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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    Social learning and land lease to stimulate the delivery of ecosystem services in intensive arable farming
    Westerink, Judith ; Pérez-Soba, Marta ; Doorn, Anne van - \ 2020
    Ecosystem Services 44 (2020). - ISSN 2212-0416
    Behaviour - Ecosystem services - Farmer groups - Governance arrangements - Private - Social learning

    Current intensive arable production systems tend to favour food production at the cost of the provision of other ecosystem services. In order to decrease the environmental impact and increase the variety and level of ecosystem services delivery, arable farmers would need to change their current practices. Governance arrangements aimed at such changes of behaviour not only include those from government, but also from institutions as developed bottom-up by farmers, other actors and networks. This paper investigates the role that governance arrangements developed by groups of farmers in intensive arable production systems in The Netherlands may have in changing agronomic practices that will improve the delivery of regulating and cultural ecosystem services. We evaluate the arrangements according to their potential effects on farmers and their social environment. Firstly, we consider the effect on farmers’ motivation and ability to change their practices. And secondly we consider the legitimation of, and demand for behavioural change by their social environment. The results suggest that social learning and land lease are promising supportive governance arrangements for behavioural change, and that private and public governance arrangements can be complementary.

    Changes in food access by mestizo communities associated with deforestation and agrobiodiversity loss in Ucayali, Peruvian Amazon
    Blundo-Canto, Genowefa ; Cruz-Garcia, Gisella S. ; Talsma, Elise F. ; Francesconi, Wendy ; Labarta, Ricardo ; Sanchez-Choy, Jose ; Perez-Marulanda, Lisset ; Paz-Garcia, Paula ; Quintero, Marcela - \ 2020
    Food Security 12 (2020). - ISSN 1876-4517 - p. 637 - 658.
    Agrobiodiversity - Ecosystem services - Food security - Household dietary diversity score - Land use change

    Few longitudinal studies link agricultural biodiversity, land use and food access in rural landscapes. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that, in a context of economic change, cash crop expansion is associated with deforestation, reduced agrobiodiversity and changes in food access. For this purpose, we analysed data collected from the same 53 upland and floodplain mestizo households in Ucayali, Peru, in 2000 and 2015. We found an emerging transition towards less diversified food access coupled with loss of forest cover and reduced agricultural biodiversity. In 2015, diets appeared to rely on fewer food groups, fewer food items, and on products increasingly purchased in the market compared to 2000. Wild fruits and plants were mentioned, but rarely consumed. Agricultural production systems became more specialised with a shift towards commercial crops. Peak deforestation years in the 15-year period appeared linked with incentives for agricultural expansion. Our results suggest an overall trend from diversified productive and “extractive” systems and more diverse food access, towards specialized productive systems, with less diverse food access and stronger market orientation (both in production and consumption). The assumption in the food and agricultural sciences that increased income and market-orientation is linked to improved food security, is challenged by our integrated analyses of food access, agrobiodiversity, land use and forest cover. Our results highlight the importance of longitudinal, multidimensional, systemic analyses, with major implications for land use, food and health policies. The potential risks of parallel homogenisation of diets and agricultural production systems require interdisciplinary research and policies that promote integrated landscape approaches for sustainable and inclusive food systems.

    Impacts of cropland expansion on carbon storage : A case study in Hubei, China
    Tang, Lanping ; Ke, Xinli ; Zhou, Ting ; Zheng, Weiwei ; Wang, Liye - \ 2020
    Journal of Environmental Management 265 (2020). - ISSN 0301-4797
    Carbon storage - Cropland expansion - Cropland protection policies - Ecosystem services - Land use model

    When cropland expansion encroaches on ecological land (e.g., forest, grassland, wetland), it seriously affects carbon storage which plays an important role in global climate change. Taking Hubei as the study area, this study explored the effects of cropland expansion on carbon storage in both 2000–2010 and 2010–2030 in different scenarios by using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST) model and the LAND System Cellular Automata model for Potential Effects (LANDSCAPE). The results showed that cropland expansion led to a massive loss of carbon storage (1.76 Tg C) during 2000–2010, which is expected to continue during 2010–2030 in different scenarios. The loss is predicted to be 3.70 Tg C in the Business-As-Usual scenario and be 0.88 Tg C in the Requisition–Compensation Balance of Cropland Policy scenario. Noticeably, the loss of carbon storage due to cropland expansion was 1.12 times more than that due to urban expansion during 2000–2010. For the period of 2010–2030, the loss of carbon storage caused by cropland expansion is predicted to be 3.89 times more than that caused by urban expansion in the Business-As-Usual scenario, while the losses caused by cropland expansion and urban expansion are predicted to be almost equal in the Requisition–Compensation Balance of Cropland Policy scenario. The main cause of carbon storage loss due to cropland expansion is that it leads to the considerable loss of forest and wetland. This study highlights the importance of considering the loss of carbon storage caused by cropland expansion when conducting cropland protection policies and land use planning.

