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A Methodology for Adaptable and Robust Ecosystem Services Assessment

Author

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  • Ferdinando Villa
  • Kenneth J Bagstad
  • Brian Voigt
  • Gary W Johnson
  • Rosimeiry Portela
  • Miroslav Honzák
  • David Batker

Abstract

Ecosystem Services (ES) are an established conceptual framework for attributing value to the benefits that nature provides to humans. As the promise of robust ES-driven management is put to the test, shortcomings in our ability to accurately measure, map, and value ES have surfaced. On the research side, mainstream methods for ES assessment still fall short of addressing the complex, multi-scale biophysical and socioeconomic dynamics inherent in ES provision, flow, and use. On the practitioner side, application of methods remains onerous due to data and model parameterization requirements. Further, it is increasingly clear that the dominant “one model fits all” paradigm is often ill-suited to address the diversity of real-world management situations that exist across the broad spectrum of coupled human-natural systems. This article introduces an integrated ES modeling methodology, named ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services), which aims to introduce improvements on these fronts. To improve conceptual detail and representation of ES dynamics, it adopts a uniform conceptualization of ES that gives equal emphasis to their production, flow and use by society, while keeping model complexity low enough to enable rapid and inexpensive assessment in many contexts and for multiple services. To improve fit to diverse application contexts, the methodology is assisted by model integration technologies that allow assembly of customized models from a growing model base. By using computer learning and reasoning, model structure may be specialized for each application context without requiring costly expertise. In this article we discuss the founding principles of ARIES - both its innovative aspects for ES science and as an example of a new strategy to support more accurate decision making in diverse application contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferdinando Villa & Kenneth J Bagstad & Brian Voigt & Gary W Johnson & Rosimeiry Portela & Miroslav Honzák & David Batker, 2014. "A Methodology for Adaptable and Robust Ecosystem Services Assessment," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(3), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0091001
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091001
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    7. Oleson, Kirsten L.L. & Bagstad, Kenneth J. & Fezzi, Carlo & Barnes, Megan D. & Donovan, Mary K. & Falinski, Kim A. & Gorospe, Kelvin D. & Htun, Hla & Lecky, Joey & Villa, Ferdinando & Wong, Tamara M., 2020. "Linking Land and Sea Through an Ecological-Economic Model of Coral Reef Recreation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C).
    8. Chennault, Carrie M. & Valek, Robert M. & Tyndall, John C. & Schulte, Lisa A., 2020. "PEWI: An interactive web-based ecosystem service model for a broad public audience," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 431(C).
    9. Gutiérrez-Arellano, Claudia & Mulligan, Mark, 2020. "Small-sized protected areas contribute more per unit area to tropical crop pollination than large protected areas," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    10. Warnell, Katherine J.D. & Russell, Marc & Rhodes, Charles & Bagstad, Kenneth J. & Olander, Lydia P. & Nowak, David J. & Poudel, Rajendra & Glynn, Pierre D. & Hass, Julie L. & Hirabayashi, Satoshi & In, 2020. "Testing ecosystem accounting in the United States: A case study for the Southeast," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    11. Banerjee, Onil & Crossman, Neville & Vargas, Renato & Brander, Luke & Verburg, Peter & Cicowiez, Martin & Hauck, Jennifer & McKenzie, Emily, 2020. "Global socio-economic impacts of changes in natural capital and ecosystem services: State of play and new modeling approaches," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    12. Loomis, John J. & Knaus, Michael & Dziedzic, Maurício, 2019. "Integrated quantification of forest total economic value," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 335-346.
    13. Yuan, Mei-Hua & Lo, Shang-Lien, 2020. "Ecosystem services and sustainable development: Perspectives f1 rom the food-energy-water Nexus," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    14. Capriolo, A. & Boschetto, R.G. & Mascolo, R.A. & Balbi, S. & Villa, F., 2020. "Biophysical and economic assessment of four ecosystem services for natural capital accounting in Italy," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    15. Vallecillo, Sara & Kakoulaki, Georgia & La Notte, Alessandra & Feyen, Luc & Dottori, Francesco & Maes, Joachim, 2020. "Accounting for changes in flood control delivered by ecosystems at the EU level," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    16. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey & Bettina Weibel & Kenneth J Bagstad & Marika Ferrari & Davide Geneletti & Hermann Klug & Uta Schirpke & Ulrike Tappeiner, 2014. "On the Effects of Scale for Ecosystem Services Mapping," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(12), pages 1-26, December.
    17. Hugé, J. & Rochette, A.J. & de Béthune, S. & Parra Paitan, C.C. & Vanderhaegen, K. & Vandervelden, T. & Van Passel, S. & Vanhove, M.P.M. & Verbist, B. & Verheyen, D. & Waas, T. & Janssens, I. & Jans, 2020. "Ecosystem services assessment tools for African Biosphere Reserves: A review and user-informed classification," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).
    18. Dang, Anh Nguyet & Jackson, Bethanna Marie & Benavidez, Rubianca & Tomscha, Stephanie Anne, 2021. "Review of ecosystem service assessments: Pathways for policy integration in Southeast Asia," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    19. Valencia Torres, Angélica & Tiwari, Chetan & Atkinson, Samuel F., 2021. "Progress in ecosystem services research: A guide for scholars and practitioners," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    20. Jones, Kelly W. & Mayer, Alex & Von Thaden, Juan & Berry, Z. Carter & López-Ramírez, Sergio & Salcone, Jacob & Manson, Robert H. & Asbjornsen, Heidi, 2020. "Measuring the net benefits of payments for hydrological services programs in Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).
    21. Kerstin M Brauneder & Chloe Montes & Simon Blyth & Leon Bennun & Stuart H M Butchart & Michael Hoffmann & Neil D Burgess & Annabelle Cuttelod & Matt I Jones & Val Kapos & John Pilgrim & Melissa J Toll, 2018. "Global screening for Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(3), pages 1-16, March.
    22. Léa Tardieu, 2017. "The need for integrated spatial assessments in ecosystem service mapping," Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, Springer, vol. 98(3), pages 173-200, December.
    23. Lusardi, Jane & Sunderland, Timothy John & Crowe, Andrew & Jackson, Bethanna Marie & Jones, Glyn, 2020. "Can process-based modelling and economic valuation of ecosystem services inform land management policy at a catchment scale?," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).

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