Social-ecological drivers of multiple ecosystem services: what variables explain patterns of ecosystem services across the Norrström drainage basin?

Summary

In human dominated landscapes many diverse, and often antagonistic, human activities are intentionally and inadvertently determining the supply of various ecosystem services. Understanding how different social and ecological factors shape the availability of ecosystem services is essential for fair and effective policy and management. In this paper, we evaluate how well alternative social-ecological models of human impact on ecosystems explain patterns of 16 ecosystem services (ES) across the 62 municipalities of the Norrström drainage basin in Sweden. We test four models of human impact on ecosystems, land use, ecological modernization, ecological footprint, and location theory, and test their ability to predict both individual ES and bundles of ES. We find that different models do best to predict different types of individual ES. Land use is the best model for predicting provisioning services, standing water quality, biodiversity appreciation, and cross-country skiing, while other models work better for the remaining services. However, this range of models is not able to predict some of the cultural ES. ES bundles are predicted worse than individual ES by these models, but provide a clear picture of variation in multiple ecosystem services based on limited information. Based on our results, we offer suggestions on how social-ecological modeling and assessments of ecosystems can be further developed.

Information

Publication info: Meacham, M., C. Queiroz, A.V. Norström, G.D. Peterson. 2016. Social-ecological drivers of multiple ecosystem services: What variables explain patterns of ecosystem services across the Norrström drainage basin? Ecology and Society21(1): 14.

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