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A list of frequently asked questions about the ecosystem services reference book. Download the pdf version. The challenge is to manage ecosystems in such a way that they can sustainably deliver an optimal combination of ecosystem services both today and into the future, with resilience to environmental and social change. Prior to this, land management had typically been geared towards either the conservation of single iconic species , or the production of single resources such as timber or food.
However, increasing recognition of the way in which species interacted with each other and with the surrounding environment led to the concept of ecosystem management, which originated with four principles established by the Ecological Society of America: protect entire habitats as well as particular species; maintain a wide range of native ecosystem types within each region; manage for resilience to disturbances; and establish buffer zones around core reserves Grumbine, These ideas rose to prominence during the s and 80s, triggered by debate over the future of species such as the grizzly bear.
This led to wider recognition of the need to provide a large enough area of primary habitat to sustain the largest carnivore in a region, even if that area crosses administrative boundaries such as national park or even national boundaries , thus requiring increased co-operation and co-ordination between agencies.
There was also growing awareness that resource extraction was leading to accelerating biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation , but this was coupled with increasing acceptance that conservation had to take account of human social and economic needs Grumbine, ; Szaro et al.
There are many competing definitions, but one of the most widely accepted is:. Ecosystem management is the application of ecological science to resource management to promote long-term sustainability of ecosystems and the delivery of essential ecosystem goods and services to society Chapin et al The key characteristics of Ecosystem Management derived from Brussard et al.
Procedural sustainability Binder et al, is a key feature of sustainable ecosystem management. Co-operation between stakeholder groups allows socio-ecological systems to innovate and adapt to change Chapin et al.
Goals should be set as a result of negotiation between all stakeholders, and indicators should be chosen carefully to match the goals. Adaptive management is the key to dealing with the highly complex, uncertain and unpredictable nature of socio-ecological systems Williams et al Typical steps in setting up a sustainable ecosystem management system are listed below partly derived from Brussard et al.
Selection of suitable indicators for monitoring and managing ecosystems is crucial, in order to ensure that different needs are balanced and ecosystems are not being over-exploited. The choice of indicators will vary depending on the goals prioritised by the stakeholders, but they can reflect the different stages of the ES cascade model: ecosystem structure e. To assess long term sustainability of ecosystems, and detect signs of over-exploitation, indicators of ecosystem health and resilience are needed.
Rapport et al. For example, Palmer and Febria recommend monitoring ecosystem structure and function to determine ecosystem health and resilience, while Kandziora et al.
Sustainable Forest Management SFM is an evolution of this approach that is similar to Ecosystem Management, though Sayer and Maginnis point out subtle differences linked to the fact that SFM is typically led by foresters whose main aim is to maximise sustainable yield, whereas Ecosystem Management is typically led by people seeking to protect ecosystems.
There are also similarities with terms that link human use of ecosystems with environmental protection, e. Although the definition of Ecosystem Management presented above clearly emphasises the need to balance human needs and long term ecosystem sustainability, the concept has attracted controversy.
A review by Lackey concluded that the definition and aims adopted by different groups tends to reflect their personal views. Conservationists tend to see ecosystem management as a powerful tool to protect ecosystems from damage by humans, whereas many natural resource managers see it as justifying the further exploitation of ecosystems to provide goods and services for humans. Lackey cites one as saying:. I applaud it. However, the process of ecosystem management described above is explicitly designed to arrive at a sensible balance between these competing viewpoints, through a process of negotiation and mutual learning.
One approach to reconciling the use of ecosystems by nature and by people is that adopted by Brussard et al. High integrity ecosystems are those which are relatively unchanged by humans. They are rich in native species and tend to be well-adapted to the prevailing patterns of disturbance. They are also an important source of rare species which may become more important for maintaining biological functions and delivering ecosystem services when environmental conditions change, and they provide baselines for assessing the relative condition or state of other ecosystems.
These ecosystems — including national parks, nature reserves, wilderness areas, critical watersheds and multiple-use lands of particularly high conservation value - should be maintained in, or restored to, high-integrity states. Impacted ecosystems are natural or semi-natural areas that have lost much of their original integrity due to human activity, but they still provide many services.
Impacted ecosystems may be considered viable if they meet the following criteria:. For example, an impacted stream ecosystem might include non-native fish species, but it would still be considered viable if: it is providing the services expected of it e.
