Skip to main content

Marine ecosystem services: Linking indicators to their classification

Bӧrger, Tobias; Bohnke-Henrichs, Anne; Boerger, Tobias; Nunes, Paulo A.L.D.; Bӧhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Hattam, Caroline; Atkins, Jonathan P.; Beaumont, Nicola; Börger, Tobias; Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Burdon, Daryl; de Groot, Rudolf; De Groot, Rudolf; Hoefnagel, Ellen; Nunes, Paulo A L D; Nunes, Paulo A. L. D.; Piwowarczyk, Joanna; Sastre, Sergio; Austen, Melanie C.


Tobias Bӧrger

Anne Bohnke-Henrichs

Tobias Boerger

Paulo A.L.D. Nunes

Anne Bӧhnke-Henrichs

Caroline Hattam

Nicola Beaumont

Tobias Börger

Anne Böhnke-Henrichs

Daryl Burdon

Rudolf de Groot

Rudolf De Groot

Ellen Hoefnagel

Paulo A L D Nunes

Paulo A. L. D. Nunes

Joanna Piwowarczyk

Sergio Sastre

Melanie C. Austen


© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. There is a multitude of ecosystem service classifications available within the literature, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Elements of them have been used to tailor a generic ecosystem service classification for the marine environment and then for a case study site within the North Sea: the Dogger Bank. Indicators for each of the ecosystem services, deemed relevant to the case study site, were identified. Each indicator was then assessed against a set of agreed criteria to ensure its relevance and applicability to environmental management. This paper identifies the need to distinguish between indicators of ecosystem services that are entirely ecological in nature (and largely reveal the potential of an ecosystem to provide ecosystem services), indicators for the ecological processes contributing to the delivery of these services, and indicators of benefits that reveal the realized human use or enjoyment of an ecosystem service. It highlights some of the difficulties faced in selecting meaningful indicators, such as problems of specificity, spatial disconnect and the considerable uncertainty about marine species, habitats and the processes, functions and services they contribute to.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2015-02
Journal Ecological indicators
Print ISSN 1470-160x
Electronic ISSN 1872-7034
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Pages 61-75
APA6 Citation Hattam, C., Atkins, J. P., Beaumont, N., Börger, T., Böhnke-Henrichs, A., Burdon, D., …Austen, M. C. (2015). Marine ecosystem services: Linking indicators to their classification. Ecological Indicators, 49, 61-75 .
Keywords Marine ecosystem services, Classification, Indicators, Functions, Benefits, Dogger Bank
Publisher URL


Article.pdf (532 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

You might also like

Downloadable Citations