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Trees enhance soil carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling in a silvopastoral system in south-western Nicaragua
Hoosbeek, Marcel R. ; Remme, Roy P. ; Rusch, Graciela M. - \ 2018
Agroforestry Systems 92 (2018)2. - ISSN 0167-4366 - p. 263 - 273.
Carbon sequestration - Crescentia alata - Guazuma ulmifolia - Leaf litter deposition - Silvopastoral system - Soil carbon stabilization
Tree occurrence in silvopastoral systems of Central America has been under pressure for various reasons including attempts to improve grassland productivity and the need for wood. However, scattered isolated trees are also recognized to provide ecosystem services like shade, fodder and fruits that are important to cattle in the dry season. In addition, trees may enhance the climate change mitigation potential of silvopastoral systems through increased carbon (C) uptake and subsequent soil carbon sequestration. Through differences in plant traits like nutrient uptake, canopy structure and litter quality, tree species may have an effect on C and nutrient cycling. Due to a prevailing north-easterly wind in the study area, three distinct areas associated with the impact of tree litter deposition were identified: (1) open pasture—no tree litter deposition; (2) tree canopy—above and belowground tree litter; and (3) leaf litter cone—aboveground tree litter deposition. Furthermore, the effect of tree species, Guazuma ulmifolia and Crescentia alata, were considered. The presence of trees, as compared to pasture, caused larger topsoil C, N and P contents. In the subsoil, C content was also larger due to tree presence. Soil fractionation showed that tree-induced larger litter input subsequently increased free and occluded OM fractions and ultimately increased stabilized SOM fractions. Therefore, trees were found to enhance soil C sequestration in these silvopastoral systems. This is also supported by the soil respiration data. Although the respiration rates in the pasture subplots were lower than in the leaf litter subplots, the difference was not significant, which suggests that part of the extra C input to the leaf litter subplots stayed in the soil. Nutrient cycling was also enhanced by tree presence, but with a clear differentiation between species. C. alata (Jícaro) enhanced available and stabilized forms of organic N, while G. ulmifolia (Guácimo) enhanced available soil P and stabilized organic P.
Accounting for ecosystem assets using remote sensing in the Colombian Orinoco River Basin lowlands
Vargas Barbosa, Leonardo ; Hein, Lars ; Remme, Roy P. - \ 2017
Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 11 (2017)2. - ISSN 1931-3195
condition - ecosystem services - measurement - moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer - net primary productivity
Worldwide, ecosystem change compromises the supply of ecosystem services (ES). Better managing ecosystems requires detailed information on these changes and their implications for ES supply. Ecosystem accounting has been developed as an environmental-economic accounting system using concepts aligned with the System of National Accounts. Ecosystem accounting requires spatial information from a local to national scale. The objective of this paper is to explore how remote sensing can be used to analyze ecosystems using an accounting approach in the Orinoco River Basin. We assessed ecosystem assets in terms of extent, condition, and capacity to supply ES. We focus on four specific ES: grasslands grazed by cattle, timber harvesting, oil palm fresh fruit bunches harvesting, and carbon sequestration. We link ES with six ecosystem assets: savannahs, woody grasslands, mixed agroecosystems, very dense forests, dense forest, and oil palm plantations. We used remote sensing vegetation and productivity indexes to measure ecosystem assets. We found that remote sensing is a powerful tool to estimate ecosystem extent. The enhanced vegetation index can be used to assess ecosystems condition, and net primary productivity can be used for the assessment of ecosystem assets capacity to supply ES. Integrating remote sensing and ecological information facilitates efficient monitoring of ecosystem assets.
