Characterizing Coastal Ecosystem Service Trade-offs with Future Urban Development in a Tropical City

Abstract

With rapid urbanization in the coastal zone and increasing habitat losses, it is imperative to understand how urban development affects coastal biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, it is important to understand how habitat fragments can best be incorporated into broader land use planning and coastal management, in order to maximize the environmental benefits they provide. In this study, we characterized the trade-offs between (a) urban development and individual mangrove environmental indicators (habitat quality and ecosystem services), and (b) between different environmental indicators in the tropical nation of Singapore. A range of biological, biophysical, and cultural indicators, including carbon, charcoal production, support for offshore fisheries, recreation, and habitat quality for a threatened species were quantified using field-based, remote sensing, and expert survey methods. The shape of the trade-off Pareto frontiers was analyzed to assess the sensitivity of environmental indicators for development. When traded off individually with urban development, four out of five environmental indicators were insensitive to development, meaning that relatively minor degradation of the indicator occurred while development was below a certain threshold, although indicator loss accelerated once this threshold was reached. Most of the pairwise relationships between the five environmental indicators were synergistic; only carbon storage and charcoal production, and charcoal production and recreational accessibility showed trade-offs. Trade-off analysis and land use optimization using Pareto frontiers could be a useful decision-support tool for understanding how changes in land use and coastal management will impact the ability of ecosystems to provide environmental benefits.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Agbenyega O, Burgess PJ, Cook M, Morris J (2009) Application of an ecosystem function framework to perceptions of community woodlands. Land Use Policy 26:551–557

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Alongi DM (2011) Carbon payments for mangrove conservation: ecosystem constraints and uncertainties of sequestration potential. Environ Sci Policy 14:462–470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Arkema KK, Verutes GM, Wood SA, Clarke-Samuels C, Rosado S, Canto M, Rosenthal A, Ruckelshaus M, Guannei G, JToft, JFaries, Silver JM, Griffin R, Guerry AD (2015) Embedding ecosystem services in coastal planning leads to better outcomes for people and nature. Proc Nat Acad Sci 112:7390–7395

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. AVA (2011) AVA ups food supply resilience efforts: helping local fish farms improve productivity. Media release, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. https://www.ava.gov.sg/docs/default-source/press-releases/2011/pressrelease_avaupsfsrefforts_helpinglocalfishfarm.pdf. Accessed 9 Aug 2016

  5. Bandaranayake WM (1998) Traditional and medicinal uses of mangroves. Mangroves Saltmarshes 2:133–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bennett EM, Peterson GD, Gordon LJ (2009) Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services. Ecol Lett 12:1394–404

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bing Maps (2015) Microsoft Bing Maps imagery services. http://www.bing.com/maps/. Accessed 9 Aug 2016

  8. Bolund P, Hunhammar S (1999) Ecosystem services in urban areas. Ecol Econ 29:293–301

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bull J (2012) Find Pareto frontiers in Python. University College London. Website: http://oco-carbon.com/2012/07/31/find-pareto-frontiers-in-python/. Accessed 29 Apr 2014

  10. Cao K, Huang B, Qang S, Lin H (2012) Sustainable land use optimization using boundary-based fast genetic algorithm. Comput Environ Urban Syst 36:257–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Cartwright-Taylor L, von Bing Y, Chi HC, Tee LS (2011) Distribution and abundance of horseshoe crabs Tachypleus gigas and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda around the main island of Singapore. Aquat Biol 13:127–136

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Davies ZG, Edmondson JL, Heinemeyer A, Leake JR, Gaston KJ (2011) Mapping an urban ecosystem service: quantifying above-ground carbon storage at a city-wide scale. J Appl Ecol 48:1125–1134

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. de Groot RS, Alkemande R, Braat L, Hein L, Willemen L (2010) Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making. Ecol Complex 7:260–272

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. De Koninck R, Bernard S, Bissonnette J-F (2008) Singapore: an atlas of perpetual territorial transformation. National University of Singapore Press, Singapore

    Google Scholar 

  15. Department of Statistics (2014) Population trends 2014. Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Government of Singapore