Cultural ecosystems , such as agricultural fields and urban areas, have been transformed completely by human activity. They are important to human wellbeing and livelihoods, and for delivery of certain provisioning ecosystem services such as food, but require constant input of energy and materials. These ecosystems are not self-sustaining and probably not viable: they have current utility for humans, but no resilience and little future ecological potential; most also fail the containment criterion.
Brussard et al. Over the last two decades, the concept of ecosystem management has been taken up in a range of situations, though there still does not appear to be a universally accepted definition or set of guidelines for implementation. Ecosystem Management can be seen as a logical progression from SFM: it is applied to a wider range of goods and services as it is not restricted to forests , but it is still an operational approach linked to a set of tools and methodologies Sayer and Maginnis, It was adopted by the US Forest Service in the late s, generating a large body of literature in the s, and is enshrined in the Planning Rule.
Mapping supply and demand of ES and monitoring ecosystem condition as part of the SEM process will help to indicate whether ES are being used sustainably or whether they are being over-exploited, and where there is a need to restore particular ecosystems to ensure that they will be able to meet future demand for ES.
WP2 Regulatory frameworks and drivers of change : SEM hinges on effective and equitable governance of natural resources. Regulatory frameworks can be used to make sustainable ecosystem management mandatory, as with the US Forestry Service Planning Rules.
They can also play a part in maintaining ecosystem health and integrity, e. The review highlights the lack of data on thresholds and tipping points, which is a fundamental barrier to SEM.
The concept is also relevant to task 3. WP4 Valuation of the demand for ecosystem services : Valuation can guide prioritisation of ES, and hence guide the setting of management goals, but there are limitations due to the difficulty in determining accurate ES values. WP5 Place-based exploration of ES and NC concepts : It would be useful to explore the experience of case study participants with different ecosystem management approaches, what indicators and methods they currently use, and whether specific guidance or enhanced knowledge of the approach could help them to apply SEM in the future.
WP6 Integration: Synthesis and Menu of Multiscale Solutions : Guidance for ecosystem management could be offered as part of the menu of multi-scale solutions. Sustainable ecosystem management is necessary to preserve the long term ability of ecosystems to deliver the services that underpin human well-being. This may involve trade-offs between short term wellbeing and long term resilience. It will also involve trade-offs between different ES, which in turn depends partly on the benefits of each ES for human well-being, including the cultural value of managing an area for particular species.
We should be aware of the need to use a range of approaches for ES valuation, and avoiding over-reliance on monetary values, and we need to explore ways of maximising synergies and minimising trade-offs. Effective governance is critical for the negotiation and management process, and this will require a high degree of co-ordination between stakeholders and administrative agencies.
Key governance needs include: inclusion of all stakeholders in the negotiation process; regular monitoring and review of goals to enable adaptive management; enforcement of protected areas; regulation to protect ecosystems from pollution, development and over-exploitation; managing offsets if appropriate ; incentives for sustainable use e.
PES, organic farming, eco-tourism. Choice of ecosystem management techniques e. What is the value of ES benefits and the wider social and economic impacts, e. Sustainable ecosystem management is a useful concept and offers a framework for balancing competing human needs and long term ecosystem sustainability through a process of stakeholder negotiation and adaptive management. However, because the goals are, by definition, set on a case-by-case basis, there is no guarantee that the goals and strategy that emerge from the negotiation process will safeguard biodiversity and provide resilience to long term social and environmental change.
Ecosystem integrity and resilience will still be at risk, especially if there are power imbalances between stakeholders. ES valuation may be useful in setting priorities, but it is important to use a broad range of valuation approaches, including cultural and social values, as well as monetary values for marketable goods and services. The consortium should consider whether we can provide clear guidance for a process of sustainable ecosystem management that will be helpful to practitioners.
Volume 40 of Landscape and Urban Planning is a special issue on Ecosystem Management, and contains many useful papers. Suggested citation: Smith, A. Available via: www. It has been consulted on formally within the consortium in and updated in Search form Search. All synthesis papers. There are many competing definitions, but one of the most widely accepted is: Ecosystem management is the application of ecological science to resource management to promote long-term sustainability of ecosystems and the delivery of essential ecosystem goods and services to society Chapin et al Define the boundaries of the ecosystem to be managed.