Accounting for ecosystem assets using remote sensing in the Colombian Orinoco River basin lowlands
Vargas Barbosa, Leonardo ; Hein, Lars ; Remme, Roy P. - \ 2016
In: Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. - SPIE - ISBN 9781510604148
Capacity - Condition - Ecosystem accounting - Ecosystem services - Extent - Measurement
In many parts of the world, ecosystems change compromises the supply of ecosystem services (ES). Better ecosystem management requires detailed and structured information. Ecosystem accounting has been developed as an information system for ecosystems, using concepts and valuation approaches that are aligned with the System of National Accounts (SNA). The SNA is used to store and analyse economic data, and the alignment of ecosystem accounts with the SNA facilitates the integrated analysis of economic and ecological aspects of ecosystem use. Ecosystem accounting requires detailed spatial information at aggregated scales. The objective of this paper is to explore how remote sensing images can be used to analyse ecosystems using an accounting approach in the Orinoco river basin. We assessed ecosystem assets in terms of extent, condition and capacity to supply ES. We focus on four specific ES: grasslands grazed by cattle, timber and oil palm harvest, and carbon sequestration. We link ES with six ecosystem assets; savannahs, woody grasslands, mixed agro-ecosystems, very dense forests, dense forest and oil palm plantations. We used remote sensing vegetation, surface temperature and productivity indexes to measure ecosystem assets. We found that remote sensing is a powerful tool to estimate ecosystem extent. The enhanced vegetation index can be used to assess ecosystems condition, and net primary productivity can be used for the assessment of ecosystem assets capacity to supply ES. Integrating remote sensing and ecological information facilitates efficient monitoring of ecosystem assets, in particular in data poor contexts.
Exploring spatial indicators for biodiversity accounting
Remme, Roy P. ; Hein, Lars ; Swaay, Chris A.M. van - \ 2016
Ecological Indicators 70 (2016). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 232 - 248.
Biodiversity indicators - Criteria - Ecosystem accounting - Monitoring - SEEA-EEA - Spatial analysis
In the context of the System for Environmental-Economic Accounting, biodiversity accounting is being developed as a tool to monitor and increase the understanding of human impacts on biodiversity. Biodiversity accounting aims to structurally measure, monitor and map changes in multiple biodiversity components, as an integral part of a larger system of ecosystem accounts. Both indicators relevant for ecosystem functioning and indicators that reflect the non-use values of biodiversity can be included in biodiversity accounting. In this paper we focus on the latter, and we test the potential applicability of a set of species indicators for developing a biodiversity account in Limburg province, the Netherlands. In particular, we map and analyse a range of indicators reflecting species richness, the presence of rare and threatened species and species diversity. We test spatial correlation to identify the minimum set of indicators that would need to be included in the account. We also evaluate individual indicators using eight different criteria. We show that, in Limburg province, a set of indicators covering at least five species groups is required, and that it would be most meaningful to have indicators reflecting the occurrence of threatened species. However, data availability as well as the most suitable set of indicators are likely to differ between areas, and case studies in other countries are required to support the selection of indicators for biodiversity accounting in an international framework.
Accounting for ecosystem services and biodiversity in Limburg province, the Netherlands
Remme, R.P. - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans; Lars Hein. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789462576100 - 213
ecosystem services - biodiversity - models - nature conservation - netherlands - limburg - ecosysteemdiensten - biodiversiteit - modellen - natuurbescherming - nederland - limburg
Ecosystem services and biodiversity are important for human well-being. Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystems to benefits used in economic and other human activity. This thesis aims to empirically assess how spatial models for ecosystem service flows and biodiversity can be applied in the context of ecosystem accounting, management and conservation for Limburg province, the Netherlands. Ecosystem accounting is a systematic approach to measure and monitor ecosystems, ecosystem services and their contribution to human and economic activity. Biophysical models are developed to analyze seven ecosystem services for ecosystem accounting. Based on the biophysical models, the ecosystem services are valued in monetary terms, using methods that are consistent with national economic accounting. In addition, this thesis examines how ecosystem contributions (i.e. the ecosystem services) and human contributions to human benefits can be distinguished. In addition, different biodiversity indicators are spatially modelled and analyzed for Limburg, to assess their applicability in biodiversity accounting. Scenario analysis is applied to measure the effects budget limitations on the further development of Limburg’s biodiversity conservation network, and the effects of including ecosystem services into the network. This thesis contributes substantially to operationalizing ecosystem accounting by empirically testing applicable indicators, spatial modelling methods and monetary valuation methods, delineating caveats and assessing uncertainties. The research stresses the importance of accounting for ecosystem services in both biophysical and monetary terms, and including additional information on biodiversity. Ecosystem accounting, management and conservation are all necessary to ensure the safeguarding of natural and managed ecosystems and for sustaining human well-being.
