Guest blog post by Cássio Cardoso Pereira, Daniel Negreiros, and Geraldo Wilson Fernandes
A recently published study by Pereira et al. in the prestigious journal Nature Conservation says that the solution for climate warming and environmental crises is not solely about curbing temperature by planting trees or even by changing our energy matrix. It is about changing our perspective on ourselves and the way we do things. There is a long list of things we have to do if we want to be successful. One important thing is changing policy actions.
This is a reflection of increased public attention to climate change at the expense of other biodiversity issues and may have contributed to a much higher number of UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties (COPs) linked to climate change (27 COPs) compared to those about biodiversity (15 COPs) to this date. Governments should not solely focus on curbing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. This asymmetry between environmental agendas can harm not only biodiversity, but also climate change, as environmental issues are inexorably interconnected.
In a society with broad and deep environmental problems, government, private sector and non-governmental efforts should include other dimensions of nature in their agenda. Biodiversity, the unique variety of life on our planet, underpins our cultural, economic, and social well-being. The destruction of ecosystems undermines nature’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and protect us against extreme weather, thus accelerating climate change and increasing our vulnerability to it. Therefore, it is puzzling that policy-makers are still over-focused on the climate component.
We argue here that the climate change issue is important and urgent. However, this problem cannot be solved without considering the picture as a whole. In this way, changes in land use must be integrated into climate models so that we can achieve a more detailed representation that increases our ability to predict how local impacts of change in land use will affect the future of biodiversity at a global level.
We emphasise that this path is necessary, but it is still winding. There is much to pass on to society in terms of ecological awareness. The spotlight is on climate change, at least in part, because everyone already knows how to get involved in climate action in an accessible way. However, the degradation of biodiversity can be difficult to notice, especially for someone who does not get out and experience nature regularly. Therefore, a big question is how much we still have to learn about the various ecosystems across the planet, their delicate balance and interaction with their wider environment, and indeed the climate.
Pereira CC, Negreiros D, Barbosa M, Goulart FF, Dias RL, Melillo MC, Camarota F, Pimenta MA, Cruz M, Fernandes GW (2023) Has climate change hijacked the environmental agenda? Nature Conservation 53: 157-164. https://doi.org/10.3897/natureconservation.53.110961
Guest blog post by Natalia Alvarado-Arias, Vinicio Moya-Almeida, Francisco Cabrera-Torres, and Andrea Medina-Enríquez
Urban rivers play a crucial role in providing ecosystem services that contribute to the social well-being and quality of life of urban inhabitants. However, rapid urbanization has led to the progressive degradation of these rivers, affecting their capacity to deliver these services and generating significant socioecological impacts. A groundbreaking study conducted in the Zamora and Malacatos Rivers in Loja, Ecuador, performed a participatory mapping of the non-monetary social values (both positive and negative) and their associated ecosystem services. This research, published in the journal One Ecosystem, aimed to understand community perceptions and preferences in the context of degraded landscapes, using a complementary analysis approach to traditional methods.
The methodology employed in this study involved data collection and analysis using ArcGIS Survey123 Connect (ESRI 2020), a digital survey tool that facilitated easy data collection from participants. Additionally, The Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES 4.0) tool was utilized, integrating participatory survey data and environmental data to assess and map the social values associated with ecosystem services. This combination of technological tools allowed for comprehensive analysis and visual representation of the results.
The study findings revealed that the most relevant social values encompassed learning, aesthetics, therapy, displeasure, deficient and inaccessible infrastructure, and the threat of flooding. Different spatial patterns were identified for each of these social values, with the horizontal distance to green areas emerging as a significant environmental variable contributing to these patterns.
These findings enhance our understanding of the social values and preferences associated with ecosystem services in urban river contexts. Furthermore, they provide valuable insights for identifying areas of opportunity and conflict, informing community planning, and enabling effective management of the urban landscape. The significance of this study lies in its novel approach, considering non-monetary social values, and its application in a city in the Global South, where previous research has predominantly focused on the Global North.
