Trade-offs across space, time, and ecosystem services. Rodríguez, J. P.; Beard, T. D.; Bennett, E. M.; Cumming, G. S.; Cork, S. J.; Agard, J.; Dobson, A. P.; and Peterson, G. D. Ecology and Society, 11(1):28+, 2006.
Trade-offs across space, time, and ecosystem services [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
Ecosystem service (ES) trade-offs arise from management choices made by humans, which can change the type, magnitude, and relative mix of services provided by ecosystems. Trade-offs occur when the provision of one ES is reduced as a consequence of increased use of another ES. In some cases, a trade-off may be an explicit choice; but in others, trade-offs arise without premeditation or even awareness that they are taking place. Trade-offs in ES can be classified along three axes: spatial scale, temporal scale, and reversibility. Spatial scale refers to whether the effects of the trade-off are felt locally or at a distant location. Temporal scale refers to whether the effects take place relatively rapidly or slowly. Reversibility expresses the likelihood that the perturbed ES may return to its original state if the perturbation ceases. Across all four Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios and selected case study examples, trade-off decisions show a preference for provisioning, regulating, or cultural services (in that order). Supporting services are more likely to be ” taken for granted.” Cultural ES are almost entirely unquantified in scenario modeling; therefore, the calculated model results do not fully capture losses of these services that occur in the scenarios. The quantitative scenario models primarily capture the services that are perceived by society as more important—provisioning and regulating ecosystem services—and thus do not fully capture trade-offs of cultural and supporting services. Successful management policies will be those that incorporate lessons learned from prior decisions into future management actions. Managers should complement their actions with monitoring programs that, in addition to monitoring the short-term provisions of services, also monitor the long-term evolution of slowly changing variables. Policies can then be developed to take into account ES trade-offs at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Successful strategies will recognize the inherent complexities of ecosystem management and will work to develop policies that minimize the effects of ES trade-offs. [Excerpt: Ecosystem service trade-offs in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios] One of the tasks of the Scenarios Working Group of the MA was to evaluate a set of plausible futures for ES on Earth: Global Orchestration, Order from Strength, Adapting Mosaic, and TechnoGarden (Carpenter et al. 2006, Cork et al. 2006). In all scenarios, society modifies the supply of a variety of ES (Fig. 4). Broadly speaking, under the two ” reactive” scenarios (Global Orchestration and Order from Strength), the losses are greater than the gains. Even in the ” proactive” scenarios (Adapting Mosaic and TechnoGarden), however, there are slight relative reductions in the supply of ES in one of the dimensions considered. [\n] In Global Orchestration, society focuses primarily on the provisioning ES that generate tangible products to improve human well-being. When environmental problems arise, they are dealt with according to the belief that economic growth can always provide resources to substitute for lost ecosystem functions. Under this scenario, society's confidence in its ability to develop technological replacements or enhancements for regulating and supporting ES, leads to these services being traded-off while provisioning ES are maximized. In many cases, this confidence is misplaced either because the replacements are not possible or because they take so long and cost so much to develop that society loses both economically and in terms of net well-being. [...] [\n] Order from Strength places little value on ES, because rich and poor countries are both focused on increasing their wealth and power through economic growth and defense of their borders. All ES, but especially those that occur over large spatial or temporal scales, are likely to be traded-off, as there are no international mechanisms or incentives to protect them. In rich countries, ecosystems are believed to be robust and, therefore, are used without restrictions in order to improve human well-being. All that is required is that representative samples are preserved in order to have a ” natural database” for developing appropriate technologies to repair or replace them. Provisioning ES are likely to be favored without considering the impacts on other ES, as they directly improve human well-being. Uses of ES that