    Examining effects of climate change and land use dynamic on biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services of a natural reserve region
    Sannigrahi, Srikanta ; Zhang, Qi ; Joshi, P.K. ; Sutton, Paul C. ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Roy, P.S. ; Pilla, Francesco ; Basu, Bidroha ; Wang, Ying ; Jha, Shouvik ; Paul, Saikat Kumar ; Sen, Somnath - \ 2020
    Journal of Cleaner Production 257 (2020). - ISSN 0959-6526
    CA-Markov - Climate change - Ecosystem services - InVEST - Land use - Sundarbans

    Ecosystem Service Valuation (ESV) is a process of evaluating and quantifying the monetary values of ESs and their functions. Using both biophysical and spatially explicit integrated models, biophysical and monetary values of key Ecosystem Services (ESs) were estimated in the Sundarbans Biosphere Region (SBR), India. Quantification was made both in time series (1982–2017) and individual years (1973, 1988, 2003, 2013, 2018, 2025, 2035, 2045) to understand the impact of climate change and land-use dynamics on the long-term ecological status of the region. The monetary and biophysical values of the ESs were then obtained from Net Primary Productivity (NPP) models, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST), and Cellular Automata Markov Chain Model (CA-Markov). NPP increased significantly during the first half period (1982–1999), but significantly declined during the second period (2000–2017). The highest estimated ESVs (US$ ha−1) was found for habitat service (30780), nutrient cycling (12626), and gas regulation (7224.81), whereas, lower ESVs were approximated for water regulation (347.81), raw material production (777.82) and waste treatment (13.57) services. Among the nine ESs evaluated, climate regulation, gas regulation, and disturbance regulation were the most important regulating services of the SBR. The combined effects of climate change and land-use dynamics on ESs are much stringent in a vulnerable region like the SBR. Most of the regulating services were closely associated with the fluctuation of land use land cover input. Thus, land management policies and land reform strategies that will encourage the conversion of productive land, especially the highly productive mangrove forest, for the development or any other financial benefits, would disturb the ideal human-nature balance of this ecosystem. The outcomes of this study also provide an important reference to the land administrators, researchers, and decision-makers to comprehend the expected social-ecological juxtaposition in a protected natural reserve region like the Sundarbans.

    Responses of ecosystem services to natural and anthropogenic forcings: A spatial regression based assessment in the world's largest mangrove ecosystem
    Sannigrahi, Srikanta ; Zhang, Qi ; Pilla, Francesco ; Joshi, Pawan Kumar ; Basu, Bidroha ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Roy, P.S. ; Wang, Ying ; Sutton, Paul C. ; Chakraborti, Suman ; Paul, Saikat Kumar ; Sen, Somnath - \ 2020
    Science of the Total Environment 715 (2020). - ISSN 0048-9697
    Biophysical and economic valuation - Climate change - Data dimensionality - Ecosystem services - Spatial regression - Sundarbans

    Most of the Earth's Ecosystem Services (ESs) have experienced a decreasing trend in the last few decades, primarily due to increasing human dominance in the natural environment. Identification and categorization of factors that affect the provision of ESs from global to local scales are challenging. This study makes an effort to identify the key driving factors and examine their effects on different ESs in the Sundarbans region, India. We carry out the analysis following five successive steps: (1) quantifying biophysical and economic values of ESs using three valuation approaches; (2) identifying six major driving forces on ESs; (3) categorizing principal data components with dimensionality reduction; (4) constructing multivariate regression models with variance partitioning; (5) implementing six spatial regression models to examine the causal effects of natural and anthropogenic forcings on ESs. Results show that climatic factors, biophysical factors, and environmental stressors significantly affect the ESs. Among the six driving factors, climate factors are highly associated with the ESs variation and explain the maximum model variances (R2 = 0.75–0.81). Socioeconomic (R2 = 0.44–0.66) and development (R2 = 27–0.44) factors have weak to moderate effects on the ESs. Furthermore, the joint effects of the driving factors are much higher than their individual effects. Among the six spatial regression models, Geographical Weighted Regression (GWR) performs the most accurately and explains the maximum model variances. The proposed hybrid valuation method aggregates biophysical and economic estimates of ESs and addresses methodological biases existing in the valuation process. The presented framework can be generalized and applied to other ecosystems at different scales. The outcome of this study could be a reference for decision-makers, planners, land administrators in formulating a suitable action plan and adopting relevant management practices to improve the overall socio-ecological status of the region.