The degradation of urban rivers and the resulting socioecological impacts are a growing concern worldwide. Rivers play a vital role in providing natural resources, species habitats, freshwater supply, and flood control, while also satisfying the social, spiritual, and recreational needs of local communities. However, the processes of rapid urbanization have transformed river ecosystems into monofunctional channels and open sewers, negatively impacting the quality of life of residents.
This study emphasizes the importance of considering social values and community preferences when assessing and managing urban rivers. By doing so, opportunities and conflicts can be identified, and management strategies can be developed that are socially accepted and supported. Active community participation is crucial in this process as it allows for the addressing of traditional viewpoints and power asymmetries in planning.
The study employed a participatory and community-based approach, utilizing surveys and digital mapping tools such as ArcGIS Survey123 Connect (ESRI 2020) and The Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES 4.0) to collect and analyze data from multiple social actors. This integration of technological tools and participatory methods allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of the social values and ecosystem services associated with urban rivers.
In summary, this groundbreaking study highlights the importance of urban rivers as providers of ecosystem services and their role in the quality of life of urban communities. By understanding and valuing the social and cultural aspects of river ecosystems, effective management strategies can be developed to promote the restoration and conservation of these critical natural resources. Active community participation is essential in achieving sustainable management of urban rivers and ensuring a prosperous future for future generations.
Alvarado-Arias N, Moya-Almeida V, Cabrera-Torres F, Medina-Enríquez A (2023) Evaluation and mapping of the positive and negative social values for the urban river ecosystem. One Ecosystem 8: e101122. https://doi.org/10.3897/oneeco.8.e101122
Mangrove forests are an essential component of the coastal zones in tropical and subtropical areas, providing a wide range of goods and ecosystem services that play a vital role in ecology. They are also threatened, disappearing, and degraded across the globe.
One way to stimulate effective mangrove conservation and encourage policies for their protection is to carefully assess mangrove habitats and how they change, and identify fragmented areas. But obtaining this kind of information is not always an easy task.
“Since mangrove forests are located in tidal zones and marshy areas, they are hardly accessible,” says Dr. Neda Bihamta Toosi, postdoc at Isfahan University of Technology in Iran working on landscape pattern changes using remote sensing. In a recent study in the journal Nature Conservation, together with a team of authors, she explored ways to classify these fragile ecosystems using machine learning.
Comparing the performance of different combinations of satellite images and classification techniques, the researchers looked at how good each method was at mapping mangrove ecosystems.
“We developed a novel method with a focus on landscape ecology for mapping the spatial disturbance of mangrove ecosystems,” she explains. “The provided disturbance maps facilitate future management and planning activities for mangrove ecosystems in an efficient way, thus supporting the sustainable conservation of these coastal areas.”
The results of the study showed that object-oriented classification of fused Sentinel images can significantly improve the accuracy of mangrove land use/land cover classification.
“Assessing and monitoring the condition of such ecosystems using model-based landscape metrics and principal component analysis techniques is a time- and cost-effective approach. The use of multispectral remote sensing data to generate a detailed land cover map was essential, and freely available Sentinel-2 data will guarantee its continuity in future,” explains Dr. Bihamta Toosi.
The research team hopes this approach can be used to provide information on the trend of changes in land cover that affect the development and management of mangrove ecosystems, supporting better planning and decision-making.
“Our results on the mapping of mangrove ecosystems can contribute to the improvement of management and conservation strategies for these ecosystems impacted by human activities,“ they write in their study.
