Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services valuation

relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services valuation

The link between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services. . more seeing the importance and value of this link (WWF, ). Sekercioglu () states. The biodiversity-ecosystem services relationship is a hot topic in science but to what Quantifying the value of ecosystem services is of great importance for. Economic valuation (estimation of the ecosystem service) . For this procedure, the ratio of territories with dam building activities in the Jossa compared to the.

Despite widespread acceptance and use of valuation and the ES concept, including its uptake by prominent international conservation agreements and bodies, it continues to spark controversy.

Much of the ongoing debate is centred on how we place a value on different ES.

relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services valuation

However, the relationship between ES and the biodiversity underpinning them is also a source of confusion in this field [ 4 ]. This paper focuses on the growing interest in valuation of marine biodiversity and ES [ 56 ]. Humans rely on the ocean for food and biotechnological products, for its vital role in global processes such as nutrient cycling and climate regulation, for its contribution to health and well-being from the leisure and recreation opportunities it provides, as well as for income from activities such as tourism [ 78 ].

Despite its recognized value to humans, the marine environment is facing increasing anthropogenic pressures from resource exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution and the effects of climate change, with associated widespread declines in biodiversity and threats to key ES [ 1011 ].

Although these threats and declines are widely acknowledged, the ocean presents major challenges for its conservation and management [ 712 ]. However, effective international initiatives and regulations are notoriously difficult to implement.

Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

Additional complexities are introduced by different geo-political environments, each with their own objectives, organizational structures and frameworks [ 13 ]. Historically, efforts focused separately on traditional fisheries management or on biodiversity conservation [ 14 ]. This attempts to balance the benefits that people obtain from the ocean against the productivity, health and resilience of its ecosystems [ 16 ].

However, full implementation of EBM for marine systems has yet to be achieved [ 17 ]. These challenges are exacerbated by substantial practical difficulties in studying the marine environment and associated sampling biases towards certain systems, regions and taxa, which combine to make lack of data and uncertainty key issues [ 18 ].

The high levels of connectivity of marine processes, often across vast scales, also brings challenges. For example, fish spawning and nursery grounds are often geographically separated from where adult fishes are later caught by fisheries. These issues have ramifications for understanding and addressing the interacting effects of anthropogenic multi-stressors [ 19 ], but also for understanding the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning BEF.

Given the multiple links between BEF and the ES they provide, understanding these relationships is critical for the ES approach and, therefore, for attempts at valuation [ 420 — 22 ].

Although interest continues to grow in the use of valuation for the marine environment [ 56923 ], evidence of its effectiveness is lacking.

Given the enormity of the challenges, the urgent need to address them and the scarcity of resources and capacity to dedicate to this, we ask if a valuation approach is appropriate and effective for marine conservation and management.

To begin to address these questions we synthesize and compare the relative merits of adopting a valuation approach in three contrasting ecosystems: Marine ecosystems are of paramount importance to the food security, health and livelihoods of PICT populations [ 24 ] and are characterized by a high degree of diversity and endemism.

The region supports large offshore industrial tuna fisheries as well as important coastal fisheries.

Link between biodiversity and ecosystem services | Openness Project

Other threats include climate-induced changes [ 2526 ]. By contrast, the Southern Ocean has no local beneficiaries and supports unique biodiversity in a highly seasonal extreme environment that is experiencing rapid climate change [ 27 ]. UK coastal seas support a high diversity of species of both national and international importance.

Fisheries and aquaculture are important sectors in the economy, however, the UK also places value on its other marine ES and has pioneered much of the research in this field [ 28 ]. These three regions differ in terms of the benefits they provide to humans, the threats they are experiencing and how they are managed. As such they provide useful contrasting case studies from which to begin to explore the current state of knowledge on the use and efficacy of valuation of biodiversity and ES in marine ecosystems.

Case studies Further details on each case study can be found in the electronic supplementary material, table S1.

The region has considerable unique biodiversity, in part, owing to its geographical isolation. Coral reefs are integral to PICT livelihoods but there are also large numbers of reefs remote from human pressures; these remain among the best preserved reefs in the world [ 29 ]. In addition to providing important habitats, the reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves afford vital coastal protection. Although much of the open ocean is relatively unproductive [ 30 ], it supports some of the world's largest tuna fisheries [ 31 ].

Seamounts are offshore biodiversity hotspots, key for provisioning and other ES [ 32 ]. The region's renowned biodiversity attracts tourists, providing important revenue and employment opportunities [ 33 ].

The PICTs have among the highest per capita consumption of fisheries products in the world.

Biodiversity, Ecosystems, & Ecosystem Services: [email protected]

Offshore resources face growing fishing pressure through recent increases in vessel numbers and improving technology [ 34 ]. Habitat loss from development contributes to reduced natural shoreline protection from mangroves and coral reefs [ 39 ]. Coastal erosion is one of the most serious consequences of beach mining, reef blasting and near shore dredging.

Other threats include climate change-induced sea-level rise for low-lying atolls [ 2526 ] and increasing tropical cyclone intensity and frequency [ 40 ] that may result in population displacement, inshore habitat damage and impacts on national productivity. The focus is on tuna as the key resource; requirements to conserve biodiversity are a related but separate consideration.

Until recently, WCPFC used maximum sustainable yield MSY the theoretical largest amount of catch that can be taken indefinitely from a fish stock benchmarks to evaluate stock status. A key step has been the valuation of target tuna stocks to highlight their direct and indirect monetary value, and the trade-offs involved in management decisions [ 4243 ].

