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Coastal Zone Ecosystem Services: From science to values and decision making; a case study

Luisetti, Tiziana; Turner, R.K.; Jickells, T.; Andrews, J.; Elliott, M.; Schaafsma, Marije; Beaumont, Nicola; Malcolm, S.; Burdon, D.; Adams, Christopher; Watts, W.


Tiziana Luisetti

R.K. Turner

T. Jickells

J. Andrews

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Professor Mike Elliott
Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies

Marije Schaafsma

Nicola Beaumont

S. Malcolm

D. Burdon

Christopher Adams

W. Watts


This research is concerned with the following environmental research questions: socio-ecological system complexity, especially when valuing ecosystem services; ecosystems stock and services flow sustainability and valuation; the incorporation of scale issues when valuing ecosystem services; and the integration of knowledge from diverse disciplines for governance and decision making. In this case study, we focused on ecosystem services that can be jointly supplied but independently valued in economic terms: healthy climate (via carbon sequestration and storage), food (via fisheries production in nursery grounds), and nature recreation (nature watching and enjoyment). We also explored the issue of ecosystem stock and services flow, and we provide recommendations on how to value stock and flows of ecosystem services via accounting and economic values respectively. We considered broadly comparable estuarine systems located on the English North Sea coast: the Blackwater estuary and the Humber estuary. In the past, these two estuaries have undergone major land-claim. Managed realignment is a policy through which previously claimed intertidal habitats are recreated allowing the enhancement of the ecosystem services provided by saltmarshes. In this context, we investigated ecosystem service values, through biophysical estimates and welfare value estimates. Using an optimistic (extended conservation of coastal ecosystems) and a pessimistic (loss of coastal ecosystems because of, for example, European policy reversal) scenario, we find that context dependency, and hence value transfer possibilities, vary among ecosystem services and benefits. As a result, careful consideration in the use and application of value transfer, both in biophysical estimates and welfare value estimates, is advocated to supply reliable information for policy making. © 2014.


Luisetti, T., Turner, R., Jickells, T., Andrews, J., Elliott, M., Schaafsma, M., Beaumont, N., Malcolm, S., Burdon, D., Adams, C., & Watts, W. (2014). Coastal Zone Ecosystem Services: From science to values and decision making; a case study. The Science of the total environment, 493, 682-693.

Acceptance Date May 22, 2014
Online Publication Date Jul 1, 2014
Publication Date Sep 15, 2014
Deposit Date May 6, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 6, 2015
Journal Science of the total environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 493
Pages 682-693
Keywords System complexity; Ecosystem services; Stock; Flows; Context dependency; Value transfer
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Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Science of the total environment, 2014, v.493 at:
Contract Date May 6, 2015


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