    Insect pollination is the weakest link in the production of a hybrid seed crop
    Fijen, Thijs P.M. ; Scheper, Jeroen A. ; Vogel, Cassandra ; Ruijven, Jasper van; Kleijn, David - \ 2020
    Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 290 (2020). - ISSN 0167-8809
    Agricultural management - Ecosystem services - Fertiliser - Insect pollination - Interactions - Irrigation

    Ecological intensification of farming proposes that more effective use of ecosystem services can, in part, replace external inputs allowing farmers to maintain high crop yields while reducing adverse effects on the environment. However, uptake of ecological intensification among farmers is currently hampered by a lack of realistic studies on the agronomic benefits of enhancing ecosystem services vis-à-vis the benefits of conventional external inputs. Here, we use a full-factorial field experiment to test the relative and interactive effects of fertilisation, irrigation and pollination on crop yield of three parental crop lines of leek (Allium porrum) hybrid seed production. In a commercial leek seed production field, we assessed the agronomic performance of plants receiving conventional or 50 % reduced external inputs and that were either continuously accessible to pollinators or only 50 % of the time. For all crop lines, we found that reducing insect pollination had at least two times stronger effects on crop yield than similar reductions in fertilisation or irrigation. Surprisingly, reducing fertiliser inputs by half did not negatively affect crop yield (one line) or even increased crop yield (two lines), suggesting that in this system fertiliser is an over-applied agricultural input. Reducing irrigation did not affect crop yield in two lines but reduced crop yield in the third line. However, there were strong indications that this negative effect of reduced irrigation was due to reduced attractiveness for pollinators. Effects of fertilisation, irrigation and pollination on crop yield were additive, with the exception of pollination effects being influenced by fertilisation level in one of the lines. Under real-world conditions, reductions in insect pollination consistently reduced hybrid leek crop yield while reductions in external inputs did not. This suggests that in this cropping system insect pollination is the weakest link in the agricultural production process. Our findings help explain why the relation between agricultural intensification and yield growth disappears with the dependence of crops on insect pollination. For insect-depended crops, protection or promotion of pollinators in agricultural landscapes is essential for maintaining high yields.

    Spatial quantification to examine the effectiveness of payments for ecosystem services: A case study of Costa Rica's Pago de Servicios Ambientales
    Havinga, Ilan ; Hein, Lars ; Vega-Araya, Mauricio ; Languillaume, Antoine - \ 2020
    Ecological Indicators 108 (2020). - ISSN 1470-160X
    Carbon storage - Conservation - Ecosystem accounting - Ecosystem services - Machine learning - Payments for ecosystem services

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) have been developed as a policy instrument to help safeguard the contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. A critical measure of a programme's effectiveness is whether it is generating an additional supply of ecosystem services (ES). So far, there has been limited analysis of PES programmes based on the actual supply of ES. In line with ecosystem accounting principles, we spatially quantified three ES recognised by Costa Rica's Pago de Servicios Ambientales (PSA) programme: carbon storage, soil erosion control and habitat suitability for biodiversity as a cultural ES. We used the machine learning algorithm random forest to model carbon storage, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to model soil erosion control and Maxent to model habitat suitability. The additional effect of the PSA programme on carbon storage was examined using linear regression. Forested land was found to store 235.3 Mt of carbon, control for 148 Mt yr−1 of soil erosion and contain 762,891 ha of suitable habitat for three iconic but threatened species. PSA areas enrolled in the programme in both 2011 and 2013 were found to store an additional 9 tonC ha−1 on average. As well as enabling a direct quantification of additionality, spatial distribution analysis can help administrators target high-value areas, confirm the conditional supply of ES and support the monetary valuation of ES. Ultimately, this can help improve the social efficiency of payments by enabling a comparison of societal costs and benefits.

    Soil erosion as a resilience drain in disturbed tropical forests
    Flores, Bernardo M. ; Staal, Arie ; Jakovac, Catarina C. ; Hirota, Marina ; Holmgren, Milena ; Oliveira, Rafael S. - \ 2020
    Plant and Soil 450 (2020). - ISSN 0032-079X - p. 11 - 25.
    Dynamics - Ecosystem services - Feedback - Forest restoration - Global change - Secondary forests

    Background: Tropical forests are threatened by intensifying natural and anthropogenic disturbance regimes. Disturbances reduce tree cover and leave the organic topsoil vulnerable to erosion processes, but when resources are still abundant forests usually recover. Scope: Across the tropics, variation in rainfall erosivity – a measure of potential soil exposure to water erosion – indicates that soils in the wetter regions would experience high erosion rates if they were not protected by tree cover. However, twenty-first-century global land cover data reveal that in wet South America tropical tree cover is decreasing and bare soil area is increasing. Here we address the role of soil erosion in a positive feedback mechanism that may persistently alter the functioning of disturbed tropical forests. Conclusions: Based on an extensive literature review, we propose a conceptual model in which soil erosion reinforces disturbance effects on tropical forests, reducing their resilience with time and increasing their likelihood of being trapped in an alternative vegetation state that is persistently vulnerable to erosion. We present supporting field evidence from two distinct forests in central Amazonia that have been repeatedly disturbed. Overall, the strength of the erosion feedback depends on disturbance types and regimes, as well as on local environmental conditions, such as topography, flooding, and soil fertility. As disturbances intensify in tropical landscapes, we argue that the erosion feedback may help to explain why certain forests persist in a degraded state and often undergo critical functional shifts.