Soffianian AR, Toosi NB, Asgarian A, Regnauld H, Fakheran S, Waser LT (2023) Evaluating resampled and fused Sentinel-2 data and machine-learning algorithms for mangrove mapping in the northern coast of Qeshm island, Iran. Nature Conservation 52: 1-22. https://doi.org/10.3897/natureconservation.52.89639
With expertise in science communication, dissemination and exploitation, Pensoft became part of this project dedicated to new technologies for species and habitat monitoring across Europe
The European Union puts a great value in monitoring the health of ecosystems, as comprehensive mapping can aid policy makers’ work in adopting appropriate legislation for nature conservation. It allows for understanding the impact of human activities and making informed decisions for effective management of nature’s resources. This is particularly important for the EU, as it has set ambitious goals to halt biodiversity loss and restore degraded ecosystems by 2030, as outlined in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
Effective biodiversity monitoring can help the EU track progress towards these goals, assess the effectiveness of conservation policies and initiatives, and identify emerging threats to biodiversity.
Despite this awareness, efforts to monitor animals and plants remain spatially and temporally fragmented. This lack of integration regarding data and methods creates a gap in biodiversity monitoring, which can negatively impact policy-making. Today, modern technologies such as drones, artificial intelligence algorithms, or remote sensing are still not widely used in biodiversity monitoring.
MAMBO project (Modern Approaches to the Monitoring of BiOdiversity) recognises this need and aims to develop, test, and implement enabling tools for monitoring conservation status and ecological requirements of species and habitats. Having started in late 2022, the project is set to run for four years until September 2026.
Pensoft – with its proven expertise in communicating scientific results – is committed to amplifying the impact of MAMBO. Pensoft supports the project through tailored approaches to communication, dissemination and exploitation so as to reach the most appropriate target audience and achieve maximum visibility of the project.
Deep-dive into the project
In order to enrich the biodiversity monitoring landscape, MAMBO will implement a multi-disciplinary approach by utilising the technical expertise in the fields of computer science, remote sensing, and social science expertise on human-technology interactions, environmental economy, and citizen science. This will be combined with knowledge on species, ecology, and conservation biology.
More specifically, the project will develop, evaluate and integrate image and sound recognition-based AI solutions for EU biodiversity monitoring from species to habitats as well as promote the standardised calculation and automated retrieval of habitat data using deep learning and remote sensing.
“Technical breakthroughs in the realm of high spatial resolution remote sensing set the future of ecological monitoring and can greatly enrich traditional approaches to biodiversity monitoring.”
In order to achieve its goals, the project will test existing tools in combination with MAMBO-developed new technologies at the project’s demonstration sites geographically spread across Europe. This will contribute to an integrated European biodiversity monitoring system with potential for dynamic adaptations.
Pensoft is part of MAMBO’s Work Package 7 (WP7): “Science-policy interface and dissemination”, led by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). The work package is dedicated to providing a distinct identity of the project and its services through branding, visualisation and elaborated dissemination and communication strategy.
Within WP7, Pensoft will also be taking care after the launch of an open-science collection of research outputs in the scholarly journal Research Ideas and Outcomes(RIO).
Amongst the tasks of the partners in WP7 is also the development of different pathways for integrating new technologies and innovations into the EU Pollinators Monitoring Scheme (EU PoMS; SPRING).
Lying at the center of the Balkan Peninsula, Kosovo harbors a diversity of ecosystems and conditions, which have favored processes leading to the existence of many endemic and rare species. In the past few years, several new species of aquatic insects have been discovered from the small Balkan country, making it unique in terms of biodiversity. Unfortunately, as elsewhere in the Balkans, many of these ecosystems have deteriorated heavily.
A team of scientists from Kosovo, led by Professor Halil Ibrahimi of the University of Prishtina, recently found a new species of aquatic insect, a caddisfly, from the Sharr Mountains in Kosovo, and named it Potamophylax humoinsapiens.
The species epithet humoinsapiens is a combination of two Latin words, “humo”, which in English means “to cover with soil, to bury,” and “insapiens,” meaning “unwise”. The researchers explain this name refers to the unwise and careless treatment of the habitats of the new species: hydropower plant, illegal logging and pollution have greatly degraded the area in the past years. “In some segments, whole parts of the Lepenc River are “buried” in large pipes,” they write in their study, which was published in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal.
