Ecosystem Services are the benefits we obtain from our environment, yet their practical application remains complex, requiring spatial models that express quantity and flow of ecosystem services.
The concept of ecosystem services, defined as the benefits that humans obtain from nature (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005), has introduced a new dimension to the environmental discourse, that of natural capital. The conceptual aspect of natural capital in the ecosystem services approach opens up the opportunity for not only mitigating the potential negative environmental impacts but also optimizing the development to maximize the flow of ecosystem services. However, for this opportunity to be realised, methods and models that operationalise the ecosystems concept are required and need to be developed. These models need to be spatial, consider both current ecosystem services stocks and their flows, and be sufficiently dynamic to determine the effect of changes in land use or its management.
Grafius, D.R., Corstanje, R., Siriwardena, G.M., Plummer, K.E., Harris, J. A., Bird’s Eye View: Connectivity and Landscape Structure in an Urban Environment. Landscape Ecology, doi:10.1007/s10980-017-0548-1 (2017).
Nor, A.M.N., Corstanje, R., Harris, J., Grafius, D., Siriwardena, D. Ecological Connectivity Networks in Rapidly Expanding Cities. HELIYON, Volume 3(6): 325 (2017).
Nor, A.M.N., Corstanje, R., Harris, J., Brewer, T., Impact of rapid urban expansion on green space structure. Ecological Indicators, 81: 274–284 (2017).
Zawadzka, J., Corstanje, R., Fookes, J., Nichols J., Harris J., Operationalizing the ecosystems approach; assessing the environmental impact of major infrastructure works. Ecological Indicators, 78:75-84 (2017).
Grafius, D.R, Corstanje, R., Warren, P., Evans, K., Hancock, S., Harris, J. The impact of land use/land cover scale on modelling urban ecosystem services. Landscape Ecology, 31:1509-1522 (2016).