Ecosystem Services and Uses

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.

Review of Coast and Marine Ecosystems in Temperate Australia Demonstrates a Wealth of Ecosystem Services

Gaylard S, Waycott M, Lavery P. Review of Coast and Marine Ecosystems in Temperate Australia Demonstrates a Wealth of Ecosystem Services. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00453/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1361476_45_Marine_20200625_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Temperate Australia has extensive and diverse coast and marine habitats throughout its inshore and offshore waters. The region includes the southernmost extent of mangroves, over 500 estuaries and coastal embayments, home to extensive meadows of seagrasses and tidal saltmarsh. In areas of hard substrate, rocky reefs are abundant and productive with large forests of macroalgae. Coastal regions can be densely populated by humans and often habitats can be degraded, polluted or lost, while some remain relatively isolated and pristine. These habitats provide services to society including provision of food, regulate our climate through sequestration of carbon, treating our waste and protecting our shorelines from damage from storms. Coastal areas are culturally importantly hubs for recreation and tourism. Habitat mapping demonstrates diverse habitats throughout temperate Australia, but a formal investigation of services provided by these habitats has been lacking. This review of ecosystem services provided by coast and marine environments throughout temperate Australia reveals vast and productive ecosystems that provide multiple ecosystem services, substantial value to the Australian economy and contribute to the health and well-being of people who live in, visit of benefit from services or products from these regions. Some of these are considered within traditional economic metrics such as provision of wild catch fisheries, but this review demonstrates that regulation and maintenance services including waste treatment and protecting shorelines from extreme events are under recognized, and their value is substantial. However, consistent with many locations globally, coast and marine habitats are under threat from increasing development, sewage, agricultural, industrial discharges, urban runoff and climate change. Resultantly, temperate Australian coast and marine habitat extent and condition is generally declining in many regions, putting the provision of services and benefits to the community at risk. Continued degraded or lost habitats indicate current management frameworks are not capturing the full risk from development and there are winners and losers in trade off decision making. Incorporating ecosystem services in decision making may allow an integrated approach to management, and acknowledgment of services provided could prevent habitats from being undervalued against economic and social interests, a practice that often results in environmental degradation.

The Effects of Aquaculture and Marine Conservation on Cultural Ecosystem Services: An Integrated Hedonic – Eudaemonic Approach

Spanou E, Kenter JO, Graziano M. The Effects of Aquaculture and Marine Conservation on Cultural Ecosystem Services: An Integrated Hedonic – Eudaemonic Approach. Ecological Economics [Internet]. 2020 ;176:106757. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800918315829
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Understanding the cultural contributions of ecosystems is essential for recognising how environmental policy impacts on human well-being. We developed an integrated cultural ecosystem services (CES) valuation approach involving non-monetary valuation through a eudaemonic well-being questionnaire and monetary valuation through hedonic pricing. This approach was applied to assess CES values on the west coast of Scotland. The impact of scenic area and marine protected area (MPA) designations on CES values and potential trade-offs with aquaculture, an increasingly important provisioning ecosystem service in the region, were investigated. Results confirmed a eudaemonic well-being value structure of seven factors: engagement and interaction with natureplace identitytherapeutic valuespiritual valuesocial bondsmemory/transformative value, and challenge and skill. Visibility of, but not proximity to aquaculture negatively influenced housing prices. In contrast, proximity to MPAs and visibility of scenic areas increased property values. All eudaemonic well-being value factors were positively and significantly associated with scenic areas and a subset of these with MPAs. The integration of the two methods can provide decision-makers with a more comprehensive picture of CES values, their relation to conservation policies and interactions and trade-offs with other activities and services.

Establishing the links between marine ecosystem components, functions and services: An ecosystem service assessment tool

Armoškaitė A, Puriņa I, Aigars J, Strake S, Pakalniete K, Frederiksen P, Schrøder L, Hansen HSten. Establishing the links between marine ecosystem components, functions and services: An ecosystem service assessment tool. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2020 ;193:105229. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569120301393
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Although the concept of ecosystem services has been in use for many decades, its application for policy support is limited, particularly with respect to marine ecosystems. Gaps in the assessments of ecosystem services supply prevent its empirical application. We advance these assessments by providing an assessment tool, which links marine ecosystem components, functions and services, and graphically represents the assessment process and its results. The tool consists of two parts: (i) a matrix following the ecosystem services cascade structure for quantifying the contribution of ecosystem components in the provision of ecosystem services; (ii) and a linkage diagram for visualising the interactions between the elements. With the aid of the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES), the tool was used to assess the relative contribution of a wide range of marine ecosystem components in the supply of ecosystem services in the Latvian marine waters. Results indicate that the tool can be used to assess the impacts of environmental degradation in terms of ecosystem service supply. These impacts could further be valued in socioeconomic terms, as change in the socioeconomic values derived from the use of ecosystem services. The tool provides an opportunity for conducting a holistic assessment of the ecosystem service supply and communicating the results to marine spatial planning practitioners, and increasing their understanding and use of the ecosystem service concept.

Identifying ecosystem services research hotspots to illustrate the importance of site-specific research: An Atlantic coastal region case study

Caro C, Cunha PP, Marques JC, Teixeira Z. Identifying ecosystem services research hotspots to illustrate the importance of site-specific research: An Atlantic coastal region case study. Environmental and Sustainability Indicators [Internet]. 2020 ;6:100031. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2665972720300131
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The mismatch between the conceptual understanding of the Ecosystem Services (ES) in science, and their practical application, remains. Among the many issues under discussion is the link between knowledge and implementation. Base knowledge built over cases studies exist, but their usefulness for site-specific management purposes is limited. The goal of this work is to illustrate how gap analysis at the local level may contribute to the development of ES research and knowledge transfer. A review of coastal ES was performed, based on peer-reviewed journals, grey literature and other sources, allocating the information per European Nature Information System aquatic habitat coupled with the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services. Then, a multicriteria decision-making approach was applied to find ES research hotspots, i.e., habitats for which ES research should be prioritized. Three criteria were used: abundance of ES, evidence for the supply of ES, and strength of evidence. The criteria were considered suitable for coastal areas where profound gaps in ES research exist. The Atlantic coastal region adjacent to the Mondego River was used as case study. 231 current and potential ES were listed and mapped for 21 coastal habitats. Cultural services arose as the dominant category. Saltworks emerged as the most recommended habitat for ES research. Results are in accordance with local decision-makers trends of management; we consider the approach to be appropriate as a first step towards the operationalization of the ES concept and flexible enough to be readapted to focus on critical questions that characterize ES research.

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