“The species name ‘humoinsapiens’ ironically sounds like Homo insapiens, and this new species is right in calling us unwise,” thinks Prof. Ibrahimi. “With its actions, humankind has caused the extinction of many species of insects and other organisms during the past decades and has degraded greatly all known ecosystems in the planet. The debate on questioning wise nature of humans is already ongoing.
In the past few years, Professor Halil Ibrahimi and his team have found several new species of aquatic insects from the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa. In an attempt to raise awareness for this group of vulnerable creatures, endangered greatly by human activities, the team of scientists has given their species unique names. One of their previous discoveries was named Potamophylax coronavirus in order to raise the attention to the silent and dangerous “pandemic” humans have caused in freshwater ecosystems in the Balkans.
“By combining classical taxonomy and modern molecular analysis techniques with the unique names, we are making insect species talk to our collective consciousness. It is in humankind’s capacity to earn the name Homo sapiens again,” the researchers conclude.
Ibrahimi H, Bilalli A, Gashi A, Grapci Kotori L, Slavevska Stamenkovič V, Geci D (2023) Potamophylax humoinsapiens sp. n. (Trichoptera, Limnephilidae), a new species from the Sharr Mountains, Republic of Kosovo. Biodiversity Data Journal 11: e97969. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.11.e97969
Although they have not been around for long, microplastics have found their way to almost every ecosystem on the planet. They have been discovered in the soil, in rivers, in our food and bottled water, and even in the human body. Recently, a team of researchers found, for the first time, microplastics in water trapped in plant leaf axils.
Katarína Fogašová, Peter Manko, and Jozef Obona of the University of Prešov, Slovakia, initially set out to Eastern Slovakia to study the organisms living in the little water puddles forming in teasel leaf axils.
Teasels of the genus Dipsacus have characteristic opposite leaves that grow on the stem above each other in several levels. As they clasp the stem, they form cup-like structures that collect water, known as telmata.
“Teasel phytotelmata are a relatively common but overlooked aquatic microcosm with a very short-term occurrence of only 3 to 4 months.“
To their surprise, they found differently coloured fragments and fibers, some reaching 2.4 mm in length, which were identified as microplastics.
“These phytotelmata are very small and have a short lifespan,” the researchers write in their paper, which was published in the journal BioRisk. “The question is, therefore, how were they polluted with microplastics?”
No other sources of contaminants were found in the studied area, so the fragments and fibers most likely came from polluted atmosphere, they suggest. Another theory is that snails may have transported them from the soil or from other plants, in or on their bodies.
“The first finding of microplastics in small short-term water reservoirs created by plants is further evidence that contamination of this kind spreads through various pathways and probably no environment on Earth is safe, which of course makes our discovery quite disheartening,” the researchers say.
“On the other hand, the results of our research of teasel phytotelmata, as a very unusual and highly specific natural environment, offer many possibilities for use in researching the spatio-temporal characteristics of the spread of microplastic pollution and its potential impact on the plants themselves, as well as organisms bound to them by ecological relations.”
They suggest that, due to their abundance and theoretical ability to capture microplastics in several ways from the environment, teasel phytotelmata could be a good indicator of microplastic presence.
“Our publication therefore not only brings the first discovery of microplastic pollution of habitats of this type, but also the first proposal of a new approach to the use of teasel phytotelmata and similar micro-ecosystems provided by plants (or artificially created), as bioindicators of the presence of microplastics in the environment, possible sources and pathways of their spread through the environment and spatio-temporal changes in microplastic contamination.”
