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Ecosystem-Based Management, Ecosystem Services and Aquatic Biodiversity

Theory, Tools and Applications

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

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  • Brings together cutting-edge insights into ecosystem-based management from Europe and the US

  • Includes practical examples of incorporating ecosystem services into decision-making

  • Focuses on aquatic environments, including freshwater rivers and lakes, and estuarine and coastal areas

  • Explores the legal framework defining the operating space for ecosystem-based management

  • Discusses the multidisciplinary science surrounding the application of ecosystem-based management and ecosystem services concepts

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Table of contents (28 chapters)

  1. Case Studies


About this book

Aquatic ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and home to a diverse array of species and habitats, providing a wide variety of benefits to human beings. Many of these valuable ecosystems are at risk of being irreversibly damaged by human activities and pressures, including pollution, contamination, invasive species, overfishing and climate change. Such pressures threaten the sustainability of these ecosystems, their provision of ecosystem services and ultimately human well-being.

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is now widely considered the most promising paradigm for balancing sustainable development and biodiversity protection, and various international strategies and conventions have championed the EBM cause and the inclusion of ecosystem services in decision-making.  This open access book introduces the essential concepts and principles required to implement ecosystem-based management, detailing tools and techniques, and describing the application of these concepts and tools to a broad range of aquatic ecosystems, from the shores of Lough Erne in Northern Ireland to the estuaries of the US Pacific Northwest and the tropical Mekong Delta.


“The writing style is technical, informative, and less formal than in a scientific article, leaving more space for reporting about ongoing projects and for illustrating new approaches. Detailed reference lists provide links to resources for practitioners who would like to move to the hands on stage.” (Nic Pacini, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Vol. 17 (3), 2021)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

    Timothy G. O’Higgins

  • Ecologic Institute, Berlin, Germany

    Manuel Lago

  • Center for Public Health & Environmental Assessment, US Environmental Protection Agency, Newport, USA

    Theodore H. DeWitt

About the editors

Dr Tim O’Higgins is a research fellow at University College Cork, he is a  marine scientist with 20 years practical and academic research experience in Europe and the U.S.  His  research has developed from an early focus on water quality, oceanography and marine biology to the mapping and measurement of ecosystem services; to the analysis of social ecological systems and the science policy interface.  He has published widely on management of estuarine and  marine ecosystems from the U.S. Pacific northwest to the Mediterranean, Black Baltic and North and Irish Seas.  He managed the large scale integrating EU research project KnowSeas (2009-2013), current research focuses on aquaculture, ecosystem services and marine policy and management. He  lives in Oysterhaven Co Cork, Ireland and enjoys mackerel fishing.

Dr Manuel Lago is an experienced researcher and consultant in environmental/natural resource economics and since 2009 a Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute in Berlin. His line of research spins around the application of economic thinking for the increased understanding of environmental policy trade-offs and its mainstreaming into other areas of public policy. He specialises in integrative assessments through the economic analysis of environmental policies and regulations, application of the ecosystems good and services concept, environmental valuation, and compliance cost accounting. Manuel coordinated the Horizon2020 AQUACROSS project sponsored by the European Commission. The project aimed to advance knowledge and application of ecosystem-based management for aquatic ecosystems to support the achievement of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets. In addition to his involvement in large collaborative research projects, he has experience leading consulting projects for the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) among others.

Dr. Theodore DeWitt has 34 years of experience conducting marine and estuarine research with the Oregon State University, Smithsonian Institution, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. Ted and his family live on the Oregon coast, and he currently serves as the Chief of the Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch of US EPA’s Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment. His recent research has focused on identifying, quantifying, and modeling the final ecosystem goods and services (FEGS) produced within coastal aquatic habitats that are directly used or appreciated by people. From 2014 to 2019, Ted co-led US EPA’s multi-laboratory research effort to develop frameworks and tools for incorporating FEGS into decision making at community scales.  He also contributed to the development of the US EPA’s Ecosystem Service Models Library (ESML) and National Ecosystem Classification System Plus (NESCS Plus) web-based tools. Ted currently works with a US EPA team to integrate FEGS into restoration planning and monitoring, particularly for tidal wetland habitats.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Ecosystem-Based Management, Ecosystem Services and Aquatic Biodiversity

  • Book Subtitle: Theory, Tools and Applications

  • Editors: Timothy G. O’Higgins, Manuel Lago, Theodore H. DeWitt

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-45842-3Published: 18 August 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-45845-4Published: 18 September 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-45843-0Published: 17 August 2020

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VIII, 580

  • Number of Illustrations: 11 b/w illustrations, 92 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Freshwater & Marine Ecology, Ecosystems, Biodiversity

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