skip to main content

Title: Governing trade‐offs in ecosystem services and disservices to achieve human–wildlife coexistence

Sustaining wildlife populations, which provide both ecosystem services and disservices, represents a worldwide conservation challenge. The ecosystem services and Ostrom's social–ecological systems frameworks have been adopted across natural and social sciences to characterize benefits from nature. Despite their generalizability, individually they do not include explicit tools for addressing the sustainable management of many wildlife populations. For instance, Ostrom's framework does not specifically address competing perspectives on wildlife, whereas the ecosystem services framework provides a limited representation of the social and governance context wherein such competing perspectives are embedded. We developed a unified social–ecological framework of ecosystem disservices and services (SEEDS) that advances both frameworks by explicitly acknowledging the importance of competing wildlife perspectives embedded in the social and governance contexts. The SEEDS framework emulates the hierarchical structure of Ostrom's social–ecological systems, but adds subsystems reflecting heterogeneous stakeholder views and experiences of wildlife‐based services and disservices. To facilitate operationalizing SEEDS and further broader analyses across human–wildlife systems, we devised a list of variables to describe SEEDS subsystems, such as types and level of services and disservices, cost and benefit sharing, and social participation of stakeholders. Steps to implement SEEDS involve engaging local communities and stakeholders to define the subsystems, analyze interactions and outcomes, and identify leverage points and actions to remedy unwanted outcomes. These steps connect SEEDS with other existing approaches in social–ecological research and can guide analyses across systems or within individual systems to provide new insights and management options for sustainable human–wildlife coexistence.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Conservation Biology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 543-553
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    As the pressures on water resources are ever increasing, the organization of complex disparate data and scientific information to inform the actions to protect and enhance the resilience of freshwater resources is key for sustainable development and implementation of integrated water resource management (IWRM). Methodologies supporting IWRM implementation have largely focused on water management and governance, with less attention to evaluation methods of ecologic, economic, and social conditions. To assist in assessing water resource sustainability, the Integrated Hydro‐Environment Assessment Tool (IHEAT) has been developed to create a framework for different disciplines and interests to engage in structured dialogue. The IHEAT builds on the considerable body of knowledge developed around IWRM and seeks to place this information into a single framework that facilitates the cogeneration of knowledge between managers, stakeholders, and the communities affected by management decisions with the understanding that there is a need to merge expert analysis with traditional knowledge and the lived experience of communities. IHEAT merges the driver‐pressure‐state‐impact‐response (DPSIR) framework, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's ecosystem services and human well‐being (HWB) framework, sustainability criteria for water resource systems, and water resources indexes and sets of indicators to better understand spatiotemporal interactions between hydrologic, socioeconomic, and ecologic systems and evaluate impacts of disturbances on ecological goods and services and HWB. IHEAT consists of a Conceptual Template (IHEAT‐CT) which provides a systematic framework for assessing basin conditions and guiding indicator selection as well as an Assessment Interface (IHEAT‐AI) for organizing, processing, and assessing analytical results. The IHEAT‐CT, presented herein, is a rapid screening tool that connects water use directly, or through ecosystem goods and services (EGS), to constituents of HWB. Disturbance Templates for eight pressure types, such as land‐use change, climate change, and population growth, are provided to guide practitioners regarding potential changes to landscape elements in the hydrological cycle, impacts on EGS, and societal implications on HWB. The basin screening results in a summary report card illuminating key freshwater ecosystems, the EGS they provide, and potential responses to drivers and pressures acting on the hydrologic system. This screening provides a common understanding by technical and nontechnical parties and provides the foundation for more complex conceptual models should they be required. An indicator list guides the selection of hydrologic, ecologic, economic, and social analytical methods to support IWRM technical input.

    more » « less
  2. We are facing interwoven global threats to public health and ecosystem function that reveal the intrinsic connections between human and wildlife health. These challenges are especially pressing in cities, where social-ecological interactions are pronounced. The One Health concept provides an organizing framework that promotes the health and well-being of urban communities and ecosystems. However, for One Health to be successful, it must incorporate societal inequities in environmental disamenities, exposures, and policy. Such inequities affect all One Health interfaces, including the distribution of ecosystem services and disservices, the nature and frequency ofhuman–wildlife interactions, and legacies of land use. Here, we review the current literature on One Health perspectives, pinpoint areas in which to incorporate an environmental justice lens, and close with recommendations for future work. Intensifying social, political, and environmental unrest underscores a dire need for One Health solutions informed by environmental justice principles to help build healthier, more resilient cities. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Cities support abundant human and wildlife populations that are shaped indirectly and directly by human decisions, often resulting in unequal access to environmental services and accessible open spaces. Urban land cover drives biodiversity patterns across metropolitan areas, but at smaller scales that matter to local residents, neighborhood socio‐cultural factors can influence the presence and abundance of wildlife. Neighborhood income is associated with plant and animal diversity in some cities, but the influence of other social variables is less well understood, especially across desert ecosystems. We explored wildlife distribution across gradients of neighborhood ethnicity in addition to income and landscape characteristics within residential areas of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Utilizing data from 38 wildlife cameras deployed in public parks and undeveloped open spaces within or near suburban neighborhoods, we estimated occupancy and activity patterns of common mammal species, including species native to the Sonoran Desert (coyote [Canis latrans] and desert cottontail rabbit [Sylvilagus audubonii]), and non‐native domestic cat (Felis catus). Neighborhood ethnicity (percentage of Latino residents) appeared to exhibit a negative relationship with occupancy for coyotes and cottontail rabbits. Additionally, daily activity patterns of coyotes occurred later in the evenings and mornings in neighborhoods with higher proportions of Latino residents, but activity was unaffected by differences in neighborhood income. This study is one of the first to show that social‐ecological mechanisms associated with patterns of neighborhood ethnicity as well as income may help to shape wildlife distribution in cities. These findings have implications for equitable management and provisioning of ecosystem services for urban residents and highlight the importance of considering a range of social covariates to better understand biodiversity outcomes in urban and urbanizing areas.