Fogašová K, Manko P, Oboňa J (2022) The first evidence of microplastics in plant-formed fresh-water micro-ecosystems: Dipsacus teasel phytotelmata in Slovakia contaminated with MPs. BioRisk 18: 133-143. https://doi.org/10.3897/biorisk.18.87433
Guest blog post by Noelle G. Stratton, Nicholas E. Mandrak, and Nicole Klenk
Invasive species denialism (ISD) is a hot topic in recent invasion ecology discourse. Many of us are familiar with the concept of science denialism, particularly during recent discussions about climate change and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, a person who exhibits science denialism is skeptical of, or refuses to believe, the scientific facts about a topic. Much of the discussion about ISD has focused on characterising it as a form of science denialism. However, while science denialism may be one form of ISD, it is not the only one.
Understanding the different forms of ISD is an important step in learning more about what drives ISD positions, and how those positions can be overcome to improve invasive species management. Recently, researchers at the University of Toronto outlined these ISD forms in a new paper in NeoBiota. While these framings are not the only ways to characterize invasive species denialism, they demonstrate that there are multiple framings to the ways that people deny the imperative to manage all invasive species as prescribed by early detection and rapid response.
So, what are the forms of ISD?
Invasive species denialism is the form that will typically come to mind when you picture a “science denialist”. Someone who does not believe in invasive species, or says that the existing scientific literature is all wrong, would fall within this framing. However, it is more complex than that. Invasive species practitioners also identified some of those who believed in invasive species and supported their management under this framing.
For example, folks who wanted management to happen immediately, be 100% effective, or have no risks to them or the environment whatsoever, were considered another form of denialist. This is because while these people supported invasive species management, they were still opposed to certain management efforts due to a lack of understanding of the science behind that management. Similarly, people who agree invasive species are a problem but say “this isn’t my problem, and I shouldn’t have to do anything about it” when shown evidence otherwise were also framed as denialists, as it again indicated a denial, or at least a lack of understanding of the scientific facts.
Invasive species cynicism is the form where someone may well understand what invasive species are and the science behind their management. However, they may still oppose management because they believe it will harm them in some way.
For example, someone who does not want to have to check and clean their boat to prevent an invasive species spread because it takes too much time would be categorized as an invasive species cynic. As well, someone who does not want to cooperate with management efforts because they personally like a particular invasive species and would like it to persist, despite knowing its potential for harms to the ecosystem or economy, is also an invasive species cynic. From these examples, it should be clear that this form of ISD is quite different from what we would think of as a “science denialist”. They understand the science, but it just does not motivate their beliefs or behaviour on this topic.
Invasive species nihilism is the form that does not appear to take into account the science behind invasive species or their management at all. Rather, it revolves around the idea that invasive species research, management, or engagement are essentially a waste of time. The efforts were pointless and the results useless. This framing also differed from the other two forms in that the folks who expressed these beliefs often directly approached invasive species practitioners during the course of their work to inform them that their job was meaningless and to ask them why they bothered. This type of framing has the greatest potential to impact invasive species researchers and practitioners personally, and it is potentially the most difficult form of denialism to surmount during engagement and management efforts.
How can invasive species denialism impact management efforts?
ISD has the potential to hinder management efforts in a few different ways. Invasive species denialists may slow down decision-making by stalling or halting discussions with other stakeholders. In some cases, invasive species cynics have taken direct action to interfere with the implementation of policies that would aid with management efforts. Invasive species nihilism could make some stakeholders less likely to engage with managers because they have come to believe that management is pointless, and managers themselves may endure the stress of hearing that their work is not of value to people with this perspective. The effects that ISD may have on management are varied and depend largely on the type of framing of ISD being used. Similarly, the way that we respond to someone that we believe to be an invasive species denialist should be informed by the framing of ISD they are using.
The framings of ISD explored in this research suggest that a diversity of interpretations of species movements, and value judgments about their impacts and the need for management, exist. This has the potential to problematize reductionist claims that all critiques of invasive species management are simply a denial of scientific facts. These results provide evidence that even when there is agreement on the impacts of invasive species on ecosystems, some stakeholders nevertheless deny the need for, or benefit of managing invasive species. This study further contributes to ongoing scholarly and practitioner conversations about the normative assumptions of invasive species biology and their implications for invasive species management and governance.