Assess the ecosystem, using all available sources including local and traditional knowledge. Determine key components and their interactions species, habitats, abiotic factors ; assess the condition and integrity of the ecosystem; evaluate supply and demand of ecosystem services; and identify carrying capacity, potential thresholds and tipping points. Select suitable indicators to measure achievement of the goals. Design and implement actions to achieve the goals, e.
Regularly review and adjust the strategy, in consultation with stakeholders, in the light of environmental, social and political developments and new scientific information.
Indicators for sustainable ecosystem management Selection of suitable indicators for monitoring and managing ecosystems is crucial, in order to ensure that different needs are balanced and ecosystems are not being over-exploited. Controversy over the definition and main goal Although the definition of Ecosystem Management presented above clearly emphasises the need to balance human needs and long term ecosystem sustainability, the concept has attracted controversy. Impacted ecosystems may be considered viable if they meet the following criteria: Current utility: the ecosystem is providing the goods or services expected from it with reasonable efficiency e.
Current status Over the last two decades, the concept of ecosystem management has been taken up in a range of situations, though there still does not appear to be a universally accepted definition or set of guidelines for implementation.
What type of sustainability should we aim for? Management for strong sustainability might place more emphasis on maintaining ecosystem integrity, whereas management for weak sustainability which assumes that resources are substitutable might be willing to sacrifice integrity provided that the supply of ES is maintained, though this carries a greater risk that resilience will be lost.
Can ES valuation be used to set priorities for sustainable ecosystem management? Can techniques for assessing cultural and social values e. How can we evaluate resilience in practice, especially given the lack of data on tipping points and thresholds? How can we reconcile the need to reach an agreement that is accepted by all stakeholders as far as possible with the need to maximise ecosystem integrity in order to provide long term resilience to future change? Could the process be vulnerable to exploitation by powerful stakeholders who favour short term exploitation of resources?
Does biodiversity offsetting have a role to play in sustainable ecosystem management? Relationship to four challenges  Human well-being: Sustainable ecosystem management is necessary to preserve the long term ability of ecosystems to deliver the services that underpin human well-being.
Competitiveness: Choice of ecosystem management techniques e. Recommendations to the OpenNESS consortium Sustainable ecosystem management is a useful concept and offers a framework for balancing competing human needs and long term ecosystem sustainability through a process of stakeholder negotiation and adaptive management. Three 'must-read' papers Volume 40 of Landscape and Urban Planning is a special issue on Ecosystem Management, and contains many useful papers.
Brussard, P. F, Reed, J. Landscape and Urban Planning
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Research in tropical forestry is confronted with the task of finding strategies to alleviate pressure on remaining forests and techniques to enhance forest regeneration and restore abandoned lands, using productive alternatives that can be attractive to local human populations. In addition, sustainable forestry in tropical countries must be supported by adequate policies to promote and maintain specific activities at local and regional scales. The authors have long experience in both academic and practical matters related to tropical forest ecology and management. Her research focuses on variables controlling the sustainability of managed ecosystems e. She has studied and worked extensively in the U.
This new revision reflects the many changes and approaches to forestry that have occurred in the field of forestry over the last decade. This book is intended to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the important aspects of the field of forestry. Treatment is comprehensive and more advanced than other forestry textbooks, featuring a new section on Forests and Society to reflect the increasing human influences on forestry. Conveying the wide-ranging scope of forestry and the great challenges that lie ahead, this Third Edition of Introduction to Forest Ecosystem Science and Management gives you a borad overview of the field of forestry, as well as the detail you'll need to succeed in your role as a practicing forestry professional. Now updated and revised, this Third Edition brings together leading experts in the field. Fourteen of the text's twenty-three chapters are completely rewritten by new authors.
At which campus can I study this program? The mission of the B. The Forest Ecosystem Management major provides for the education necessary for students to pursue professional careers in one of the following options:.
This revision maintains the position of Forest Ecosystems as the one source for the latest information on the advanced methods that have enhanced our understating of forest ecosystems. Further understanding is given to techniques to explore the changes in climatic cycles, the implications of wide-scale pollution, fire and other ecological disturbances that have a global effect. The inclusion of models, equations, graphs, and tabular examples provides readers with a full understanding of the methods and techniques.
This new revision reflects the many changes and approaches to forestry that have occurred in the field of forestry over the last decade. This book is intended to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the important aspects of the field of forestry.
PART 1. INTRODUCTION Forest Policy Development in the United States (Thomas M. Bonnicksen and Diana M. Burton). Forestry: The Profession and Career.