Original Paper

Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 2979-2994

Research needs for incorporating the ecosystem service approach into EU biodiversity conservation policy

  • Christian AntonAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZNationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina Email author 
  • , Juliette YoungAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • , Paula A. HarrisonAffiliated withEnvironmental Change Institute, Oxford University Centre for the Environment
  • , Martin MuscheAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ
  • , Györgyi BelaAffiliated withEnvironmental Social Science Research Group, Szent István University
  • , Christian K. FeldAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Zoology/Hydrobiology, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • , Richard HarringtonAffiliated withDepartment of Plant and Invertebrate Ecology, Rothamsted Research
  • , John R. HaslettAffiliated withDepartment of Organismal Biology, University of Salzburg
  • , György PatakiAffiliated withEnvironmental Social Science Research Group, Szent István University
    • , Mark D. A. RounsevellAffiliated withCentre for the study of Environmental Change and Sustainability (CECS), School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh
    • , Michalis SkourtosAffiliated withDepartment of Environment, University of Aegean
    • , J. Paulo SousaAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZIMAR-CMA, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra
    • , Martin T. SykesAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZDepartment of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University
    • , Rob TinchAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZMedian SCP
    • , Marie VandewalleAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZDepartment of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University
    • , Allan WattAffiliated withCentre for Ecology and Hydrology
    • , Josef SetteleAffiliated withDepartment of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

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Abstract

Using a range of different methods including extensive reviews, workshops and an electronic conference, 70 key research recommendations and 12 priority research needs to integrate the ecosystem services approach into biodiversity conservation policy and funding were identified by a cross-disciplinary group of over 100 scientists and 50 stakeholders, including research funders and policy-makers. These recommendations focus on the ecological underpinning of ecosystem services, drivers that affect ecosystems and their services, biological traits and ecosystem services, the valuation of ecosystem services, spatial and temporal scales in ecosystem service assessment, indicators of ecosystem services, and habitat management, conservation policy and ecosystem services. The recommendations in this paper help steer the research agenda on ecosystem services into policy-relevant areas, agreed upon by funders, researchers and policy-makers. This research agenda will only succeed with increased collaboration between researchers across disciplines, thereby providing a challenge to the research community and research funders to work in new, interdisciplinary ways.

Keywords

Biodiversity Conservation policy Ecosystem services Indicators Knowledge base Research priorities Valuation