have negative impacts spatially (e.g., harvesting that causes erosion, decline in water or air quality, or loss of amenity) are externalized by rich countries by encouraging poorer countries to perform these activities out of economic necessity. In poor countries, the conservation of ES is not considered a priority, because alleviation of poverty by the fastest means possible is essential. Thus substantial trade-offs occur among all services. Little thought can be given to how environmental problems incurred through trade-off decisions will be repairable at a later date. [...] [\n] Under Adapting Mosaic, there is no dominant ES trade-off paradigm, although trade-offs tend to decline over time. In the short term, societies are likely to engage in a variety of ES trade-offs as they experiment with the supply of ES according to their local needs, especially provisioning services. No single trade-off dominates, because conditions vary globally and societies only focus on their local set of conditions and problems. Over time, local management improves throughout the world. Local institutions and innovations reduce the number and magnitude of trade-offs. Unintended spatial trade-offs are a risk in Adapting Mosaic, as the focus on local management of ecosystems leads initially to competition between regions and lack of effective strategic management at large scales. This scenario would eventually have led to breakdown of ES operating over large spatial scales (e.g., maintenance of hydrological cycles, including groundwater and river flows, maintenance of atmospheric composition, and regulation of migratory pests and diseases) had not people organized regionally, nationally, and globally from the bottom up. [...] [\n] TechnoGarden assigns high values to ES, but mainly from a pragmatic perspective. This means that cultural ES are more likely to be traded-off and lost than other types of services, especially as land management in some areas becomes dominated by large corporations and people move toward urban centers. Initially, there is great interest in the variety of provisioning, regulating, and supporting ES as models for possible technological developments, but as key societal ES are identified and replaced by technological equivalents, society becomes more likely to trade-off any existing ES for their engineered alternatives. In the short term, society will predominantly trade-off cultural ES for other types of services; in the long term, all types of services may be traded-off as key ES are identified and technologically optimized. [...]
@article{citeulike:12108445,
    abstract = {Ecosystem service ({ES}) trade-offs arise from management choices made by humans, which can change the type, magnitude, and relative mix of services provided by ecosystems. Trade-offs occur when the provision of one {ES} is reduced as a consequence of increased use of another {ES}. In some cases, a trade-off may be an explicit choice; but in others, trade-offs arise without premeditation or even awareness that they are taking place. Trade-offs in {ES} can be classified along three axes: spatial scale, temporal scale, and reversibility. Spatial scale refers to whether the effects of the trade-off are felt locally or at a distant location. Temporal scale refers to whether the effects take place relatively rapidly or slowly. Reversibility expresses the likelihood that the perturbed {ES} may return to its original state if the perturbation ceases. Across all four Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios and selected case study examples, trade-off decisions show a preference for provisioning, regulating, or cultural services (in that order). Supporting services are more likely to be  ” taken for granted.” Cultural {ES} are almost entirely unquantified in scenario modeling; therefore, the calculated model results do not fully capture losses of these services that occur in the scenarios. The quantitative scenario models primarily capture the services that are perceived by society as more important—provisioning and regulating ecosystem services—and thus do not fully capture trade-offs of cultural and supporting services. Successful management policies will be those that incorporate lessons learned from prior decisions into future management actions. Managers should complement their actions with monitoring programs that, in addition to monitoring the short-term provisions of services, also monitor the long-term evolution of slowly changing variables. Policies can then be developed to take into account {ES} trade-offs at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Successful strategies will recognize the inherent complexities of ecosystem management and will work to develop policies that minimize the effects of {ES} trade-offs.