    Uncertainty in ecosystem services maps : The case of carbon stocks in the Brazilian Amazon forest using regression analysis
    Clec’h, Solen Le; Dufour, Simon ; Bucheli, Janic ; Grimaldi, Michel ; Huber, Robert ; Souza Miranda, Izildinha de; Mitja, Danielle ; Silva Costa, Luiz Gonzaga ; Oszwald, Johan - \ 2019
    Wadden Sea Ecosystem 4 (2019). - ISSN 0946-896X
    Deforestation - Ecosystem services - Prediction intervals - Reliability - Statistical modelling - Variability

    Ecosystem Service (ES) mapping has become a key tool in scientific assessments of human-nature interactions and is being increasingly used in environmental planning and policy-making. However, the associated epistemic uncertainty underlying these maps often is not systematically considered. This paper proposes a basic procedure to present areas with lower statistical reliability in a map of an ES indicator, the vegetation carbon stock, when extrapolating field data to larger case study regions. To illustrate our approach, we use regression analyses to model the spatial distribution of vegetation carbon stock in the Brazilian Amazon forest in the State of Pará. In our analysis, we used field data measurements for the carbon stock in three study sites as the response variable and various land characteristics derived from remote sensing as explanatory variables for the ES indicator. We performed regression methods to map the carbon stocks and calculated three indicators of reliability: RMSE-Root-mean-square-error, R -coefficient of determination - from an out-of-sample validation and prediction intervals. We obtained a map of carbon stocks and made explicit its associated uncertainty using a general indicator of reliability and a map presenting the areas where our prediction is the most uncertain. Finally, we highlighted the role of environmental factors on the range of uncertainty. The results have two implications. (1) Mapping prediction interval indicates areas where the map’s reliability is the highest. This information increases the usefulness of ES maps in environmental planning and governance. (2) In the case of the studied indicator, the reliability of our prediction is very dependent on land cover type, on the site location and its biophysical, socioeconomic and political characteristics. A better understanding of the relationship between carbon stock and land-use classes would increase the reliability of the maps. Results of our analysis help to direct future research and fieldwork and to prevent decision-making based on unreliable maps.

    Optimal strategies for ecosystem services provision in Amazonian production forests
    Piponiot, Camille ; Rutishauser, Ervan ; Derroire, Géraldine ; Putz, Francis E. ; Sist, Plinio ; West, Thales A.P. ; Descroix, Laurent ; Guedes, Marcelino Carneiro ; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N. ; Kanashiro, Milton ; Mazzei, Lucas ; Oliveira, Marcus Vinicio Neves D'; Pena Claros, Marielos ; Rodney, Ken ; Ruschel, Ademir R. ; Souza, Cintia Rodrigues De; Vidal, Edson ; Wortel, Verginia ; Hérault, Bruno - \ 2019
    Environmental Research Letters 14 (2019)12. - ISSN 1748-9318
    Amazonia - Biodiversity - Carbon - Ecosystem services - Multi-criteria optimisation - Selective logging - Timber production

    Although tropical forests harbour most of the terrestrial carbon and biological diversity on Earth they continue to be deforested or degraded at high rates. In Amazonia, the largest tropical forest on Earth, a sixth of the remaining natural forests is formally dedicated to timber extraction through selective logging. Reconciling timber extraction with the provision of other ecosystem services (ES) remains a major challenge for forest managers and policy-makers. This study applies a spatial optimisation of logging in Amazonian production forests to analyse potential trade-offs between timber extraction and recovery, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Current logging regulations with unique cutting cycles result in sub-optimal ES-use efficiency. Long-term timber provision would require the adoption of a land-sharing strategy that involves extensive low-intensity logging, although high transport and road-building costs might make this approach economically unattractive. By contrast, retention of carbon and biodiversity would be enhanced by a land-sparing strategy restricting high-intensive logging to designated areas such as the outer fringes of the region. Depending on management goals and societal demands, either choice will substantially influence the future of Amazonian forests. Overall, our results highlight the need for revaluation of current logging regulations and regional cooperation among Amazonian countries to enhance coherent and trans-boundary forest management.

