crab capture from canals and creeks, leaves, grasses and twigs collection, and fruits and honey collection are used to design choice cards. The findings suggest that age, income, education, family composition, and occupational status are the influential factors to choice the relevant attributes of ecosystem services. Respondents would like to pay more Tk. 0.015 in option 1, Tk. 0.086 in option 2 and Tk. 0.329 in option 3 for ecosystem services. With these MWTP, they get more surplus-Tk. 0.551 in option 3. The subsequent surplus will be estimated Tk. 0.105 in option 2 and Tk. 0.078 in option 1. The lower MWTP does not necessarily imply low demand for ecosystem services, as the findings from MWTP illustrate potential demand for ecosystem services of Sundarbans.

Valuing the ecosystem service benefits from kelp forest restoration: A choice experiment from Norway

Hynes S, Chen W, Vondolia K, Armstrong C, O'Connor E. Valuing the ecosystem service benefits from kelp forest restoration: A choice experiment from Norway. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2021 ;179:106833. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919319573?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Habitat loss and degradation are recognised as the most important causes of species decline and extinction in marine ecosystems. It is also widely recognised that a range of restoration actions are now essential to halt further decline. From a policy perspective, demonstration that restoration activity is in the interest of society is an important goal. In this paper, the welfare impacts of restoring Norwegian kelp forests to areas where they once were dominant but which now lie barren are estimated using the discrete choice modelling approach. The paper also examines if more direct contact with the environmental good under investigation influences respondents' willingness to pay to restore ecosystem features. The results indicate a positive and significant marginal societal willingness to pay for the ecosystem services associated with kelp forest restoration. The enhanced biodiversity levels as a result of the restoration activity are the most highly valued by the Norwegian public although the size of the area restored is more highly valued by respondents who are active marine environment users. It is argued that without incorporating these non-market values into the decision making process marine policy decisions may be made that are not in fact in the best interest of society.

Using graph theory and social media data to assess cultural ecosystem services in coastal areas: Method development and application

Ruiz-Frau A, Ospina-Alvarez A, Villasante S, Pita P, Maya-Jariego I, de Juan S. Using graph theory and social media data to assess cultural ecosystem services in coastal areas: Method development and application. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2020 ;45:101176. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041620301182?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The use of social media (SM) data has emerged as a promising tool for the assessment of cultural ecosystem services (CES). Most studies have focused on the use of single SM platforms and on the analysis of photo content to assess the demand for CES. Here, we introduce a novel methodology for the assessment of CES using SM data through the application of graph theory network analyses (GTNA) on hashtags associated to SM posts and compare it to photo content analysis. We applied the proposed methodology on two SM platforms, Instagram and Twitter, on three worldwide known case study areas, namely Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos Islands and Easter Island. Our results indicate that the analysis of hashtags through graph theory offers similar capabilities to photo content analysis in the assessment of CES provision and the identification of CES providers. More importantly, GTNA provides greater capabilities at identifying relational values and eudaimonic aspects associated to nature, elusive aspects for photo content analysis. In addition, GTNA contributes to the reduction of the interpreter’s bias associated to photo content analyses, since GTNA is based on the tags provided by the users themselves. The study also highlights the importance of considering data from different SM platforms, as the type of users and the information offered by these platforms can show different CES attributes. The ease of application and relative short computing processing times involved in the application of GTNA makes it a cost-effective method with the potential of being applied to large geographical scales.

Ecosystem services in the Swedish water-energy-food-land-climate nexus: Anthropogenic pressures and physical interactions

van den Heuvel L, Blicharska M, Masia S, Sušnik J, Teutschbein C. Ecosystem services in the Swedish water-energy-food-land-climate nexus: Anthropogenic pressures and physical interactions. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2020 ;44:101141. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041620300838
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Traditionally, challenges of natural resource management have been addressed with a sectoral policy approach. However, it is increasingly recognised that different sectors are interconnected in a complex and mutually interacting system. A nexus approach is proposed to identify synergies and trade-offs between sectors and to foster the sustainable and efficient use of resources, particularly in light of climate change. The nexus approach has led to studies identifying interactions between policy objectives across nexus sectors, but the physical interactions between nexus sectors that can be the result of policy interactions, have received less attention. Nevertheless, such interactions can have severe consequences for the environment, affecting ecosystems and the services they provide. Integrating the nexus approach and the ecosystem service concept may help to better understand pressures and impacts related to a resource nexus and to address trade-offs. In this study, literature and expert assessment are used to analyse the water-energy-food-land-climate nexus in Sweden through the lens of the ecosystem services concept to gain insights into interactions between the nexus sectors. By demonstrating how anthropogenic pressures originating from the nexus sectors affect ecosystem functions and services, this paper serves as a foundation to further inform policy making (within and outside Sweden) when considering the water-energy-food-land-climate nexus.

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