    more » « less
  4. The purpose of the Research in the Formation of Engineers National Science Foundation funded project, Developing Engineering Experiences and Pathways in Engineering Technology Career Formation (D.E.E.P. Engineering Technology Career Formation), is to develop a greater understanding of the professional identity, institutional culture, and formation of engineer technicians and technologists (ET) who are prepared at two-year colleges. ET professionals are important hands-on members of engineering teams who have specialized knowledge of components and engineering systems. Little research on career development and the role of ET in the workforce has previously been conducted prompting national organizations such as NSF and the National Academy of Sciences to prompt more research in this area [1]. The primary objectives of this project are to: (a) identify dimensions of career orientations and anchors at various stages of professional preparation and map to ET career pathways, (b) develop an empirical framework, incorporating individual career anchors and effect of institutional culture, for understanding ET professional formation, and (c) develop and pilot interventions aimed at transforming engineering formation systems in ET contexts. The three interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks integrated to guide design and analysis of this research study are social cognitive career theory (SCCT) [2], Schein’s career anchors which focuses on individual career orientation [3], and the Hughes value framework focused on the organization [4]. SCCT which links self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, and personal goals to educational and career decisions and outcomes ties the individual career anchors to the institutional context of the Hughes framework [2]. To date, the project has collected and analyzed quantitative data from over 330 participants who are two-year college ET students, two-year college transfer students, and early career ET professionals. Qualitative data from historical institutional documents has also been collected and analyzed. Initial analyses have revealed gaps and needed areas of support for ET students in the area of professional formation. Thus far, the identified gaps are in institutional policy (i.e. lack of articulation agreements), needed faculty professional development (i.e. two-year faculty on specific career development and professional ET formation needs and four-year faculty on unique needs of transfer students), missing curriculum and resources supporting career development and professional formation of ET students, and integration of transfer student services focusing on connecting faculty and advisors across both institutional levels and types of programs. Significant gaps in the research promoting understanding of the role of ET and unique professional formation needs of these students were also confirmed. This project has been successful at helping to broaden participation in ET engineering education through integrating new participants into activities (new four-year institutional stakeholders, new industry partners, new faculty and staff directly and indirectly working with ET students) and through promoting disciplinary (engineering education and ET) and cross disciplinary collaborations (human resource development, higher education leadership, and student affairs). With one year remaining before completion of this project, this project has promoted a better understanding of student and faculty barriers supporting career development for ET students and identified need for career development resources and curriculum in ET. Words: 498 References [1] National Academy of Engineering. (2016). Engineering technology education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. [2] Lent, R.W., & Brown, S.B. (1996). Social cognitive approach to career development: An overivew. Career Development Quarterly, 44, 310-321. [3] Schein, E. (1996). Career anchors revisited: Implications for career development in the 21st century. Academy of Management Executive, 10(4), 80-88. [4] Hughes, C. (2014, Spring). Conceptualizing the five values of people and technology development: Implications for human resource managmeent and development. Workforce Education Forum, 37(1), 23-44. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Smallholder farmers are some of the poorest and most food insecure people on Earth. Their high nutritional and economic reliance on home‐grown produce makes them particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors such as pollinator loss or climate change which threaten agricultural productivity. Improving smallholder agriculture in a way that is environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change is a key challenge of the 21st century.

    Ecological intensification, whereby ecosystem services are managed to increase agricultural productivity, is a promising solution for smallholders. However, smallholder farms are complex socio‐ecological systems with a range of social, ecological and environmental factors interacting to influence ecosystem service provisioning. To truly understand the functioning of a smallholder farm and identify the most effective management options to support household food and nutrition security, a holistic, systems‐based understanding is required.

    In this paper, we propose a network approach to understand, visualise and model the complex interactions occurring among wild species, crops and people on smallholder farms. Specifically, we demonstrate how networks may be used to (a) identify wild species with a key role in supporting, delivering or increasing the resilience of an ecosystem service; (b) quantify the value of an ecosystem service in a way that is relevant to the food and nutrition security of smallholders; and (c) understand the social interactions that influence the management of shared ecosystem services.

    Using a case study based on data from rural Nepal, we demonstrate how this framework can be used to connect wild plants, pollinators and crops to key nutrients consumed by humans. This allows us to quantify the nutritional value of an ecosystem service and identify the wild plants and pollinators involved in its provision, as well as providing a framework to predict the effects of environmental change on human nutrition.

    Our framework identifies mechanistic links between ecosystem services and the nutrients consumed by smallholder farmers and highlights social factors that may influence the management of these services. Applying this framework to smallholder farms in a range of socio‐ecological contexts may provide new, sustainable and equitable solutions to smallholder food and nutrition security.

    A freePlain Language Summarycan be found within the Supporting Information of this article.

    more » « less