Ecosystem Services

Wetlands provide ∼$47.4 trillion/year worth of ecosystem services globally and support immense biodiversity, yet face widespread drainage and pollution, and large-scale wetlands restoration is urgently needed. Payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes provide a viable avenue for funding large-scale wetland restoration. However, schemes around the globe differ substantially in their goals, structure, challenges, and effectiveness in supporting large-scale wetland restoration.
Elsevier, Advances in Ecological Research, Volume 64, January 2021
Global social and economic changes, alongside climate change, are affecting the operating environment for agriculture, leading to efforts to increase production and yields, typically through the use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers, expanded irrigation, and changes in seed varieties. Intensification, alongside the expansion of agriculture into new areas, has increased harvest, but has also had numerous well-known impacts on the environment, ultimately resulting in a loss of resilience and lack of sustainability in agro-ecosystems.
Mangrove forests are found on sheltered coastlines in tropical, subtropical, and some warm temperate regions. These forests support unique biodiversity and provide a range of benefits to coastal communities, but as a result of large-scale conversion for aquaculture, agriculture, and urbanization, mangroves are considered increasingly threatened ecosystems. Scientific advances have led to accurate and comprehensive global datasets on mangrove extent, structure, and condition, and these can support evaluation of ecosystem services and stimulate greater conservation and rehabilitation efforts.
Land-use intensification at the field and landscape scale is a strong driver for declining biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Vineyards are characterised by non-productive inter-rows, which could potentially host diverse plant communities. Mulching, tillage or herbicides are used to mitigate the competition between vines and the inter-row vegetation.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 113, April 2019
Although the study of the effects of microplastics increased in the last years, terrestrial ecosystems remain less studied. In fact, the effects of microplastics in insects, the most abundant group of animals and major providers of key Ecosystem Services, are not well known despite the potential cascading negative effects on the ecosystems functioning in the habitats where they occur.
Elsevier, Materials Today Sustainability, Volume 3-4, March 2019
The built environment is responsible for large negative ecological impacts due in part to the vast amount of materials used in construction. Concurrently, construction and demolition activities result in vast amounts of materials being buried, burnt, and dumped. It is essential therefore to analyze the impact of building materials acquisition, use, and transformation on the ecosystems people inhabit and rely upon for well-being. Typically, this is examined in terms of material use, energy use, and emission of pollutants including greenhouse gases.
Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 34, February 2019
There is worldwide concern about the environmental costs of conventional intensification of agriculture. Growing evidence suggests that ecological intensification of mainstream farming can safeguard food production, with accompanying environmental benefits; however, the approach is rarely adopted by farmers. Our review of the evidence for replacing external inputs with ecosystem services shows that scientists tend to focus on processes (e.g., pollination) rather than outcomes (e.g., profits), and express benefits at spatio-temporal scales that are not always relevant to farmers.
Elsevier, Coasts and Estuaries: The Future, Volume , 31 January 2019
Bivalve habitats were once a dominant ecosystem in temperate and subtropical estuaries worldwide. While bivalve habitats are greatly reduced from their former abundance, remnant, and restored populations have been shown to provide a suite of important ecosystems services including improving water quality, coastal protection, and providing fisheries nursery habitat, in addition to providing a direct food value.
Activities in the food-energy-water nexus require ecosystem services to maintain productivity and prevent ecological degradation. This work applies techno-ecological synergy concepts in an optimization formulation to design a system for co-producing food and energy under constraints on ecological sustainability. The system includes land use activities and biomass conversion processes for the production of energy carriers, as well as supporting ecosystems that increase the supply of key ecosystem services.
This article explores the concept of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) in the context of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on marine protected areas and OECMs and its linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It argues that mainstreaming biodiversity through CBD Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ implementation into the SDGs can contribute to a more systemic and comprehensive implementation of SDG 14.5 on conservation of at least 10% of marine and coastal areas.