    Discounting in the presence of scarce ecosystem services
    Zhu, Xueqin ; Smulders, Sjak ; Zeeuw, Aart de - \ 2019
    Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 98 (2019). - ISSN 0095-0696
    Consumption value - Discount rate - Ecosystem services - Growth rate - Production value - Ramsey balanced growth

    The discount rate for cost-benefit analysis has to take account of future scarcity of ecosystem services in consumption and production. Previous literature focuses on the first aspect and shows the importance of the relative price effect, for given growth rates of consumption and ecosystem services. This paper focuses on intermediate ecosystem services in production and shows that for limited substitutability and a low growth rate of these ecosystem services, the growth rate of consumption, and thus the discount rate, declines towards a low value. Using a Ramsey growth model, the paper distinguishes three cases. If ecosystem services can be easily substituted, the discount rate converges to the usual value in the long term. Secondly, if ecosystem services can be easily substituted in production but not in consumption, the relative price effect is important. Finally, and most interestingly, if ecosystem services cannot be easily substituted in production, the discount rate declines towards a low value and the relative price effect is less important. Another part of the previous literature has shown that a declining discount rate is the result of introducing several forms of uncertainty, but this paper reaches that conclusion from an endogenous effect on the growth rate of the economy.

    Exploring the usefulness of scenario archetypes in science-policy processes: Experience across IPBES assessments
    Sitas, Nadia ; Harmáčková, Zuzana V. ; Anticamara, Jonathan A. ; Arneth, Almut ; Badola, Ruchi ; Biggs, Reinette ; Blanchard, Ryan ; Brotons, Lluis ; Cantele, Matthew ; Coetzer, Kaera ; Dasgupta, Rajarshi ; Belder, Eefje Den; Ghosh, Sonali ; Guisan, Antoine ; Gundimeda, Haripriya ; Hamann, Maike ; Harrison, Paula A. ; Hashimoto, Shizuka ; Hauck, Jennifer ; Klatt, Brian J. ; Kok, Kasper ; Krug, Rainer M. ; Niamir, Aidin ; O'farrell, Patrick J. ; Okayasu, Sana ; Palomo, Ignacio ; Pereira, Laura M. ; Riordan, Philip ; Santos-Martín, Fernando ; Selomane, Odirilwe ; Shin, Yunne Jai ; Valle, Mireia - \ 2019
    Ecology and Society 24 (2019)3. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Assessment - Biodiversity - Decision making - Ecosystem services - Futures - Nature - Regional - Scenarios

    Scenario analyses have been used in multiple science-policy assessments to better understand complex plausible futures. Scenario archetype approaches are based on the fact that many future scenarios have similar underlying storylines, assumptions, and trends in drivers of change, which allows for grouping of scenarios into typologies, or archetypes, facilitating comparisons between a large range of studies. The use of scenario archetypes in environmental assessments foregrounds important policy questions and can be used to codesign interventions tackling future sustainability issues. Recently, scenario archetypes were used in four regional assessments and one ongoing global assessment within the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The aim of these assessments was to provide decision makers with policy-relevant knowledge about the state of biodiversity, ecosystems, and the contributions they provide to people. This paper reflects on the usefulness of the scenario archetype approach within science-policy processes, drawing on the experience from the IPBES assessments. Using a thematic analysis of (a) survey data collected from experts involved in the archetype analyses across IPBES assessments, (b) notes from IPBES workshops, and (c) regional assessment chapter texts, we synthesize the benefits, challenges, and frontiers of applying the scenario archetype approach in a science-policy process. Scenario archetypes were perceived to allow syntheses of large amounts of information for scientific, practice-, and policy-related purposes, streamline key messages from multiple scenario studies, and facilitate communication of them to end users. In terms of challenges, they were perceived as subjective in their interpretation, oversimplifying information, having a limited applicability across scales, and concealing contextual information and novel narratives. Finally, our results highlight what methodologies, applications, and frontiers in archetype-based research should be explored in the future. These advances can assist the design of future large-scale sustainability-related assessment processes, aiming to better support decisions and interventions for equitable and sustainable futures.