Effects of budget constraints on conservation network design for biodiversity and ecosystem services
Remme, Roy P. ; Schröter, Matthias - \ 2016
Ecological Complexity 26 (2016). - ISSN 1476-945X - p. 45 - 56.
Biodiversity conservation - Budget allocation - Cost-effectiveness - Modelling - Netherlands - Priority setting
Limited budgets and budget cuts hamper the development of effective biodiversity conservation networks. Optimizing the spatial configuration of conservation networks given such budget constraints remains challenging. Systematic conservation planning addresses this challenge. Systematic conservation planning can integrate both biodiversity and ecosystem services as conservation targets, and hence address the challenge to operationalize ecosystem services as an anthropocentric argument for conservation. We create two conservation scenarios to expand the current conservation network in the Dutch province of Limburg. One scenario focuses on biodiversity only and the other integrates biodiversity and ecosystem services. We varied conservation budgets in these scenarios and used the software Marxan to assess differences in the resulting network configurations. In addition, we tested the network's cost-effectiveness by allocating a conservation budget either in one or in multiple steps. We included twenty-nine biodiversity surrogates and five ecosystem services. The inclusion of ecosystem services to expand Limburg's conservation network only moderately changed prioritized areas, compared to only conserving biodiversity. Network expansion in a single time-step is more efficient in terms of compactness and cost-effectiveness than implementing it in multiple time-steps. Therefore, to cost-effectively plan conservation networks, the full budget should ideally be available before the plans are implemented. We show that including ecosystem services to cost-effectively expand conservation networks can simultaneously encourage biodiversity conservation and stimulate the protection of conservation-compatible ecosystem services.
Spatial prioritisation for conserving ecosystem services : comparing hotspots with heuristic optimisation
Schröter, Matthias ; Remme, Roy P. - \ 2016
Landscape Ecology 31 (2016)2. - ISSN 0921-2973 - p. 431 - 450.
Hot spot - Mapping - Modelling - Overlap
Context: The variation in spatial distribution between ecosystem services can be high. Hence, there is a need to spatially identify important sites for conservation planning. The term ‘ecosystem service hotspot’ has often been used for this purpose, but definitions of this term are ambiguous. Objectives: We review and classify methods to spatially delineate hotspots. We test how spatial configuration of hotspots for a set of ecosystem services differs depending on the applied method. We compare the outcomes to a heuristic site prioritisation approach (Marxan). Methods: The four tested hotspot methods are top richest cells, spatial clustering, intensity, and richness. In a conservation scenario we set a target of conserving 10 % of the quantity of five regulating and cultural services for the forest area of Telemark county, Norway. Results: Spatial configuration of selected areas as retrieved by the four hotspots and Marxan differed considerably. Pairwise comparisons were at the lower end of the scale of the Kappa statistic (0.11–0.27). The outcomes also differed considerably in mean target achievement, cost-effectiveness in terms of land-area needed per unit target achievement and compactness in terms of edge-to-area ratio. Conclusions: An ecosystem service hotspot can refer to either areas containing high values of one service or areas with multiple services. Differences in spatial configuration among hotspot methods can lead to uncertainties for decision-making. This also has consequences for analysing the spatial co-occurrence of hotspots of multiple services and of services and biodiversity.
Progress and challenges in the development of ecosystem accounting as a tool to analyse ecosystem capital
Hein, Lars ; Obst, Carl ; Edens, Bram ; Remme, R.P. - \ 2015
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14 (2015). - ISSN 1877-3435 - p. 86 - 92.
