Presenter/Author Information

Peter A. Khaiter
Marina G. Erechtchoukova

Keywords

ecosystem services, environmental management, anthropogenic dynamics, simulation modelling, quantitative assessment

Start Date

1-7-2010 12:00 AM

Description

It is well recognized that ecological systems generate a spectrum of diverse benefits that are vital to humankind. Sustainable environmental management requires an adequate consideration of ecosystem goods and services. The problem, however, is that many of the ecological and social amenities are not currently incorporated into the decision-making process. A fundamental issue is getting at the quantitative characteristics of the ecosystem services. Publications on this matter note that simulation models of the phenomena in question have to be used for this purpose. In fact, a whole family of simulation models is required. Such models should represent the main components of an ecosystem, their interrelationships and linkages to the system’s environment at the appropriate time and space scales. They should also model physical, chemical and biological processes pertaining to the ecosystem being studied. Any planned activity will substantially affect the ecosystem components and their ability to generate goods and services. It is therefore necessary to understand and measure the changes – sometimes irreversible ones – which may occur in the ecosystems and their services under various management interventions and compare the expected benefits with possible losses. This knowledge should be incorporated into the process of decision-making. The paper deals with the quantitative assessment of ecosystem services as a key issue in sustainable environmental management. A model-based framework for the quantifying of the ecosystem services is presented. Forest ecosystems are considered in the case study.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

A Model-Based Quantitative Assessment of Ecosystem Services in the Scenarios of Environmental Management

It is well recognized that ecological systems generate a spectrum of diverse benefits that are vital to humankind. Sustainable environmental management requires an adequate consideration of ecosystem goods and services. The problem, however, is that many of the ecological and social amenities are not currently incorporated into the decision-making process. A fundamental issue is getting at the quantitative characteristics of the ecosystem services. Publications on this matter note that simulation models of the phenomena in question have to be used for this purpose. In fact, a whole family of simulation models is required. Such models should represent the main components of an ecosystem, their interrelationships and linkages to the system’s environment at the appropriate time and space scales. They should also model physical, chemical and biological processes pertaining to the ecosystem being studied. Any planned activity will substantially affect the ecosystem components and their ability to generate goods and services. It is therefore necessary to understand and measure the changes – sometimes irreversible ones – which may occur in the ecosystems and their services under various management interventions and compare the expected benefits with possible losses. This knowledge should be incorporated into the process of decision-making. The paper deals with the quantitative assessment of ecosystem services as a key issue in sustainable environmental management. A model-based framework for the quantifying of the ecosystem services is presented. Forest ecosystems are considered in the case study.