In this paper we aim to establish a conceptual and practical framework for investigating sense of place as a category of cultural ecosystem services, drawing upon transdisciplinary research on assessing cultural value and ecosystem change in the Irish Sea. We examine sense of place as a material phenomenon, embedded in and expressive of the relationship between determining ecological conditions of particular locations and the determining social and cultural conditions of human habitation. Our emphasis on sense of place as a material phenomenon contrasts with the prevailing tendency in ecosystem services literature to treat cultural ecosystem services as ‘non-material’, ‘immaterial’, or ‘intangible’, and builds on a call to conceptualize cultural ecosystem services in ‘a more theoretically nuanced approach’ which yields practical means of researching and assessing cultural benefits (Fish et al., 2016a, p. 215). The paper emerges from a transdisciplinary project on ‘The Cultural Value of Coastlines’, which seeks to define a mechanism for integrating materialist research on cultural benefits into the ecosystem services framework. We demonstrate the need for a more significant role for sense of place as a category of cultural ecosystem services, and for research practices which can account for the material and socially-produced nature of sense of place.
Ecosystem Services and Uses
Scotland's National Marine Plan (NMP) consists of various objectives and policies which aim to support sustainable development within the marine environment while upholding the integrity of the ecosystem through the adoption of an ‘ecosystem approach to planning’. While this approach is not new, momentum has been gaining in research for accounting for the relationships between physical, chemical, and biological elements, functions, and processes of an ecosystem in marine spatial planning. Given that the NMP is under statutory review in 2017–2018 following three years since its publication, the outputs of this paper aim to inform the review by exploring how national and sectoral objectives and policies address ecosystem service sections and phases by using the UK National Ecosystem Assessment classification system as a reference. The analysis demonstrates that cultural benefits are the most accounted for, while the cultural final services which underpin such benefits are the least accounted for. Furthermore, there are no national objectives or policies which account for provisioning final services. The paper provides 12 distinct policy recommendations to enhance the uniformity of ecosystem services in the NMP.
Ecosystem service (ES) trade-offs have been broadly recognized and studied over the past decade. However, how to coordinate the relationships among ES trade-offs to achieve win–win outcomes remains a considerable challenge for decision makers. Here, we summarize the current approaches applied to minimize ES trade-offs for win–wins and analyze the trade-offs among different ESs and their drivers. Based on a systematic review of the literature from 2005 to 2018, we identified 170 potentially relevant articles, 47 of which were selected for the review, recording 70 actual or potential trade-offs. Analysis of these case studies showed that trade-off pairs between provisioning services and regulating services/biodiversity accounted for 80% of total pairs. Furthermore, more than half of the ES trade-offs were driven by land use/land cover changes. Harvest and resource demand, natural resource management, and policy instruments were also among the main drivers. Four approaches to coordinate ES trade-offs were identified, including ecosystem, landscape-scale, multi-objective optimization, and policy intervention (and other) approaches. Based on the above, we recommend a rigorous understanding of the roles of different stakeholders, spatial scales of management, trade-off dynamics, and integrated implementation of diverse approaches to coordinate ES trade-offs in order to better achieve win–win outcomes.
The global ocean has warmed substantially over the past century, with far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems1. Concurrent with long-term persistent warming, discrete periods of extreme regional ocean warming (marine heatwaves, MHWs) have increased in frequency2. Here we quantify trends and attributes of MHWs across all ocean basins and examine their biological impacts from species to ecosystems. Multiple regions in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans are particularly vulnerable to MHW intensification, due to the co-existence of high levels of biodiversity, a prevalence of species found at their warm range edges or concurrent non-climatic human impacts. The physical attributes of prominent MHWs varied considerably, but all had deleterious impacts across a range of biological processes and taxa, including critical foundation species (corals, seagrasses and kelps). MHWs, which will probably intensify with anthropogenic climate change3, are rapidly emerging as forceful agents of disturbance with the capacity to restructure entire ecosystems and disrupt the provision of ecological goods and services in coming decades.
Coastal sand dunes are complex transitional systems hosting high levels of biodiversity and providing important benefits to society. In this paper we aimed to evaluate the multi-service nature of ecosystem services (ES) supply in the dunes of the Italian Adriatic coast within Natura 2000 (N2K) sites. We i) identified ES indicators and assessed the supply capacity (Climate regulation, Protection from wind and aerosol, Erosion regulation, Recreation and Tourism and Existence value of biodiversity) of natural dune ecosystems of European conservation concern; ii) upscaled this data to create an inventory of ES supply for all dune N2K sites in the study area; iii) explored the trade-offs among ES; and iv) summarized and spatially compared the overall multi-service value of the N2K sites.
The study provides a method for quantifying the role of N2K sites in supplying benefits for our society. We found that the multi-service capacity of coastal dunes is uneven within sites and within administrative regions. This variability is related to both ecological (e.g. distribution, ecological integrity, extent and conservation status of dune habitats) and administrative (e.g. local implementation of the Habitats Directive) characteristics of the analysed area. ES are not coupled as several sites with high values for one ES show very low values for others.
The results suggest that conservation actions should favour restoration of the natural dune zonation, since this underpins multi-service ES supply. The approach can distinguish regions with high ES values and regions where the paucity of protected areas represents a gap in ES supply, fact that offers an incentive to enhance the protection strategy but also suggests an urgent need to improve the N2K network by enlarging existent sites and including new ones.
