Ecosystem Services of Rivers: The Don River (Russian Federation) and the Roanoke River (USA)

Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The concept of ecosystem services recognizes the services, and benefits, provided to people by ecosystems. River systems provide many services to people, including freshwater provisioning, carbon storage, fisheries, recreation, transportation, and biodiversity. Here, we review the services provided by rivers and describe a conceptual model relating services to drivers, pressures, ecosystem state, and management responses. This approach allowed us to highlight how policies and decisions can lead to trade-offs among services, which must be considered for sustainable watershed management. We have used this conceptual framework to compare two rivers, the Don River in the Russian Federation and the Roanoke River in Virginia/North Carolina, USA, to demonstrate the usefulness of the ecosystem services approach. Future science needs for ecosystem services in rivers are to identify service indicators and map services, link drivers/pressures to services with models, and relate natural systems to social and economic systems.


Ecosystem services Rivers Fisheries Trade-offs Don River Roanoke River 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyAthensUSA
  2. 2.Central European UniversityBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Ramsar Convention SecretariatGlandSwitzerland

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