FCE LTER Journal Articles

Abstract

This article outlines an approach, based on ecosystem services, for assessing the trade-offs inherent in managing humans embedded in ecological systems. Evaluating these trade-offs requires an understanding of the biophysical magnitudes of the changes in ecosystem services that result from human actions, and of the impact of these changes on human welfare. We summarize the state of the art of ecosystem services-based management and the information needs for applying it. Three case studies of Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites--coastal, urban, and agricultural-- illustrate the usefulness, information needs, quantification possibilities, and methods for this approach. One example of the application of this approach, with rigorously established service changes and valuations taken from the literature, is used to illustrate the potential for full economic valuation of several agricultural landscape management options, including managing for water quality, biodiversity, and crop productivity.

Comments

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



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