A social–ecological analysis of ecosystem services in two different farming systems

Author(s): Andersson, E., B. Nykvist, R. Malinga, F. Jaramillo, R. Lindborg.
In: Ambio 44: 102–112
Year: 2015
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Landscapes, Stewardship
Link to centre authors: Andersson, Erik
Full reference: Andersson, E., B. Nykvist, R. Malinga, F. Jaramillo, R. Lindborg. 2015. A social–ecological analysis of ecosystem services in two different farming systems. Ambio 44: 102–112.

Summary

In this exploratory study we use existing in situ qualitative and quantitative data on biophysical and social indicators to compare two contrasting Swedish farming systems (low intensity and high intensity) with regard to ecosystem service supply and demand of a broad suite of services.

We show that the value (demand) placed on a service is not necessarily connected to the quantity (supply) of the service, most clearly shown for the services recreation, biodiversity, esthetic experience, identity, and cultural heritage. To better capture this complexity we argue for the need to develop portfolios of indicators for different ecosystem services and to further investigate the different aspects of supply and demand.

The study indicates that available data are often ill-suited to answer questions about local delivery of services. If ecosystem services are to be included in policy, planning, and management, census data need to be formatted and scaled appropriately.

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