Investigating future ecosystem services through participatory scenario building and spatial ecological–economic modelling
Scenario analysis with integrated quantitative modelling has become a common approach to investigate possible future socio-ecological systems in sustainability research. Facing several barriers on the use of scenarios, however, a participatory scenario approach has gained wider attention in place-based environmental research communities. In this paper, we investigate future ecosystem services (i.e., food production, carbon sequestration, nutrient retention, and habitat provision) in the explorative manner in the Sado island, Japan, using a participatory scenario approach and spatial ecological–economic modelling techniques. The contributions of this paper to the existing literatures are twofold: the one is collaborative use of morphological analysis and participants’ votes for more fair and transparent scenario building, and the other is a suite of spatial modelling techniques, inter alia, land-use projections using a spatial multinomial logit model, for more robust and accurate simulations. Taking such innovative approaches and constructing the ecosystem service index reflecting local perceptions, we built distinctive six scenarios and projected future ecosystem services. As consequences, we could (1) illuminate the trade-offs between land-based ecosystem services, (2) highlight the importance of adequate mosaic structures in providing bundle of ecosystem services, and (3) visualize the spatially heterogenous impacts of alternative scenarios that imply one scenario does not fit all areas. We also discussed the interpretation of a sink service from sustainability perspectives and lessons learned from the parallel approach of participatory scenario building and quantitative modelling exercises.
KeywordsEcosystem services Land use Participatory scenario Spatial econometric models Sustainability
This research was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund [S-15 Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services (PANCES)] of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
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