    Disentangling ‘ecosystem services’ and ‘nature’s contributions to people’
    Kadykalo, Andrew N. ; López-Rodriguez, María D. ; Ainscough, Jacob ; Droste, Nils ; Ryu, Hyeonju ; Ávila-Flores, Giovanni ; Clec’h, Solen Le; Muñoz, Marcia C. ; Nilsson, Lovisa ; Rana, Sakshi ; Sarkar, Priyanka ; Sevecke, Katharina J. ; Harmáčková, Zuzana V. - \ 2019
    Ecosystems and People 15 (2019)1. - ISSN 2639-5908 - p. 269 - 287.
    Ecosystem services - IPBES - nature’s benefits to people - nature’s contributions to people - NCP - Patricia Balvanera - people and nature - science–policy interface

    People depend on functioning ecosystems, which provide benefits that support human existence and wellbeing. The relationship between people and nature has been experienced and conceptualized in multiple ways. Recently, ecosystem services (ES) concepts have permeated science, government policies, multi-national environmental agreements, and science–policy interfaces. In 2017, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) introduced a new and closely related concept–Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP). The introduction of NCP has sparked some lively discussion and confusion about the distinguishing characteristics between ES and NCP. In order to clarify their conceptual relation, we identify eleven specific claims about novel elements from the latest NCP literature and analyze how far ES research has already contributed to these corresponding conceptual claims in the existing ES literature. We find a mixed-picture, where on six specific conceptual claims (culture, social sciences and humanities, indigenous and local knowledge, negative contributions of nature, generalizing perspective, non-instrumental values and valuation) NCP does not differ greatly from past ES research, but we also find five conceptual claims (diverse worldviews, context-specific perspective, relational values, fuzzy and fluid reporting categories and groups, inclusive language and framing) where NCP provides novel conceptualizations of people and nature relations.

    Role and management of soil biodiversity for food security and nutrition; where do we stand?
    Mujtar, V. El; Muñoz, N. ; Prack Mc Cormick, B. ; Pulleman, M. ; Tittonell, P. - \ 2019
    Global Food Security 20 (2019). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 132 - 144.
    Agriculture - Ecosystem services - Soil biota - Soil fauna - Soil food webs - Soil microorganisms

    Soils host diverse communities that support and regulate ecosystem functions, thereby affecting plant production and resource use efficiencies. There is increasing evidence that agricultural intensification affects soil biodiversity (SBD) and such changes may impact on current and future food security. Here, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art on the relations between agricultural management, SBD and food production. The potential of applying such knowledge to improve food security and nutrition is discussed. Biotechnological methods to describe impacts of agricultural practices on taxonomic and functional diversity of soil organisms are advancing rapidly. At the same time new understanding of soil-plant interactions has provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which soil organisms and plants co-regulate plant growth and defences, or affect food nutritional quality and safety. Yet, empirical studies on SBD – plant productivity relations often lead to results and applications that are crop and context specific. Translating knowledge on SBD into universally applicable soil management recommendations to enhance food production, and ultimately food security, remains challenging. Instead, we propose a holistic approach to SBD management that strengthens multiple ecosystem functions and provides ecological insurance.

    Evaluating landscape capacity to provide spatially explicit valued ecosystem services for sustainable coastal resource management
    Sannigrahi, Srikanta ; Joshi, Pawan Kumar ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Paul, Saikat Kumar ; Sen, Somnath ; Roy, P.S. ; Chakraborti, Suman ; Bhatt, Sandeep - \ 2019
    Ocean & Coastal Management 182 (2019). - ISSN 0964-5691
    Biodiversity - Climate regulation - Coastal management - Ecosystem services - Gas regulation - Landscape

    Ecosystem Services (ESs) are the direct and indirect benefits and opportunities that human obtained from the ecosystem. This study evaluated landscape capacity of providing multiple key ESs in a tropical coastal ecosystem (Sundarbans Biodiversity Region (SBR)India). Multiple supervised machine learning algorithms were utilized to classify the regions into several landscape zones. The provisioning capacities of ESs for each landscape type were derived separately from an expert opinion survey and the remote sensing based methods, and the association of the outcomes between these two approaches was evaluated using the Pearson correlation coefficient test. A total of nine ESs were selected to quantify their economic values for several reference years. The benefit transfer and equivalent value coefficient approaches were used to aggregate the economic values for each ES. Research results indicated that the water bodies are the most important landscape units in the SBR region. This ecosystem has the highest relevant capacity to provide the necessary regulatory, supporting, provisioning, and cultural ESs. Water regulation (WR), waste treatment (WT), aesthetic, recreation, and cultural (ARC), and climate regulation (CR) are the main ESs of the SBR. These services are immensely important not only for upgrading the livelihood status of coastal communities but also for the climatic and environmental suitability of the Kolkata urban region. The correlation results between the remote sensing and expert-based capacity estimates have suggested that the proposed remote sensing approach could be an alternative to evaluate the landscape capacity of providing multiple ESs in any given ecosystem. Except for the mangrove region, a very high (>0.7) correlation was observed between the model and expert-derived capacity values. The outcome of this study could be an important reference to the land administrators, planners, decision makers for adopting suitable land resource management plans for sustainable uses of natural resources in coastal region.