Image credits: diagram by NG Stratton; comic panels by NG Stratton, via material from Flickr (ChrisA1995, CC BY 2.0; Mike, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0; the-difference CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) and Studio Alternativi (Esetefania Quevedo).
So far, science has described more than 2 million species, and millions more await discovery. While species have value in themselves, many also deliver important ecosystem services to humanity, such as insects that pollinate our crops.
Meanwhile, as we lack a standardized system to quantify the value of different species, it is too easy to jump to the conclusion that they are practically worthless. As a result, humanity has been quick to justify actions that diminish populations and even imperil biodiversity at large.
In a study, published in the scholarly open-science journal Research Ideas and Outcomes, a team of Estonian and Swedish scientists propose to formalize the value of all species through a conceptual species ‘stock market’ (SSM). Much like the regular stock market, the SSM is to act as a unified basis for instantaneous valuation of all items in its holdings.
However, other aspects of the SSM would be starkly different from the regular stock market. Ownership, transactions, and trading will take new forms. Indeed, species have no owners, and ‘trade’ would not be about transfer of ownership rights among shareholders. Instead, the concept of ‘selling’ would comprise processes that erase species from some specific area – such as war, deforestation, or pollution.
Conversely, taking some action that benefits biodiversity – as estimated through individuals of species – would be akin to buying on the species stock market. Buying, too, has a price tag on it, but this price should probably be thought of in goodwill terms. Here, ‘money’ represents an investment towards increased biodiversity.
Interestingly, the SSM revolves around the notion of digital species. These are representations of described and undescribed species concluded to exist based on DNA sequences and elaborated by including all we know about their habitat, ecology, distribution, interactions with other species, and functional traits.
For the SSM to function as described, those DNA sequences and metadata need to be sourced from global scientific and societal resources, including natural history collections, sequence databases, and life science data portals. Digital species might be managed further by incorporating data records of non-sequenced individuals, notably observations, older material in collections, and data from publications.
The study proposes that the SSM is orchestrated by the international associations of taxonomists and economists.
“Non-trivial complications are foreseen when implementing the SSM in practice, but we argue that the most realistic and tangible way out of the looming biodiversity crisis is to put a price tag on species and thereby a cost to actions that compromise them,”
The “Restoration of Wetlands” permanent topical article collection in the open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal Nature Conservation is now open for submissions, with the aim to bring together a wide spectrum of knowledge necessary to inform scientists, policy-makers and practitioners about key insights into restoration of wetlands and coastal marine systems, thereby facilitating exchange among different disciplines.
Being a permanent collection means that it is to welcome contributions indefinitely, whereas papers will progress to publication as soon as they are accepted by the editors. While they will be accessible from a central point: the collection, which is also assigned with its own DOI, the articles themselves will feature in different journal volumes, depending on their publication date.
Find more about the specificity of Special issues and Topical collections on the journal’s website.
The issue is managed by an international team of scientists:
Mathias Scholz, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany (lead editor);
Due to intensive land-use, including farming, urbanisation, drainage, construction of levees or bank stabilisation or straightening of river courses and coastlines, wetlands are losing their typical functions, such as carbon storage and habitat provision. As a result, the ecosystem services they provide are declining and so is the coastal biodiversity as a whole.
Among others, the “Restoration of Wetlands” article collection in the Nature Conservation journal seeks to attract contributions addressing issues, such as the roles of society and planning, as well as biology in restoration; indicators to monitor and measure restoration success; the synergies between wetland restoration and climate change adaptation; and hands-on expertise in restoration.
SEEA EA is a spatially-based, integrated statistical framework for organising biophysical information about ecosystems, measuring ecosystem services, tracking changes in ecosystem extent and condition, valuing ecosystem services and assets and linking this information to measures of economic and human activity.