Ecosystem accounting has been developed as a systematic approach to incorporate measures of ecosystem services and ecosystem assets into an accounting structure. Ecosystem accounting involves spatially explicit modelling of ecosystem services and assets, in both physical and monetary terms. A range of recent studies has tested the various elements of ecosystem accounting, and an initial guideline for ecosystem accounting has been prepared under auspices of the UN. This paper summarizes the current knowledge of key aspects of ecosystem accounting, analyses its niche in the overall system for environmental-economic accounting, and provides three examples of how ecosystem accounting can support sustainable development. We also discuss the main limitations of the approach and issues requiring further research.
Monetary accounting of ecosystem services : A test case for Limburg province, the Netherlands
Remme, R.P. ; Edens, Bram ; Schröter, Matthias ; Hein, Lars - \ 2015
Ecological Economics 112 (2015). - ISSN 0921-8009 - p. 116 - 128.
Ecosystem accounting - Mapping - Monetary valuation - Monitoring - SEEA - Spatial analysis
Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We pilot monetary ecosystem accounting in a case study in Limburg province, the Netherlands. Seven ecosystem services are modelled and valued: crop production, fodder production, drinking water production, air quality regulation, carbon sequestration, nature tourism and hunting. We develop monetary ecosystem accounts that specify values generated by ecosystem services per hectare, per municipality and per land cover type. We analyse the relative importance of public and private ecosystem services. We found that the SNA-aligned monetary value of modelled ecosystem services for Limburg was around €112 million in 2010, with an average value of €508 per hectare. Ecosystem services with the highest values were crop production, nature tourism and fodder production. Due to the exclusion of consumer surplus in SNA valuation, calculated values are considerably lower than those typically found in welfare-based valuation approaches. We demonstrate the feasibility of valuing ecosystem services in a national accounting framework.
Lessons learned for spatial modelling of ecosystem services in support of ecosystem accounting
Schroter, M. ; Remme, R.P. ; Sumarga, E. ; Barton, D.N. ; Hein, L.G. - \ 2015
Ecosystem Services 13 (2015). - ISSN 2212-0416 - p. 64 - 69.
Assessment of ecosystem services through spatial modelling plays a key role in ecosystem accounting. Spatial models for ecosystem services try to capture spatial heterogeneity with high accuracy. This endeavour, however, faces several practical constraints. In this article we analyse the trade-offs between accurately representing spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem services and the practical constraints of modelling ecosystem services. By doing so we aim to explore the boundary conditions for best practice of spatial ecosystem accounting. We distinguished seven types of spatial ES modelling methods, including four types of look-up tables, causal relationships, spatial interpolation, and environmental regression. We classified 29 spatial ES models according to a judgement of accuracy and modelling feasibility. Best practice of spatial ES models varies depending on the reliability requirements of different policy applications and decision contexts. We propose that in best practice for ecosystem accounting an approach should be adopted that provides sufficient accuracy at acceptable costs given heterogeneity of the respective service. Furthermore, we suggest that different policy applications require different accuracy and different spatial modelling approaches. Societal investment in higher data availability of ecosystem services make models of a specific accuracy more feasible or would enable achievement of higher accuracy with comparable feasibility.
|Ecosystem accounting Developing a spatial approach to account for biophysical and monetary flows of ecosystem services
Remme, Roy - \ 2014
|Spatial correlation between ecosystem services and biodiversity in Limburg, the Netherlands
Remme, Roy - \ 2014
|Spatial correlation between ecosystem services and biodiversity in Limburg, the Netherlands
Remme, R.P. ; Schroter, M. ; Hein, L.G. - \ 2014
Clear evidence is currently lacking about to what extent biodiversity conservation is beneficial for ecosystem service provision. Likewise, evidence that conservation of ecosystem services are beneficial for biodiversity conservation is weak. Among the manifold links between biodiversity and ecosystem services that need to be studied more deeply are spatial relations. Strong positive spatial correlations between biodiversity and ecosystem services could, for instance provide incentives for conservation policies. The Netherlands has a long history in spatial planning of biodiversity conservation. EU incentives (e.g. Natura 2000) and national policies (e.g. the Dutch ecological network EHS) are being implemented to conserve biodiversity within ecological networks. The EHS is planned to be fully established in 2018, creating a network of interconnected ecosystems throughout the Netherlands. Besides benefitting biodiversity conservation the EHS could potentially also benefit the provision of multiple ecosystem services. The objective of this research is to study the spatial correlation between biodiversity and ecosystem services for Limburg province, the Netherlands. Multiple spatially explicit biodiversity indicators are developed based on the European SEBI Targets (Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators) and included in the analysis. These indicators include distribution and abundance of birds and butterflies, distribution and abundance of red list species, percentage coverage of protected areas and habitat fragmentation. Besides biodiversity indicators, eight spatial models of provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services are included. These services are drinking water extraction, hunting, fodder production, crop production, air quality regulation, carbon sequestration, nature tourism and cycling recreation. The analysis will assess spatial correlation between the various biodiversity indicators and ecosystem services throughout the province to identify overall spatial correlation. We assess spatial relations of biodiversity and ecosystem services both within and outside the ecological network EHS to assess whether certain ecosystem service bundles, hotspots and trade-offs appear more often within these areas than outside.
