Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 418778
Title Quantifying Management and EcoSystem Services: towards a MESS database
Author(s) Oudenhoven, A.P.E. van
Event 4th International ESP Conference - Ecosystem Services: Integrating Science and Practice, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 2011-10-04/2011-10-07
Department(s) Environmental Systems Analysis
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2011
Abstract To provide an increasing global population with food, water, fuel wood, and construction material, human activities have resulted in the conversion of forests, grasslands and other ecosystems. Land management is mainly focused on optimising agricultural production in mono-functional systems often negatively affecting ecosystems’ capacity to provide other ecosystem services, such as clean water, climate and air quality regulation, and habitats for animal and plant species. At the same time risks for erosion and floods are enhanced. Knowledge on the effects of alternative land use and management systems on the total bundle of ecosystem services is essential for avoiding these negative effects. However, quantitative, empirical information on the relation between land management and ecosystems’ capacity to provide multiple services is limited and available information is scattered in case studies and unpublished reporting. Our aim, therefore, was to create a database in which quantified information on ecosystem services provision in relation to management is integrated. Following a stepwise approach we assemble and quantify indicators for ecosystem properties, functions and services that are relevant for the provision of ecosystem services. We provide examples on air quality regulation by vegetation as well as carbon sequestration, water regulation, erosion prevention and food provision in a semi-arid zone in South Africa. The examples show that, generally, information is available, both in grey and scientific literature. However, this information is often derived from studies and projects that differ in scope, aim, approach and use of concepts. We therefore developed criteria which indicators for ecosystem services should meet if they were to be used in the database. Other challenges we face include a) finding appropriate indicators for regulating, habitat and cultural services, b) division into subservices, c) spatial and temporal explicitness, and d) comparability of data per scale, ecosystem and service. A database for Management and EcoSystem Services (MESS) could increase our knowledge on the impact of human actions and quantity of services that are provided per ecosystem. The database is set up so that its information can be integrated with other databases and used for valuation studies and spatially explicit ecosystem services models. Since our work is ongoing, we would be interested in sharing experiences with colleagues working on quantitative ecosystem services assessments, particularly regarding a) which indicators were selected, b) what quantitative information was gathered, c) whether this information was validated, and d) what kind of sources were used.
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