Landscapes generate a wide range of valuable ecosystem services, yet land-use decisions often ignore the value of these services. Using the example of the United Kingdom, we show the significance of land-use change not only for agricultural production but also for emissions and sequestration of greenhouse gases, open-access recreational visits, urban green space, and wild-species diversity. We use spatially explicit models in conjunction with valuation methods to estimate comparable economic values for these services, taking account of climate change impacts. We show that, although decisions that focus solely on agriculture reduce overall ecosystem service values, highly significant value increases can be obtained from targeted planning by incorporating all potential services and their values and that this approach also conserves wild-species diversity.”
Warning: this article requires a subscription!
But for those of you with access to ‘Science’ it sounds very interesting. Note they have looked at the ECONOMIC values of ecosystem services, not just the ecosystem components or level of biodiversity or other metric previously used.
As the abstract hints at, they’ve chosen to emphasizes how their results show that if we use really good, comprehensive land-use planning with a full suite of ecosystem services in mind, we can increase the values of ecosystem services and ultimately species diversity.
The full-text article surely contains greater detail and more sophisticated analysis, yet from the very presence of this research available shows how much more we are knowing about, and valuing, a whole-ecosystem services approach. And the directly-applicable economic information we can integrate here.
See on www.sciencemag.org