To help implement ecosystem accounts, the One Ecosystem journal provides a platform for scientists and statisticians to publish newly compiled accounting tables.
The “Ecosystem Accounts” permanent collection welcomes articles that describe and report ecosystem accounting tables, compiled following the standards set by the SEEA EA. The current version of the framework is fully described in United Nations et al. (2021). System of Environmental-Economic Accounting—Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA), available as a white cover publication, pre-edited text subject to official editing at: https://seea.un.org/ecosystem-accounting.
This collection does not accept research papers on ecosystem accounting that solely report new developments on accounting methods, such as new models for ecosystem services, new indicators for ecosystem condition or new techniques for monetary valuation of ecosystems.
The inclusion of a compiled ecosystem accounting table is mandatory for this collection. Otherwise, papers will be diverted to the regular issue of One Ecosystem. In such cases, the authors may also choose to submit their contributions to another topical collection.
Detailed instructions for authors
Submitting authors need to select One Ecosystem as a journal and “Ecosystem Accounting table” as an article template in ARPHA Writing Tool.
Submissions to this collection shall respect the following requirements:
The introduction makes clear reference to the type (or types) of account(s) submitted, the accounting area, and the accounting period. The introduction should contain a clear reference to the SEEA EA.
The following accounting tables can be published with data referring to a specific accounting area and for a given accounting period:
Ecosystem extent account – physical terms: Total extent of area of one or more ecosystem types
Ecosystem condition account – physical terms: (Aggregated) data on selected ecosystem characteristics and optionally the distance from a reference condition.
Ecosystem services flow account – physical terms: Physical supply of final ecosystem services by ecosystem assets and the use of those services by economic units.
Ecosystem services flow account – monetary terms: The monetary estimate of final ecosystem services by ecosystem assets and the use of those services by economic units.
Monetary ecosystem asset account – monetary terms: Stocks and changes in stocks (additions and reductions) of ecosystem assets in monetary terms.
Data and methods
This section describes which typologies or classifications have been used to classify ecosystems, ecosystem condition indicators, ecosystem services, or economic sectors. Preference should be given to different typologies proposed by SEEA EA, but deviations or other typologies are acceptable as well.
The section provides a list of all ecosystem types, variables, indicators, or economic sectors used in the accounting tables and it provides references to the data sources used to quantify them.
Optionally, papers justify the use of variables and indicators making reference to specific selection criteria.
For ecosystem service accounts, this section describes or refers to the methods used to quantify ecosystem services.
For monetary accounts, this section describes or refers to the methods used to assign monetary values to ecosystem services.
The use of supplementary materials is recommended in case the description of data and methods is too long. In that case, this section contains a summary of the data and methods.
Accounting tables and results
This section presents the accounting table(s). Ideally, this section presents the most aggregated version of the accounting table(s), while detailed versions with a high number of rows and columns can be easily published as a spreadsheet in the supplement section of the paper.
Stylised versions of accounting tables are available in the SEEA EA guidelines. A stylized example for each ecosystem accounting table is available in MS Excel. It is highly recommended to follow these examples to the maximum possible extent.
Graphs or maps that illustrate the accounting tables or that provide key results used to compile the accounting table can be published as well in this section.
In this section, authors are invited to add at least one of the following topics:
A short interpretation of the results: are the reported data comparable to other published data on ecosystem extent, condition or services or do they deviate substantially.
Critique or comments on the SEEA EA framework. Identify issues with application of the framework. Highlight areas for improvement or further research.
Demonstration of how the accounts have been or can be used to support policy and decision making or implementation. Particular cases of interest are (however, not restricted to) agricultural, forestry, fishery and biodiversity policies, biodiversity and ecosystem monitoring and reporting, ecosystem restoration projects, demonstrating values of ecosystems, or environmental impact assessments.