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Redefining landscape structure for ecosystem services

Redefining landscape structure for ecosystem services
Redefining landscape structure for ecosystem services
Our understanding of the effects of landscape structure on ecosystem services (ES) remains at a very early stage, despite a large body of literature on the effects of the composition and configuration of natural land cover on some ES. Here, I argue that a comprehensive understanding of the effects of landscape structure on ES requires us to reconsider what constitutes landscape structure for ES. Such reconsideration requires us to re-visit John Wiens’ idea that for biodiversity, a landscape and its structure are organism- and question- dependent and apply this idea to ES by redefining landscape structure for ES to include not only land cover, but also other social and biophysical drivers of ES. The underlying reason for this is that ES are products of coupled socio-ecological systems and therefore do not only depend on ecological processes and/or distributions of key species, but also on social and biophysical variables. As a result, for many ES, relevant landscape structure will not only include features traditionally considered by ecologists, such as natural land cover, but also the amount and configuration of social variables, such as land management systems and distributions of wealth and human populations. Obtaining a general understanding of how landscape structure affects ES is vital if we are to manage landscapes effectively to ensure sustainable supplies of ES now and into the future.
2364-494X
80-86
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827

Eigenbrod, Felix (2016) Redefining landscape structure for ecosystem services. Current Landscape Ecology Reports, 1 (2), 80-86. (doi:10.1007/s40823-016-0010-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Our understanding of the effects of landscape structure on ecosystem services (ES) remains at a very early stage, despite a large body of literature on the effects of the composition and configuration of natural land cover on some ES. Here, I argue that a comprehensive understanding of the effects of landscape structure on ES requires us to reconsider what constitutes landscape structure for ES. Such reconsideration requires us to re-visit John Wiens’ idea that for biodiversity, a landscape and its structure are organism- and question- dependent and apply this idea to ES by redefining landscape structure for ES to include not only land cover, but also other social and biophysical drivers of ES. The underlying reason for this is that ES are products of coupled socio-ecological systems and therefore do not only depend on ecological processes and/or distributions of key species, but also on social and biophysical variables. As a result, for many ES, relevant landscape structure will not only include features traditionally considered by ecologists, such as natural land cover, but also the amount and configuration of social variables, such as land management systems and distributions of wealth and human populations. Obtaining a general understanding of how landscape structure affects ES is vital if we are to manage landscapes effectively to ensure sustainable supplies of ES now and into the future.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 15 August 2016
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 407690
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/407690
ISSN: 2364-494X
PURE UUID: c3400d44-9d57-4d05-b573-0ca48bebb335
ORCID for Felix Eigenbrod: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8982-824X

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Date deposited: 22 Apr 2017 01:07
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:02

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