Soil Functions & Ecosystem Services

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Schwilch, Gudrun ; Bernet, Lea ; Claringbould, Heleen ; Fleskens, Luuk ; Giannakis, Elias ; Leventon, Julia ; Marañón, Teodora ; Mills, Jane ; Short, Christopher J ; Stolte, Jannes ; van Delden, Hedwig ; Verzandvoort, Simone (2015)
  • Publisher: European Union
  • Subject: S589.75_Agriculture | S589.7_Agricultural | S900_Conservation

In order to fulfil RECARE’s aim to quantify in a harmonized, spatially explicit way impacts of degradation and conservation on soil functions and ecosystem services, it is important to understand the concept and review the current scientific debate. This will lay the foundation for the development and selection of appropriate methods to measure, evaluate, communicate and negotiate the services we obtain from soils with stakeholders in order to improve land management.\ud \ud Despite various research activities in the last decades across the world, many challenges remain to integrate the concept of ecosystem services (ES) in decision-making, and a coherent approach to assess and value ES is still lacking (de Groot et al., 2010). There are many different, often context-specific, ES frameworks with their own definitions and understanding of terms. This chapter therefore aims to identify the state of the art and knowledge gaps in order to develop an operational framework of the ES concept for the RECARE project. It will provide an overview on existing soil functions and ES frameworks and on approaches to monitor and value ES, with a special focus on soil aspects. Furthermore, it will address the question how the ES concept is operationalized in research projects and land management in Europe so far. Based on this review, the chapter concludes with a suggestion of an adapted ES framework for RECARE and on how to operationalize it for practical application in preventing and remediating degradation of soils in Europe.
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