The study presents the first systematic review of the existing literature on Arctic ES. Applying the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA) and snowballing methods and three selection criteria, 33 publications were sourced, including peer-reviewed articles, policy papers and scientific reports, and their content synthesised using the thematic analysis method. Five key themes were identified: (1) general discussion of Arctic ES, (2) Arctic social-ecological systems, (3) ES valuation, (4) ES synergies and/or trade-offs, and (5) integrating the ES perspective into management. The meta-synthesis of the literature reveals that the ES concept is increasingly being applied in the Arctic context in all five themes, but there remain large knowledge gaps concerning mapping, assessment, economic valuation, analysis of synergies, trade-offs, and underlying mechanisms, and the social effects of ES changes. Even though ES are discussed in most publications as being relevant for policy, there are few practical examples of its direct application to management. The study concludes that more primary studies of Arctic ES are needed on all of the main themes as well as governance initiatives to move Arctic ES research from theory to practice.
Marine ecosystem services provide various benefits to people. In order to receive those benefits sustainably, conservation of marine environment is an important measure, and how to motivate people to marine conservation would be one of the keys to secure sustainable receipt of marine ecosystem services. This study explores perception of marine ecosystem services by residents of remote islands, namely Taketomi Town in Japan and how the perception would influence their behavioural intentions for marine conservation. A questionnaire survey was administered to the residents, and factor analysis and Structural Equation Model were applied to analyse data from 344 respondents. The results show that respondents perceive marine ecosystem services in four categories, namely “Benefits closely related to daily lives”, “Benefits from supporting services”, “Benefits from regulating services”, and “Benefits irrelevant to daily lives”. Among the four categories, “Benefits from regulating services” is the most influential to enhance behavioural intentions for marine conservation. The perception of marine ecosystem services by respondents of Taketomi Town and their influence on behavioural intentions for marine conservation are different from the results of previous studies administered to residents in the main island Honshu, Japan. This shows possibility that perception of marine ecosystem services and motivation for behavioural intention for marine conservation would relate to their connectednesspossibility to the sea.
Mangroves provide many benefits to human welfare, but they are disappearing rapidly; Ecuador and countries within the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) region have lost over 40% of their mangrove coverage in the last 40 years. One reason for this destruction is that the benefits of mangroves have not been valued in a way that policymakers and markets can understand. Here, we present the first economic valuation of multiple ecosystem services (ES) for Ecuador and the TEP using the Galapagos mangroves as a case study. We focused on three ES of high value and policy relevance: carbon storage, support for small-scale fisheries, and mangrove-based tourism. Our data suggest that over 778,000 tons of carbon are stored in Galapagos mangroves, with mean belowground carbon being 211.03 ± 179.65 Mg C/ha, valued at $2940/ha or $22,838/ha depending on the valuation methodology. We identified mangrove-dependent fish targeted by the local finfish fishery, with net benefits of $245 ha−1, making this fishery the second most profitable in the Archipelago. The value of mangrove-based recreation was estimated at $16,958/ha, contributing $62 million to the industry. By accounting for stakeholders and existing property rights, our results allow for the discussion of institutionalizing ES payments for the Galapagos Islands.
Wetlands, tidal flats, seaweed beds, and coral reefs are valuable not only as habitats for many species, but also as places where people interact with the sea. Unfortunately, these areas have declined in recent years, so environmental improvement projects to conserve and restore them are being carried out across the world. In this study, we propose a method for quantifying ecosystem services, that is, useful for the proper maintenance and management of artificial tidal flats, a type of environmental improvement project. With this method, a conceptual model of the relationship between each service and related environmental factors in natural and social systems was created, and the relationships between services and environmental factors were clarified. The state of the environmental factors affecting each service was quantified, and the state of those factors was reflected in the evaluation value of the service. As a result, the method can identify which environmental factors need to be improved and if the goal is to increase the value of the targeted tidal flat. The method demonstrates an effective approach in environmental conservation for the restoration and preservation of coastal areas.
Coastal ecosystems support the livelihoods and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide. However, the marine and terrestrial ecosystem services that coastal ecosystems provide are particularly vulnerable to global environmental change, as are the coastal communities who directly depend on them. To navigate these changes and ensure the wellbeing of coastal communities, policy-makers must know which coastal ecosystem services matter to whom, and why. Yet, in developing coastal settings, capturing people’s perceptions of the importance of ecosystem services is challenging for several reasons. Firstly, coastal ecosystem services encompass both terrestrial and marine services across multiple categories (i.e. provisioning, supporting, and cultural) that are difficult to value together. Secondly, widely used monetary valuation techniques are often inappropriate because of culturally specific attributions of value, and the intangible nature of key cultural ecosystem services. Thirdly, people within communities may hold different ecosystem services values. In this paper, we examine how people ascribe and explain the importance of a range of marine and terrestrial ecosystem services in three coastal communities in Papua New Guinea. We use a mixed-methods approach that combines a non-monetary ranking and rating assessment of multiple ecosystem services, with a socio-economic survey (N = 139) and qualitative explanations of why ecosystem services matter. We find that people uniformly ascribe the most importance to marine and terrestrial provisioning services that directly support their livelihoods and material wellbeing. However, within communities, gender, wealth, and years of formal schooling do shape some differences in how people rate ecosystem services. In addition, although cultural ecosystem services were often rated lower, people emphasized that they ranked provisioning services highly, in part, because of their contribution to cultural values like bequest. People also expressed concern about extractive ecosystem services, like fuelwood, that were perceived to be destructive, and were rated low. We contend that comprehensive ecosystem services assessments that include narratives can capture the broad importance of a range of ecosystem services, alongside relational values and normative judgements. This exploratory approach is a useful step towards understanding the complexities of ecosystem services in developing coastal settings.