Ecosystems: Functions and Services

Authored by: Robert Costanza

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ENRL-120047507

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Abstract

Making decisions regarding trade-offs among ecological systems and services and other contributors to human well-being is a difficult and critical, but unavoidable process that requires valuation. This entry clarifies some of the definitional controversies surrounding the contributions to human well-being from functioning ecosystems, whether people are aware of those benefits or not. It also classifies and describes the areas of applicability of the various valuation methods that can be used in estimating the benefits of ecosystem services. Finally, it describes some recent case studies and the research agenda for valuation going forward in ecosystem services.

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