  16. Dobbs C, Nitschke CR, Kendal D (2014) Global drivers and tradeoffs of three urban vegetation ecosystem services. PLoS One 9:e113000

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Donato DC, Kauffman JB, Murdiyarso D, Kurnianto S, Stidham M, Kanninen M (2011) Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics. Nat Geosci 4:293–297

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Douvere F (2008) The importance of marine spatial planning in advancing ecosystem-based sea use management. Mar Policy 32:762–771

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Emmerich M, Deutz A (2007) Test problems based on lamé superspheres. In: Obayashi S, Poloni C, Deb K (eds) Evolutionary multi-criterion optimization 4th international conference. Springer, Berlin, p 922–936

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  20. Fitzgibbon SI, Putland DA, Goldizen AW (2007) The importance of functional connectivity in the conservation of a ground-dwelling mammal in an urban Australian landscape. Landsc Ecol 22:1513–1525

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Folke C, Carpenter S, Walker B, Scheffer M, Elmqvist T, Gunderson L, Holling CS (2004) Regime shifts, resilience, and biodiversity in ecosystem management. Ann Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:577–581

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Friess DA (2017) Singapore as a long-term case study for tropical urban ecosystem services. Urban Ecosyst 20:277–291

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Friess DA, Phelps J, Leong RC, Lee WK, Wee AKS, Sivasothi N, Oh RRY, Webb EL (2012) Mandai mangrove, Singapore: lessons for the conservation of Southeast Asia’s mangroves. Raffles Bull Zool S25:55–65

    Google Scholar 

  24. Friess DA, Richards DR, Phang VXH (2016) Mangrove forests store high densities of carbon across the tropical urban landscape of Singapore. Urban Ecosyst 19:795–810

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Gittman RK, Fodrie FJ, Popowich AM, Keller DA, Bruno JF, Currin CA, Peterson CH, Piehler MF (2015) Engineering away our natural defences: an analysis of shoreline hardening in the US. Front Ecol Environ 13:301–307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Gobster PH, Westphal LM (2004) The human dimensions of urban greenways: planning for recreation and related experiences. Landsc Urban Plan 68:147–165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Grasso M (1998) Ecological-economic model for optimal mangrove trade off between forestry and fishery production: comparing a dynamic optimization and a simulation model. Ecol Model 112:131–150

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Granek EF, Polasky S, Kappel CV, Stoms DM, Reed DJ, Primavera JH, Koch EW, Kennedy C, Cramer LA, Hacker SD, Perillo GM, Aswani S, Silliman B, Bael D, Muthiga N, Barbier EB, Wolanski E (2010) Ecosystem services as a common language for coastal ecosystem-based management. Conserv Biol 24:207–216

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Grêt-Regamey A, Celio E, Klein TM, Hayek UW (2013) Understanding ecosystem services trade-offs with interactive procedural modeling for sustainable urban planning. Landsc Urban Plan 109:107–116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Grübler A, O’Neill B, Riahi K, Chirkov V, Goujon A, Kolp P, Prommer I, Scherbov S, Slentoe E (2007) Regional, national, and spatially explicit scenarios of demographic and economic change based on SRES. Technol Forecase Soc 74:980–1029

  31. IUCN (2012) The Conservation of Asian Horseshoe Crabs. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WCC-2012-RES-030-EN. https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/resrecfiles/WCC_2012_RES_30_EN.pdf. Accessed 12 Jul 2017

  32. Jaffar Z, Hajisamae S, Chou LM, Yatiman Y (2004) Community structure of coastal fishes in relation to heavily impacted human modified habitats. Hydrobiologia 511:133–123

    Google Scholar 

  33. Kauffman JB, Donato DC (2012) Protocols for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of structure, biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove forests. CIFOR Working Paper 86. Center for International Forestry Research

