Recent Changes of Ecosystem Surfaces and their Services Value in a Mediterranean Costal Protected Area: the Role of Wetlands

  • Paolo Fastelli
  • Massimiliano Marcelli
  • Cristiana Guerranti
  • Monia Renzi


Coastal ecosystems provide key services, but human activities and natural phenomena such as coastal erosion can strongly affect them. These changes can induce severe ecological and economic damages. This study aims to evaluate temporal changes in a protected area (Regional Park of Maremma, Southern Tuscany, Italy) in terms of both ecological and economical damage associated with ecosystem services loss observed over the period 2001–2014. Studies were performed using remote sensing as well as field verification for more critical habitat types. Results show an overall reduction of the habitat in flooded areas. During the study period total Ecosystem Services Values (ESV) decreased by more than 13% and the major contributor to that changes is loss of wetlands (net reduction of about 4.3 M US$/y), not directly beach erosion. Although this study proposes a first order approximation in terms of ESVs of considered biomes, these values are set to increase in the near future as knowledge and technologies improve. Therefore, wetlands management plans are crucial in this context, and could have much more significant effects on ecosystem efficiency and resources for future generations than beach erosion prevention.


Wetlands ESV Forest Beach and dunes Habitat directive Regional park of Maremma 



The authors are grateful to the Regional Park of Maremma, Consorzio di Bonifica n. 6 Toscana Sud, Parco Regionale dellaMaremma, Poliservizi Engineering and Bioscience Research Center, all of which favoured, encouraged, and supported this research activity. Authors are grateful to Dr. Flavio Monti for sampling activities and to Theresa Davis for the English language revision.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CoNISMaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Bioscience Research CenterOrbetelloItaly

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