Making decisions for managing ecosystem services

Martinez-Harms, Maria Jose, Bryan, Brett A., Balvanera, Patricia, Law, Elizabeth A., Rhodes, Jonathan R., Possingham, Hugh P. and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2015) Making decisions for managing ecosystem services. Biological Conservation, 184 229-238. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.01.024

Author Martinez-Harms, Maria Jose
Bryan, Brett A.
Balvanera, Patricia
Law, Elizabeth A.
Rhodes, Jonathan R.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Wilson, Kerrie A.
Title Making decisions for managing ecosystem services
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2015-04-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.01.024
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 184
Start page 229
End page 238
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Abstract Numerous assessments have quantified, mapped, and valued the services provided by ecosystems that are important for human wellbeing. However, much of the literature does not clarify how the information gathered in such assessments could be used to inform decisions that will impact ecosystem services. We propose that the process of making management decisions for ecosystem services comprises five core steps: identification of the problem and its social–ecological context; specification of objectives and associated performance measures; defining alternative management actions and evaluating the consequences of these actions; assessment of trade-offs and prioritization of alternative management actions; and making management decisions. We synthesize the degree to which the peer-reviewed ecosystem services literature has captured these steps. For the ecosystem service paradigm to gain traction in science and policy arenas, future ecosystem service assessments should have clearly articulated objectives, seek to evaluate the consequences of alternative management actions, and facilitate closer engagement between scientists and stakeholders.
Keyword Ecosystem services
Management actions
Structured decision-making
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 32 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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