Effective integration of ecosystem services (ESs) into spatial planning and decision-making processes has been advocated as an opportunity to improve current practices and to promote sustainable development. However, the actual uptake of ecosystem services is still challenging, in part due to the complexity of ES studies, data scarcity, and ES compartmentalization, and so on. This chapter presents a case of mapping and characterizing coastal ecosystem services in a way that deals with these issues in order to facilitate its integration in the decision-making and planning process. It gives an insight into which ESs are currently provided in Ria de Aveiro coastal region (Portugal), how are they distributed in space, and identifies multifunctional areas. We argue that the use of existing and available data, as well as tools and approaches that are similar to those used in spatial planning, notwithstanding its limitations, has the potential for bridging science and decision-making spheres. ES-related information could be thus gradually incorporated in the design of local strategies towards sustainable and transparent planning and management processes.
Part of the book: Ecosystem Services and Global Ecology
Highest extinction risk and consequently biodiversity loss are predicted to occur in invertebrates, specifically insects, and these declines are expected to cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Although this knowledge is intrinsically present in more traditional communities, in more urban environments, mapping ecosystem services can be an important tool to raise people’s awareness on the importance of preserving insect diversity. After an extensive revision of the available literature, we used a rule-based approach to assess the provisioning, regulating and maintenance, and cultural services delivered by insects. We followed the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) and identified several potential indicators that may help underpin the mapping and valuation of the services delivered by insects. From our search, we extracted a total of 73 indicators, divided as 17 Provisional indicators, 27 Regulation and Maintenance indicators, and 29 Cultural indicators. We concluded that insects are providers of services in the three major ‘Sections’ of ecosystem services defined by CICES. Despite the lack of recognition of provisioning and cultural services, the indicators provided may help to raise awareness on the importance of the little things the run the world, in order to preserve traditional and technological uses of insects and their services.
Part of the book: Selected Studies in Biodiversity