Non-linearity in ecosystem services: temporal and spatial variability in coastal protection

Koch, Evamaria W., Barbier, Edward B., Silliman, Brian R., Reed, Denise J., Perillo, Gerardo M.E., Hacker, Sally D., Granek, Elise F., Primavera, Jurgenne H., Muthiga, Nyawira, Polasky, Stephen, Halpern, Benjamin S., Kennedy, Christopher J., Kappel, Carrie V., and Wolanski, Eric (2009) Non-linearity in ecosystem services: temporal and spatial variability in coastal protection. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7 (1). pp. 29-37.

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Abstract

Natural processes tend to vary over time and space, as well as between species. The ecosystem services these natural processes provide are therefore also highly variable. It is often assumed that ecosystem services are provided linearly (unvaryingly, at a steady rate), but natural processes are characterized by thresholds and limiting functions. In this paper, we describe the variability observed in wave attenuation provided by marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs and therefore also in coastal protection. We calculate the economic consequences of assuming coastal protection to be linear. We suggest that, in order to refine ecosystem-based management practices, it is essential that natural variability and cumulative effects be considered in the valuation of ecosystem services.

Item ID: 10786
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: ecosystem; coastal protection
ISSN: 1540-9309
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2010 23:05
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 100
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