Ecosystem services values and changes across the Atlantic coastal zone : Considerations and implications
Filho, Luiz Magalhães; Roebeling, Peter; Villasante, Sebastián; Bastos, Maria Isabel
The mapping and assessment of ecosystem services supplied by Atlantic coastal zone biomes provide a highly valuable source of information for understanding their current and potential benefits to society. The main objective of this research is to map and assess the values provided by Provisioning, Regulating & maintenance and Cultural ecosystem services on the Atlantic coastal zone over the period 2005–2015. Global ecosystem service value (ESV) functions were applied to a 100 km coastal zone of countries on the Atlantic coastal zone, using land use and socio-economic data for 2005, 2010 and 2015. Results show that total Cultural ecosystem service values (ESVCult) are largest along the Atlantic coastal zone (50 % of ESVTotal), that Tropical Forest is the biome that provides the largest total ecosystem service value (33 % of ESVTotal) and that Latin America & Caribbean is the Atlantic coastal zone with highest ecosystem service values (55 % of ESVTotal). Results also show a decrease in natural areas, mainly due to the increase in urban areas along the Atlantic coastal zone. Despite this process, there is an increase in unit ecosystem service values over time (+21 %) due to an increase in income (+13 %) and population (+15 %) over the period 2005–2015. These trends in ESV over the years deserve careful attention by policy makers. A decrease in the supply of (due to land use conversion) and the increase in demand for (due to income and population growth) ecosystem services could, potentially, lead to jeopardizing ecosystem services over time.