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You are here: Home / What we do / Science / Key messages from the 'ECN at 20' Special Issue of Ecological Indicators, 2016 / Dick, J., et al. Analysis of temporal change in delivery of ecosystem services over 20 years at long term monitoring sites of the UK Environmental Change Network

Dick, J., et al. Analysis of temporal change in delivery of ecosystem services over 20 years at long term monitoring sites of the UK Environmental Change Network

Key points

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Two approaches to ecosystem service assessment ... were used to explore how recent environmental change at ECN sites translates into changes in ecosystem services
Skiers, Cairngorms (photo: Jan Dick)
  1. There is a growing demand from policymakers for methods to quantify how the UK’s natural capital assets (such as soils, fresh water and biodiversity) contribute to human health and wellbeing. Consequently, a range of tools has been developed to parameterise the delivery of ecosystem services provided by the natural environment.
  2. In recent years, ECN data and the expert knowledge of those responsible for managing sites have been used to assess the validity and applicability of some of these methods.
  3. In this study, two approaches to ecosystem service assessment, one qualitative and the other quantitative, were used to explore how recent environmental change at ECN sites translates into changes in ecosystem services.
  4. A gradual change in the balance of ecosystem service delivery toward cultural services was observed at most sites, associated, for example, with the increased use of land for recreation and education.
  5. While the quantitative method was more robust statistically, the authors concluded that a blend of qualitative and quantitative approaches provided a more holistic picture of long-term trends in ecosystem service delivery.

 

Reference: Dick, J., Andrews, C., Beaumont, D., Benham, S., Dodd, N., Pallett, D., Rose, R., Scott, T., Smith, R., Schafer, S., Turner, A. and Watson, H. (2016). Analysis of temporal change in delivery of ecosystem services over 20 years at long term monitoring sites of the UK Environmental Change Network. Ecological Indicators68, 115-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.02.021.

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