[Excerpt: Ecosystem service trade-offs in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios]

One of the tasks of the Scenarios Working Group of the {MA} was to evaluate a set of plausible futures for {ES} on Earth: Global Orchestration, Order from Strength, Adapting Mosaic, and {TechnoGarden} (Carpenter et al. 2006, Cork et al. 2006). In all scenarios, society modifies the supply of a variety of {ES} (Fig. 4). Broadly speaking, under the two  ” reactive” scenarios (Global Orchestration and Order from Strength), the losses are greater than the gains. Even in the  ” proactive” scenarios (Adapting Mosaic and {TechnoGarden}), however, there are slight relative reductions in the supply of {ES} in one of the dimensions considered.

[\n] In Global Orchestration, society focuses primarily on the provisioning {ES} that generate tangible products to improve human well-being. When environmental problems arise, they are dealt with according to the belief that economic growth can always provide resources to substitute for lost ecosystem functions. Under this scenario, society's confidence in its ability to develop technological replacements or enhancements for regulating and supporting {ES}, leads to these services being traded-off while provisioning {ES} are maximized. In many cases, this confidence is misplaced either because the replacements are not possible or because they take so long and cost so much to develop that society loses both economically and in terms of net well-being. [...]

[\n] Order from Strength places little value on {ES}, because rich and poor countries are both focused on increasing their wealth and power through economic growth and defense of their borders. All {ES}, but especially those that occur over large spatial or temporal scales, are likely to be traded-off, as there are no international mechanisms or incentives to protect them. In rich countries, ecosystems are believed to be robust and, therefore, are used without restrictions in order to improve human well-being. All that is required is that representative samples are preserved in order to have a  ” natural database” for developing appropriate technologies to repair or replace them. Provisioning {ES} are likely to be favored without considering the impacts on other {ES}, as they directly improve human well-being. Uses of {ES} that have negative impacts spatially (e.g., harvesting that causes erosion, decline in water or air quality, or loss of amenity) are externalized by rich countries by encouraging poorer countries to perform these activities out of economic necessity. In poor countries, the conservation of {ES} is not considered a priority, because alleviation of poverty by the fastest means possible is essential. Thus substantial trade-offs occur among all services. Little thought can be given to how environmental problems incurred through trade-off decisions will be repairable at a later date. [...]

[\n] Under Adapting Mosaic, there is no dominant {ES} trade-off paradigm, although trade-offs tend to decline over time. In the short term, societies are likely to engage in a variety of {ES} trade-offs as they experiment with the supply of {ES} according to their local needs, especially provisioning services. No single trade-off dominates, because conditions vary globally and societies only focus on their local set of conditions and problems. Over time, local management improves throughout the world. Local institutions and innovations reduce the number and magnitude of trade-offs.

Unintended spatial trade-offs are a risk in Adapting Mosaic, as the focus on local management of ecosystems leads initially to competition between regions and lack of effective strategic management at large scales. This scenario would eventually have led to breakdown of {ES} operating over large spatial scales (e.g., maintenance of hydrological cycles, including groundwater and river flows, maintenance of atmospheric composition, and regulation of migratory pests and diseases) had not people organized regionally, nationally, and globally from the bottom up. [...]

[\n] {TechnoGarden} assigns high values to {ES}, but mainly from a pragmatic perspective. This means that cultural {ES} are more likely to be traded-off and lost than other types of services, especially as land management in some areas becomes dominated by large corporations and people move toward urban centers. Initially, there is great interest in the variety of provisioning, regulating, and supporting {ES} as models for possible technological developments, but as key societal {ES} are identified and replaced by technological equivalents, society becomes more likely to trade-off any existing {ES} for their engineered alternatives. In the short term, society will predominantly trade-off cultural {ES} for other types of services; in the long term, all types of services may be traded-off as key {ES} are identified and technologically optimized. [...]},
    author = {Rodr\'{\i}guez, Jon P. and Beard, T. Douglas and Bennett, Elena M. and Cumming, Graeme S. and Cork, Steven J. and Agard, John and Dobson, Andrew P. and Peterson, Garry D.},
    citeulike-article-id = {12108445},
    citeulike-linkout-0 = {http://mfkp.org/INRMM/article/12108445},
    citeulike-linkout-1 = {http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art28/},
    citeulike-linkout-2 = {https://scholar.google.it/scholar?cluster=12325472239982683935},
    comment = {== Figures ==

* Figure:700px:   https://archive.today/bFDaS/18dffff4a72311542edd5a50aba2690a0ce0867b.gif
* Source:   http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss1/art28/figure4.html
* Archived: https://archive.is/bFDaS
* Caption:  Relative change in provision of ecosystem services (ES) in the four scenarios. Red polygons ( ” stars”) indicate the state of each ES at the end of the scenario storyline relative to a starting point of zero (indicated by green stars). A positive value (between 0 and 1) indicates an increase in the supply of a particular ES. A negative value (between 0 and -1) indicates a decrease in supply. Therefore, as the red stars are bigger, the overall supply of ES increases, but as they decrease, the overall supply of ES decreases},
    issn = {1708-3087},
    journal = {Ecology and Society},
    keywords = {cultural-services, ecology, ecosystem-services, featured-publication, integration-techniques, millennium-ecosystem-assessment, multi-criteria-decision-analysis, multi-scale, provisioning-services, regulating-services, supporting-services, trade-offs},
    number = {1},
    pages = {28+},
    posted-at = {2016-01-07 17:59:25},
    priority = {2},
    title = {Trade-offs across space, time, and ecosystem services},
    url = {http://mfkp.org/INRMM/article/12108445},
    volume = {11},
    year = {2006}
}
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