Developing spatial biophysical accounting for multiple ecosystem services
Remme, R.P. ; Schroter, M. ; Hein, L.G. - \ 2014
Ecosystem Services 10 (2014). - ISSN 2212-0416 - p. 6 - 18.
Ecosystem accounting is receiving increasing interest as a way to systematically monitor the conditions of ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide. A critical element of ecosystem accounting is understanding spatially explicit flows of ecosystem services. We developed spatial biophysical models of seven ecosystem services in a cultural landscape (Limburg province, the Netherlands) in a way that is consistent with ecosystem accounting. We included hunting, drinking water extraction, crop production, fodder production, air quality regulation, carbon sequestration and recreational cycling. In addition, we examined how human inputs can be distinguished from ecosystem services, a critical element in ecosystem accounting. Model outcomes were used to develop an ecosystem accounting table in line with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting - Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) guidelines, in which contributions of land cover types to ecosystem service flows were recorded. Furthermore we developed spatial accounts for single statistical units. This study shows that for the case of Limburg spatial modelling for ecosystem accounting in line with SEEA EEA is feasible. The paper also analyses and discusses key challenges that need to be addressed to develop a well-functioning system for ecosystem accounting.
Spatial accounting for ecosystem services in Limburg, the Netherlands
Remme, Roy - \ 2014
Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Defenses
Zimmer, C. ; Schroter, M. ; Groot, R.S. de; Ploeg, S. van der; Oudenhoven, A.P.E. van; Remme, R.P. ; Opdam, P.F.M. - \ 2014
New York Times
|The Price Tag on Nature’s Defenses
Schroter, Matthias ; Groot, Dolf de; Ploeg, Sander van der; Oudenhoven, Alexander van; Remme, Roy ; Opdam, Paul - \ 2014
Newspaper article in the New York Times featured two papers co-authored by WUR researchers: 'Changes in the global value of ecosystem services' (Global Environmental Change) by R. Costanza, R.S. de Groot, S. van der Ploeg et al. (2014), and 'Ecosystem services as a contested concept: a synthesis of critique and counter-arguments' (Conservation Letters) by M. Schröter, A.P.E. van Oudenhoven, R.P. Remme and R.S. de Groot.
Ecosystem Services as a Contested Concept: A Synthesis of Critique and Counter-arguments
Schröter, M. ; Zanden, E.H. van der; Oudenhoven, A.P.E. van; Remme, R.P. ; Serna-Chavez, H.M. ; Groot, R.S. de; Opdam, P. - \ 2014
Conservation Letters 7 (2014)6. - ISSN 1755-263X - p. 514 - 523.
