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      Uncovering Ecosystem Service Bundles through Social Preferences


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          Ecosystem service assessments have increasingly been used to support environmental management policies, mainly based on biophysical and economic indicators. However, few studies have coped with the social-cultural dimension of ecosystem services, despite being considered a research priority. We examined how ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs emerge from diverging social preferences toward ecosystem services delivered by various types of ecosystems in Spain. We conducted 3,379 direct face-to-face questionnaires in eight different case study sites from 2007 to 2011. Overall, 90.5% of the sampled population recognized the ecosystem’s capacity to deliver services. Formal studies, environmental behavior, and gender variables influenced the probability of people recognizing the ecosystem’s capacity to provide services. The ecosystem services most frequently perceived by people were regulating services; of those, air purification held the greatest importance. However, statistical analysis showed that socio-cultural factors and the conservation management strategy of ecosystems (i.e., National Park, Natural Park, or a non-protected area) have an effect on social preferences toward ecosystem services. Ecosystem service trade-offs and bundles were identified by analyzing social preferences through multivariate analysis (redundancy analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis). We found a clear trade-off among provisioning services (and recreational hunting) versus regulating services and almost all cultural services. We identified three ecosystem service bundles associated with the conservation management strategy and the rural-urban gradient. We conclude that socio-cultural preferences toward ecosystem services can serve as a tool to identify relevant services for people, the factors underlying these social preferences, and emerging ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs.

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          Most cited references 125

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          Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

          The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social-ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our ability to draw general conclusions remains limited by focus on discipline-bound sectors of the full social-ecological system. At the same time, some polices and practices intended to improve ecosystem services and human well-being are based on untested assumptions and sparse information. The people who are affected and those who provide resources are increasingly asking for evidence that interventions improve ecosystem services and human well-being. New research is needed that considers the full ensemble of processes and feedbacks, for a range of biophysical and social systems, to better understand and manage the dynamics of the relationship between humans and the ecosystems on which they rely. Such research will expand the capacity to address fundamental questions about complex social-ecological systems while evaluating assumptions of policies and practices intended to advance human well-being through improved ecosystem services.
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            Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

            Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.
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              Towards an assessment of multiple ecosystem processes and services via functional traits


                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                18 June 2012
                : 7
                : 6
                [1 ]Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
                [2 ]Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain
                [3 ]Plant Biology and Ecology Department – Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU, Bizkaia, Spain
                [4 ]Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Faculty of Sciences, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra–Cerdanyola del Vallés, Spain
                [5 ]Research Center for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
                University of Massachusetts, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: BML IIA MGL EGB. Performed the experiments: IIA MGL ICA IP DGA EGB EOR IPA BW. Analyzed the data: BML. Wrote the paper: BML. Contributed to the discussion: IIA MGL ICA IP EGB EOR IPA BW JAG FSM CLS. Supervised experimental design: JAG CM MO.

                Martín-López et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 11
                Research Article
                Ecosystem Functioning
                Conservation Science
                Ecological Economics
                Ecological Environments
                Environmental Protection
                Global Change Ecology
                Terrestrial Ecology
                Urban Ecology
                Earth Sciences
                Environmental Sciences
                Social and Behavioral Sciences
                Sexual and Gender Issues



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