  34. Kremen C (2005) Managing ecosystem services: what do we need to know about their ecology? Ecol Lett 8:468–479

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Kremer P, Hamstead Z, Haase D, McPhearson T, Frantzeskaki N, Andersson E, Kabisch N, Larondelle N, Rall EL, Voigt A, Baró F, Bertram C, Gómez-Baggethun E, Hansen R, Kaczorowska A, Kain J-H, Kronenberg J, Langemeyer J, Pauliet S, Rehdanz K, Scheweinus M, van Ham C, Wurster D, Elmqvist T (2016) Key insights for the future of urban ecosystem services research. Ecol Soc 21:29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Lai S, Loke LH, Hilton MJ, Bouma TJ, Todd PA (2015) The effects of extreme urbanization on coastal habitats and the potential for ecological engineering: a Singapore case study. Ocean Coast Manage 103:78–85

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Lee SY (1995) Mangrove outwelling: a review. Hydrobiologia 295:203–212

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Lee SY, Primavera JH, Dahdouh-Guebas F, McKee K, Bosire JO, Cannicci S, Diele K, Fromard F, Koedam N, Marchand C, Mendelssohn I, Mukherjee N, Record S (2014) Ecological role and services of tropical mangrove ecosystems: a reassessment. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 23:726–743

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Lester S, Costello C, Halpern BS, Gaines SD, White C, Barth JA (2013) Evaluating tradeoffs among ecosystem services to inform marine spatial planning. Mar Policy 38:80–89

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. McDonnell MJ (2015) Journal of Urban ecology: linking and promoting research and practice in the evolving discipline of urban ecology. J Urban Ecol 1:1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. McKenzie E, Posner S, Tillmann P, Bernhardt JR, Howard K, Rosenthal A (2014) Understanding the use of ecosystem service knowledge in decision making: lessons from international experiences of spatial planning. Environ Plan C 32:320–340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Mitchell M, Bennett EM, Gonzalez A (2013) Linking landscape connectivity an ecosystem service provision: current knowledge and research gaps. Ecosystems 16:894–908

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. MND (2013) Land use plan to support Singapore’s future population. Ministry of National Development, Government of Singapore. Singapore

  44. Murphy DH (1990) The natural history of insect herbivory on mangrove trees in and near Singapore. Raffles Bull Zool 38:119–204

    Google Scholar 

  45. Neumann B, Vafeidis AT, Zimmermann J, Nicholls RJ (2015) Future coastal population growth and exposure to sea-level rise and coastal flooding: a global assessment. PLoS One 10:e0131375

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Nickerson DJ (1999) Trade-offs of mangrove area development in the Philippines. Ecol Econ 28:279–298

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Nor NH, Obbard JP (2014) Microplastics in Singapore’s coastal mangrove ecosystems. Mar Poll Bull 15:278–283

    Google Scholar 

  48. NSS (2009) The Singapore Blue Plan 2009: a proposal by civial society for integrated and balanced conservation of Singapore’s marine heritage. Nature Society, Singapore

  49. O’Dempsey T (2014) Singapore’s changing landscape since c. 1800. In: Barnard T (ed) Nature contained: environmental histories of Singapore. NUS Press, Singapore

    Google Scholar 

  50. Onishi A, Cao X, Ito T, Shi F, Imura H (2010) Evaluating the potential for urban heat-island mitigation by greening parking lots. Urban For Urban Green 9:323–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. OpenStreetMap (2015) Open source mapping platform. https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/1.2637/103.8146. Accessed 9 Aug 2016

  52. Power AG (2010) Ecosystem services and agriculture: tradeoffs and synergies. Philos Trans R Soc B 365:2959–2971

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Richards DR, Edwards PJ (2017) Quantifying street tree regulating ecosystem services using google street view. Ecol Indic 77:31–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Richards DR, Friess DA (2015) A rapid indicator of cultural ecosystem service usage at a fine spatial scale: content analysis of social media photographs. Ecol Indic 53:187–195

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Richards DR, Friess DA (2016) Rates and drivers of mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia, 2000–2012. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:344–349

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Rodríguez JP, Beard TD, Bennett EM, Cumming GS, Cork SJ, Agard J, Dobson AP, Peterson GD (2006) Trade-offs across space, time, and ecosystem services. Ecol Soc 11:28

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Roth M, Chow WTL (2012) A historical review and assessment of urban heat island research in Singapore. Singap J Trop Geogr 33:318–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Rudloe A (1980) The breeding behavior and patterns of movement of horseshoe crabs, Limulus polyphemus, in the vicinity of breeding beaches in Apalachee Bay, Florida. Estuaries 3:177–183

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Sanon S, Hein T, Douven W, Winkler P (2012) Quantifying ecosystem service trade-offs: The case of an urban floodplain in Vienna, Austria. J Environ Manag 111:159–172

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Seppelt R, Lautenbach S, Volk M (2013) Identifying trade-offs between ecosystem services, land use, and biodiversity: a plea for combining scenario analysis and optimization on different spatial scales. Curr Opin Environ Sust 5:458–463

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Small C, Nicholls RJ (2003) A global analysis of human settlement in coastal zones. J Coast Res 19:584–599

    Google Scholar 

  62. Soh EY, Yuen B (2006) Government-aided participation in planning Singapore. Cities 23:30–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Spalding M, Kainuma M, Collins L (2010) World Atlas of Mangroves. Earthscan, London

  64. Straits Times (2013) Government to track Singapore’s carbon emissions. The Straits Times. www.straitstimes.com/singapore/government-to-track-singapores-carbon-emissions. Accessed 18 Apr 2016

  65. Tan, PY, Yeo, B, Yip, WX, Lua, HS (2009) Carbon storage and sequestration by urban trees in Singapore. Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, National Parks Board, Government of Singapore, Singapore

  66. TCCME (2013) Singapore’s Integrated Urban Coastal Management. Technical Committee on the Coastal and Marine Environment, Government of Singapore, Singapore

  67. Thiagarajah J, Wong SKM, Richards DR, Friess DA (2015) Historical and contemporary cultural ecosystem service values in the rapidly urbanizing city state of Singapore. Ambio 44:666–677

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Thomas N, Lucas R, Bunting P, Hardy A, Rosenqvist A, Simard M (2017) Distribution and drivers of global mangrove forest change, 1996–2010. PLoS One 12:e0179302

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. URA (2014) Master Plan 2014. Urban Redevelopment Authority, Government of Singapore. Singapore

  70. Velasco E, Roth M (2012) Review of Singapore’s air quality and greenhouse gas emissions: current situation and opportunities. J Air Water Manage Assoc 62:625–641

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. White C, Halpern BS, Kappel VC (2012) Ecosystem services tradeoff analysis reveals the value of marine spatial planning for multiple ocean uses. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109:4696–4701

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Wills J, Chinemana F, Rudolph M (2009) Growing or connecting? An urban food garden in Johannesburg. Health Promot Int 25:33–41

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Yee ATK, Ang WF, Teo S, Liew SC, Tan HTW (2010) The present extent of mangrove forests in Singapore. Nat Singapore 1:139–145

    Google Scholar 

  74. Zhao C, Sander HA (2015) Quantifying and mapping the supply and demand for carbon storage and sequestration service from urban trees. PLoS One 10:e0136392

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Ziegler AD, Terry JP, Oliver GJH, Friess DA, Chuah J, Chow W, Wasson RJ (2014) Increasing Singapore’s resilience to drought. Hydrol Process 28:4543–4548

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Ziter C (2016) The biodiversity-ecosystem service relationship in urban areas: a quantitative review. Oikos 125:761–768

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1, Government of Singapore (R-109-000-166-112). We thank Hsu Chia Chi, Isabelle Lee, and Kerry Pereira (Nature Society Singapore) for their assistance with horseshoe crab site ranking. We also thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback on this manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Daniel R. Richards.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Daniel R. Richards and Daniel A. Friess contributed equally to this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Richards, D.R., Friess, D.A. Characterizing Coastal Ecosystem Service Trade-offs with Future Urban Development in a Tropical City. Environmental Management 60, 961–973 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-017-0924-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Blue carbon
  • Deforestation
  • Mangrove
  • Shoreline development
  • Urbanization
  • Singapore