sustainability research - saving nature - biodiversity - conservation - science - policy - benefits - classification - agriculture - valuation
We describe and reflect on seven recurring critiques of the concept of ecosystem services and respective counter-arguments. First, the concept is criticized for being anthropocentric while others argue that it goes beyond instrumental values. Second, some argue that the concept promotes an exploitative human-nature relationship, while others state that it re-connects society to ecosystems, emphasizing humanity's dependence on nature. Third, concerns exist that the concept may conflict with biodiversity conservation objectives while others emphasize complementarity. Fourth, the concept is questioned because of its supposed focus on economic valuation, while others argue that ecosystem services science includes many values. Fifth, the concept is criticized for promoting commodification of nature, while others point out that most ecosystem services are not connected to market-based instruments. Sixth, vagueness of definitions and classifications are stated to be a weakness, while others argue that vagueness enhances transdisciplinary collaboration. Seventh, some criticize the normative nature of the concept implying that all outcomes of ecosystem processes are desirable. The normative nature is indeed typical for the concept, but should not be problematic when acknowledged. By disentangling and contrasting different arguments we hope to contribute to a more structured debate between opponents and proponents of the ecosystem services concept.
Accounting for capacity and flow of ecosystem services: A conceptual model and a case study for Telemark, Norway
Schroter, M. ; Barton, D.N. ; Remme, R.P. ; Hein, L.G. - \ 2014
Ecological Indicators 36 (2014). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 539 - 551.
supply-and-demand - decision-making - framework - classification - indicators - scales - land - sustainability - management - valuation
Understanding the flow of ecosystem services and the capacity of ecosystems to generate these services is an essential element for understanding the sustainability of ecosystem use as well as developing ecosystem accounts. We conduct spatially explicit analyses of nine ecosystem services in Telemark County, Southern Norway. The ecosystem services included are moose hunting, sheep grazing, timber harvest, forest carbon sequestration and storage, snow slide prevention, recreational residential amenity, recreational hiking and existence of areas without technical interference. We conceptually distinguish capacity to provide ecosystem services from the actual flow of services, and empirically assess both. This is done by means of different spatial models, developed with various available datasets and methods, including (multiple layer) look-up tables, causal relations between datasets (including satellite images), environmental regression and indicators derived from direct measurements. Capacity and flow differ both in spatial extent and in quantities. We discuss five conditions for a meaningful spatial capacity–flow-balance. These are (1) a conceptual difference between capacity and flow, (2) spatial explicitness of capacity and flow, (3) the same spatial extent of both, (4) rivalry or congestion, and (5) measurement with aligned indicators. We exemplify spatially explicit balances between capacity and flow for two services, which meet these five conditions. Research in the emerging field of mapping ES should focus on the development of compatible indicators for capacity and flow. The distinction of capacity and flow of ecosystem services provides a parsimonious estimation of over- or underuse of the respective service. Assessment of capacity and flow in a spatially explicit way can thus support monitoring sustainability of ecosystem use, which is an essential element of ecosystem accounting.
|Soil carbon storage is promoted more by Jícaro than by Guácimo trees in silvopastoral systems in Nicaragua
Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Remme, R.P. ; Velthorst, E.J. ; Nieuwenhuyse, A. - \ 2013
In: Proceedings of the FUNCiTREE final conference, 23-25 May 2013, Trondheim, Norway. - - p. 12 - 13.
Abstract The role of solitary trees in providing ecosystems services to silvopastoral systems gained attention in recent years. Next to providing fodder (fruits), fuel and timber wood, trees are also likely to affect soil characteristics and the cycling of C and nutrients in their vicinity. These tree – soil effects are hypothesized to affect soil respiration (CO2 efflux) and C stabilisation. The soils in the Rivas area were formed in marine clay and sand deposits of young Tertiary age. For this study, 6 Guazuma ulmifolia (Guácimo) and 6 Crescentia alata (Jicaro) trees were selected in relatively flat parts of the landscape. Soils were classified as Vertic Haplustolls (Mollisols on gently sloping alluvial fans) and Haplusters (Vertisols in the central parts of depressions). Soil samples and soil respiration measurements were collected from three locations near each tree: 1 pasture – no tree effect (10 m up-wind from the tree); 2 tree canopies – above and belowground tree litter input; 3 pasture and aboveground leaf litter input (down-wind zone where most leaf litter is deposited). Soil samples were taken to represent the 0 – 20 and 20 – 50 cm depth increments. Soil bulk density was affected by soil type (P=0.011), tree species (P