    Synthesizing plausible futures for biodiversity and ecosystem services in europe and central asia using scenario archetypes
    Harrison, Paula A. ; Harmáčková, Zuzana V. ; Karabulut, Armağan Aloe ; Brotons, Lluis ; Cantele, Matthew ; Claudet, Joachim ; Dunford, Robert W. ; Guisan, Antoine ; Holman, Ian P. ; Jacobs, Sander ; Kok, Kasper ; Lobanova, Anastasia ; Morán-Ordóñez, Alejandra ; Pedde, Simona ; Rixen, Christian ; Santos-Martín, Fernando ; Schlaepfer, Martin A. ; Solidoro, Cosimo ; Sonrel, Anthony ; Hauck, Jennifer - \ 2019
    Ecology and Society 24 (2019)2. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Biodiversity - Drivers - Ecosystem services - Exploratory scenarios - Impacts - IPBES - Models - Nature - Nature’s contributions to people (NCP)

    Scenarios are a useful tool to explore possible futures of social-ecological systems. The number of scenarios has increased dramatically over recent decades, with a large diversity in temporal and spatial scales, purposes, themes, development methods, and content. Scenario archetypes generically describe future developments and can be useful in meaningfully classifying scenarios, structuring and summarizing the overwhelming amount of information, and enabling scientific outputs to more effectively interface with decision-making frameworks. The Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) faced this challenge and used scenario archetypes in its assessment of future interactions between nature and society. We describe the use of scenario archetypes in the IPBES Regional Assessment of Europe and Central Asia. Six scenario archetypes for the region are described in terms of their driver assumptions and impacts on nature (including biodiversity) and its contributions to people (including ecosystem services): Business-as-usual, economic optimism, regional competition, regional sustainability, global sustainable development, and inequality. The analysis shows that trade-offs between nature’s contributions to people are projected under different scenario archetypes. However, the means of resolving these trade-offs depend on differing political and societal value judgements within each scenario archetype. Scenarios that include proactive decision making on environmental issues, environmental management approaches that support multifunctionality, and mainstreaming environmental issues across sectors, are generally more successful in mitigating tradeoffs than isolated environmental policies. Furthermore, those scenario archetypes that focus on achieving a balanced supply of nature’s contributions to people and that incorporate a diversity of values are estimated to achieve more policy goals and targets, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi targets. The scenario archetypes approach is shown to be helpful in supporting science-policy dialogue for proactive decision making that anticipates change, mitigates undesirable trade-offs, and fosters societal transformation in pursuit of sustainable development.

    Forests expand as livestock pressure declines in subtropical South America
    Bernardi, Rafael E. ; Buddeberg, Marion ; Arim, Matías ; Holmgren, Milena - \ 2019
    Ecology and Society 24 (2019)2. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Agriculture - Campos - Cattle - Ecological transitions - Ecosystem services - Grasslands - Sheep - Tree cover - Uruguay - Vegetation shifts

    Forests, savannas, and grasslands are prevalent across the landscapes of South America. Land uses associated with these ecosystems have influenced economies from household to country scales, shaping social-ecological organization across the region since pre-Hispanic societies. Recent studies suggest that tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and forests represent alternative ecosystem states. Transitions between these ecosystem states can be promoted by changes in disturbance regimes and by land uses determined by the organization of societies and their activities. We analyzed how changes in agriculture, fire, and livestock management influenced forest cover over a 45-year span (1966-2011) in the Campos region, an extensive subtropical ecotone between rain forests and grasslands of South America. We found that forests contracted in areas with high crop agriculture, whereas forests increased in those grasslands where livestock densities had been reduced. These patterns were strongly associated with soil and topographic conditions because they broadly determine the potential land productivity and use. Our results show that current land use and disturbance regimes explain the large extent of grasslands across the South American Campos and suggest that changes in land use and disturbance regimes could facilitate or prevent transitions between subtropical forests, savannas, and grasslands altering the provision of ecosystem services linked to them.

    Transferring biodiversity-ecosystem function research to the management of ‘real-world’ ecosystems
    Manning, P. ; Loos, Jacqueline ; Barnes, Andrew D. ; Batáry, Péter ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. ; Buchmann, Nina ; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De; Ebeling, Anne ; Eisenhauer, Nico ; Fischer, Markus ; Fründ, Jochen ; Grass, Ingo ; Isselstein, Johannes ; Jochum, M. ; Klein, Alexandra M. ; Klingenberg, Esther O.F. ; Landis, Douglas A. ; Lepš, Jan ; Lindborg, Regina ; Meyer, Sebastian T. ; Temperton, Vicky M. ; Westphal, Catrin ; Tscharntke, Teja - \ 2019
    In: Advances in Ecological Research Academic Press Inc. (Advances in Ecological Research ) - p. 323 - 356.
    BEF research - Biodiversity experiments - Ecosystem management - Ecosystem services - Grasslands - Knowledge transfer

    Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research grew rapidly following concerns that biodiversity loss would negatively affect ecosystem functions and the ecosystem services they underpin. However, despite evidence that biodiversity strongly affects ecosystem functioning, the influence of BEF research upon policy and the management of ‘real-world’ ecosystems, i.e., semi-natural habitats and agroecosystems, has been limited. Here, we address this issue by classifying BEF research into three clusters based on the degree of human control over species composition and the spatial scale, in terms of grain, of the study, and discussing how the research of each cluster is best suited to inform particular fields of ecosystem management. Research in the first cluster, small-grain highly controlled studies, is best able to provide general insights into mechanisms and to inform the management of species-poor and highly managed systems such as croplands, plantations, and the restoration of heavily degraded ecosystems. Research from the second cluster, small-grain observational studies, and species removal and addition studies, may allow for direct predictions of the impacts of species loss in specific semi-natural ecosystems. Research in the third cluster, large-grain uncontrolled studies, may best inform landscape-scale management and national-scale policy. We discuss barriers to transfer within each cluster and suggest how new research and knowledge exchange mechanisms may overcome these challenges. To meet the potential for BEF research to address global challenges, we recommend transdisciplinary research that goes beyond these current clusters and considers the social-ecological context of the ecosystems in which BEF knowledge is generated. This requires recognizing the social and economic value of biodiversity for ecosystem services at scales, and in units, that matter to land managers and policy makers.

    Ecosystem service value assessment of a natural reserve region for strengthening protection and conservation
    Sannigrahi, Srikanta ; Chakraborti, Suman ; Joshi, Pawan Kumar ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Sen, Somnath ; Paul, Saikat Kumar ; Kreuter, Urs ; Sutton, Paul C. ; Jha, Shouvik ; Dang, Kinh Bac - \ 2019
    Journal of Environmental Management 244 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 208 - 227.
    Ecosystem service values - Ecosystem services - Land use - Mangrove ecosystems - Remote sensing - Spatiotemporal - Sundarbans

    Ecosystem Services (ESs) refer to the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being and subsistence. Ecosystem valuation is an approach to assign monetary values to an ecosystem and its key ecosystem goods and services, generally referred to as Ecosystem Service Value (ESV). We have measured spatiotemporal ESV of 17 key ESs of Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve (SBR) in India using temporal remote sensing (RS) data (for years 1973, 1988, 2003, 2013, and 2018). These mangrove ecosystems are crucial for providing valuable supporting, regulatory, provisioning, and cultural ecosystem services. We have adopted supervised machine learning algorithms for classifying the region into different ecosystem units. Among the used machine learning models, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms performed the most accurate and produced the best classification estimates with maximum kappa and an overall accuracy value. The maximum ESV (derived from both adjusted and non-adjusted units, million US$ year −1 ) is produced by mangrove forest, followed by the coastal estuary, cropland, inland wetland, mixed vegetation, and finally urban land. Out of all the ESs, the waste treatment (WT) service is the dominant ecosystem service of SBR. Additionally, the mangrove ecosystem was found to be the most sensitive to land use and land cover changes. The synergy and trade-offs between the ESs are closely associated with the spatial extent. Therefore, accurate estimates of ES valuation and mapping can be a robust tool for assessing the effects of poor decision making and overexploitation of natural resources on ESs.

    Ecosystem Services as (Co-)performative Practice : Experiences from Integrated Water Management in Flanders
    Herzele, Ann Van; Ceuterick, Melissa ; Buizer, Marleen ; Leone, Michael - \ 2019
    Ecological Economics 162 (2019). - ISSN 0921-8009 - p. 29 - 38.
    Ecosystem services - Environmental concepts - Integrated Water Resources Management - Malleability - Performativity - Socio-technical agencement

    Environmental concepts are performative in that they help create the environment they describe. This paper explores the performativity of the ecosystem services concept in the field of integrated water management in Flanders (northern Belgium). The data was collected from 23 in-depth interviews with professionals in the field, conducted in two rounds with a five-year interval and complemented with on-site observations of practices applying the concept. Results indicate that ecosystem services was only marginally performative on its own, and rather was seen as a ‘co-performative concept’ that – in conjunction with existing concepts – could accelerate the envisioned integration process through promoting initiatives, mobilising stakeholders, shaping orientation, creating win-win situations, and more. Yet, despite these aspirations, the concept has in general failed to perform as expected. Many perceived ecosystem services as an academic concept, too complex for practical application. Common strategies were either to adapt the concept to fit one's professional context or to create a new practical context (a stakeholder workshop, for example) where the concept could function. The paper goes on to discuss the more general implications of the (pseudo-)malleability and context-dependence of the ecosystem services concept.

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