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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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 Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity
Schroter, M. ; Rusch, G.M. ; Barton, D.N. ; Blumentrath, S. ; Nordén, B. - \ 2014
PLoS ONE 9 (2014)11. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 12 p.
protected areas - trade-offs - rich forests - conservation - landscapes - strategies - payments - benefits - science - norway
Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%.
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.
Ecosystem services and ethics
Jax, K. ; Barton, D.N. ; Chan, K.M.A. ; Groot, R.S. de; Doyle, U. ; Eser, U. ; Goerg, C. ; Gomez-Baggethun, E. ; Griewald, Y. ; Haber, W. ; Haines-Young, R. ; Heink, U. ; Jahn, T. ; Joosten, H. ; Kerschbaumer, L. ; Korn, H. ; Luck, G.W. ; Matzdorf, B. ; Muraca, B. ; Nesshover, C. ; Norton, B. ; Ott, K. ; Potschin, M. ; Rauschmayer, F. ; Haaren, C. von; Wichmann, S. - \ 2013
Ecological Economics 93 (2013). - ISSN 0921-8009 - p. 260 - 268.
environmental ethics - conservation - biodiversity - valuation - values - economics - ecology - science
A major strength of the ecosystem services (ESS) concept is that it allows a succinct description of how human well-being depends on nature, showing that the neglect of such dependencies has negative consequences on human well-being and the economy. As ESS refer to human needs and interests, values are to be considered when dealing with the concept in practice. As a result we argue that in using the concept there is a need to be clear about what different dimensions of value are involved, and be aware of ethical issues that might be associated with the concept. A systematic analysis of the ethical implications associated to the ESS concept is still lacking. We address this deficiency by scrutinising value dimensions associated with the concept, and use this to explore the associated ethical implications. We then highlight how improved transparency in the use of the ESS concept can contribute to using its strengths without succumbing to possible drawbacks arising from ethical problems. These problems concern the dangers that some uses of the concept have in obscuring certain types of value, and in masking unevenness in the distribution of costs and benefits that can arise in the management of ESS.
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