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Ecosystem services: Delivering decision-making for salt marshes

zu Ermgassen, Philine S.E., Baker, Ronald, Beck, Michael W., Dodds, Kate, zu Ermgassen, Sophus O.S.E., Mallick, Debbrota, Taylor, Matthew D., Turner, R. Eugene (2021) Ecosystem services: Delivering decision-making for salt marshes. Estuaries and Coasts, . ISSN 1559-2723. (doi:10.1007/s12237-021-00952-z) (KAR id:88269)

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Tidal marshes are one of the world’s most economically valuable habitats, yet they have experienced large and persistent declines globally. Increased knowledge of the ecosystem services delivered by marshes has become a powerful tool to conserve and restore them. But hesitancies regarding valuations and their application in decision making remain. Here we draw on the literature and collective experience of participants in the “Concepts and controversies in tidal Marsh ecology revisited” workshop, November 2nd and 3rd 2019, Mobile, Alabama, to provide a concise snapshot of the current field of salt marsh ecosystem service valuation, discuss the possible risks in salt marsh valuation, and the importance of stakeholder engagement to mitigate them. We provide examples of the application of valuation in conservation related decision making, illustrating the growing operationalization of ecosystem services in incentivizing salt marsh conservation and restoration.Ecosystem service quantification and valuation is already playing an important role in decision making by coastal risk managers, insurers, engineers and policy makers. While there are legitimate criticisms of valuation techniques and remaining uncertainties in ecosystem service delivery that arise both through natural variability across space and time and through differing and shifting cultural values, our perspective is that the rise of big data, the development of valuation techniques, a growing understanding and application of environmental justice practices, and increasing interdisciplinarity to tackle these complex issues, are paving the way for valuation to play a critical role in decision making around salt marshes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s12237-021-00952-z
Uncontrolled keywords: Ecosystem service, tidal marsh, salt marsh, coastal protection, coastal management, valuation
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Sophus Zu-Ermgassen
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 15:48 UTC
Last Modified: 20 May 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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zu Ermgassen, Sophus O.S.E..

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