These valuations are combined with consideration of other economic, social and ecosystem objectives. Management systems for tuna are also implemented at the sub-regional scale and the national level. Traditional management practices, such as permanent or temporary closure of fishing areas, remain strong in the PICTs [ 26 ]. While this process did not explicitly account for fishing impacts on biodiversity, it has implicit benefits for the wider ecosystem, while recognizing, for example, aspects of cultural services.

As an example for the inshore region, estimates of loss in economic value arising from coastal erosion because of aggregate mining on Majuro Atoll were found to outweigh the contribution of mining to the economy.

However, while the importance of other coastal ecosystem values was recognized they were not estimated in this study [ 44 ]. While valuation of provisioning services has begun, that for other ES is yet to be explicitly included. Other ES such as climate regulation and nutrient cycling are important. Increased protection from climatic events is a priority, combined with the importance of adapting to climate-induced sea-level rise.

For example, maintaining and enhancing coral reef structure and function may be a practical and cost effective solution to hazard mitigation and adaptation [ 45 ]. In terms of the MPAs, wider benefits for regional tuna stocks as opposed to less mobile reef fishes may be limited by their highly migratory nature [ 46 ], particularly where fishing effort merely redistributes rather than reduces.

For nations reliant on foreign vessel licence fees, as many PICTs are, denying access through large-scale MPAs has significant implications. There is, therefore, a need to explore the balance of different ES within decision-making. While a range of methods have been employed, from market-based valuations through to survey-based and stated preference techniques [ 4748 ], a more comprehensive valuation is required to capture the PICT context, enable development, ensure food security and allow the conservation of biodiversity [ 4950 ].

Its global importance is recognized through the Antarctic Treaty System ATSwhich provides a high level of protection and management through international agreements. The role of biodiversity in ecosystem functioning in the polar regions is explored elsewhere in this volume [ 22 ].

The Southern Ocean does not border a permanently inhabited landmass. This lack of local beneficiaries means the provisioning services have markets predominantly in East Asia, North America and Europe, whereas the regulatory and supporting services benefit human populations at the global scale [ 27 ].

Antarctic fur seals, baleen whales and finfish [ 52 ]. Sixteen nations currently operate here, including fisheries for toothfish, mackerel icefish and Antarctic krill. However, its potential to become one of the largest fisheries in the world has been highlighted [ 54 ]. Toothfish and mackerel icefish are likely to be fully exploited and toothfish depleted in some areas of the Indian Ocean through illegal, unregulated or unreported IUU fishing [ 55 ].

The region is currently undergoing unprecedented climate-driven changes with local as well as far-reaching consequences [ 56 ]. The physical dynamics of Southern Ocean water masses are rapidly changing owing to atmospheric changes including the loss of stratospheric ozone, and are, in turn, affecting the physical and biological carbon pumps; ocean temperatures are increasing; sea ice duration and extent is changing; and ocean acidification is especially pronounced in polar waters [ 57 ].

Finally, community-level attributes, particularly community and habitat area, were important for improving the services of water quality regulation, water flow regulation, mass flow regulation and landscape aesthetics.

The findings show that most of the biotic attributes identified in the review have a beneficial impact on ecosystem service delivery. Their contribution is related to three different clusters of attributes. These tend to have beneficial impacts on a particular group of regulating services: The second cluster focuses on the presence or abundance of particular species or functional groups.

Links between biodiversity and ecosystem services

This is particularly important for the provision of freshwater fishing, timber, species-based recreation, pollination and pest regulation; a number of species-level traits such as size or predation behaviour are important for determining which are the most effective contributors to the ecosystem service.

A third cluster, though less commonly discussed, comprises diversity-related indicators: Diversity is shown to be important for a wide range of services, including timber production, atmospheric regulation, pest regulation and pollination.

Only a few biotic attributes were found to have a negative impact on ecosystem service provision. Do our definitions of biodiversity capture the essence of the strategies aiming at biodiversity protection?

What criteria and indicators are needed? What is the effect of scale? What is the carrying capacity of an ecosystem to provide services? Are there benchmark-values for measuring maximum sustainable use levels?

relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services valuation

Are there possible critical thresholds? There is still a lack of empirical data on the link between biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as testing of concepts e.

Key messages Human well-being [2]: The relation between biodiversity and ecosystem services improves our understanding of how biodiversity contributes to human well-being.

Information on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services can help to determine carrying capacity and sustainable use levels, which is essential information for sustainable ecosystem management. Awareness about the importance of biodiversity for the provision of ecosystem services is crucial for good governance and vice-versaand for encouraging integration of biodiversity conservation in sectoral policies.

Collection of new, empirical data and data-storage on the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem services, can help to improve the use of ecosystem services to highlight dependency of markets, and businesses, on biodiversity and make them aware that protecting biodiversity and its supporting ecosystems can give a competitive edge for European SMEs and companies as well as regions.

Quantifying the evidence for biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning and services. Linking biodiversity and ecosystem services: The links between biodiversity and ecosystem services. The role of biodiversity in supporting ecosystem services in Natura sites. Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity. Towards an assessment of multiple ecosystem processes and services via functional traits. Biodiversity and Conservation Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society.

Database and operational classification system of ecosystem service — natural capital relationships. Linkages between biodiversity attributes and ecosystem services: Searching for the place of biodiversity in the ecosystem services discourse.

Valuing ecosystem services on the basis of service-providing units: What do we need to know about their ecology? Pollination and other ecosystem services produced by mobile organisms: A conceptual framework for the effects of land-use change.

How fundamental plant functional trait relationships scale-up to trade-offs and synergies in ecosystem services.

relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services valuation

Journal of Ecology 1: Plant functional effects on ecosystem services. Population diversity and ecosystem services. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Quantifying the contribution of organisms to the provision of ecosystem services.