Relationships between anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem functions in UK blanket bogs: Linking process understanding to ecosystem service valuation

Evans, C.D. and Bonn, A. and Holden, J. and Reed, M.S. and Evans, M.G. and Worrall, F. and Couwenberg, J. and Parnell, M. (2014) Relationships between anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem functions in UK blanket bogs: Linking process understanding to ecosystem service valuation. Ecosystem Services, 9. pp. 5-19. ISSN 22120416 (ISSN)

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Abstract

Quantification and valuation of ecosystem services are critically dependent on the quality of underpinning science. While key ecological processes may be understood, translating this understanding into quantitative relationships suitable for use in an ecosystem services context remains challenging. Using blanket bogs as a case study, we derived quantitative 'pressure-response functions' linking anthropogenic pressures (drainage, burning, sulphur and nitrogen deposition) with ecosystem functions underpinning key climate, water quality and flood regulating services. The analysis highlighted: i) the complex, sometimes conflicting or interactive effects of multiple anthropogenic pressures on different ecosystem functions; ii) the role of 'biodiversity' (primarily presence/absence of key plant functional types) as an intermediate factor determining how anthropogenic pressures translate into changes in flows of some ecosystem services; iii) challenges relating to the spatial scale and configuration of anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem service beneficiaries; and iv) uncertainties associated with the lags between anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem responses. The conceptual approach described may provide a basis for a more quantitative, multi-parameter approach to the valuation of ecosystem services and the evidence-based optimisation of policy and land-management for ecosystem services. © 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carbon, Climate regulation, Ecosystem function, Peat, Water quality
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Divisions: UoA Collections > UoA16: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment > Resilient Environments
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 10:41
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 10:41
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1847

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