Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seeing the hidden services of nature: New approach for managing ecological trade-offs

Date:
March 2, 2010
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Following an intense study of agricultural ecosystems near Montreal, a new tool that enables the simultaneous analysis and management of a wide range of ecological services has been developed. Environmental management typically focuses on nature's resources like food, wildlife and timber, but can miss hidden ecosystem services such as water purification, climate moderation and the regulation of nutrient cycling.

Following an intense study of agricultural ecosystems near Montreal, a new tool that enables the simultaneous analysis and management of a wide range of ecological services has been developed by Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne of McGill University's Department of Geography, Elena Bennett of the McGill School of Environment, and Garry Peterson of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.

Environmental management typically focuses on nature's resources like food, wildlife and timber, but can miss hidden ecosystem services such as water purification, climate moderation and the regulation of nutrient cycling.

The researchers show that ecosystems that maximize agriculture offer fewer hidden ecosystems services than more diverse agricultural landscapes. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne says "Landscapes managed to provide a lot of one service, such as pig production, can be costly because they have fewer of the hidden services, such as the regulation of nutrient pollution, which are also important to people." They also show that in some areas high amounts of agricultural production can go hand in hand with the production of other ecosystem services. The researchers framework can be used to help identify "best-practice areas" and contribute to developing effective resource policies.

Bennett believes Quebec manages its environment fairly well, but that there are still trade-offs and costs to be recognized. She says "the big local message is that in terms of the landscape we have to be thinking about more than just one thing -- we can't just see corn, we have to see deer hunting, nutrients, and tourism, too."

The area surrounding Montreal was selected because it is typical of near-urban agricultural landscapes in many parts of the world. "I hope these methods can be applied to many other landscapes around the world," Peterson says, adding the tool will help decision makers trying to balance the goals of farmers, rural villagers and exurban commuters.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 1, 2010.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Raudsepp-Hearne, G. D. Peterson, E. M. Bennett. Ecosystem service bundles for analyzing tradeoffs in diverse landscapes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0907284107

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Seeing the hidden services of nature: New approach for managing ecological trade-offs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302111920.htm>.
McGill University. (2010, March 2). Seeing the hidden services of nature: New approach for managing ecological trade-offs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302111920.htm
McGill University. "Seeing the hidden services of nature: New approach for managing ecological trade-offs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302111920.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A day after over 100,000 people marched against climate change, more than 1,000 activists blocked parts of Manhattan's financial district. Over 100 people, including a person wearing a white polar bear suit, were arrested Monday night. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins