Ecosystem Processes

Types of Freshwater Ecosystem Services

The goods and services provided to humans by freshwater benthic ecosystems may be classed as provisioning services, or products obtained from ecosystems, such as plant and animal food and fiber supporting services, or services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services, such as waste processing, the production of a sustained clean water supply, flood abatement, and climate moderation and cultural services, or nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystems, such as aesthetics,...

Vulnerability of Marine Sedimentary Ecosystem Services to Human Activities

Ecosystem Alteration Destruction

Austen, Stephen J. Hawkins,Thomas M. Iliffe, Ronald T. Kneib, Lisa A. Levin, Jan Marcin Weslawski, Robert B. Whitlatch, and James R. Garey Marine sedimentary ecosystems encompass more of the Earth's surface than any other habitat, but many people consider the sea floor to be a vast, monotonous environment that is remote from human disturbance. Biodiversity is often thought to be of little consequence to the resources we extract from the ocean, to the health of...

Analysis of Roles Played by Benthic Species

Ecological evaluation of ecosystem service. Society has alternative uses for fresh water, which are associated with competing demands for particular quantities and qualities of water. For example, in Central Asia, increased diversions of water from the Amu and Syr Darya Rivers expanded production of irrigated agriculture and other upstream uses beginning in the early 1960s, but resulted in major declines in fish production and water-based transportation after the Aral Sea partially dried and...

Nutrient Cycling and Productivity of Lakes Lake Mendota Wisconsin United States

Lakes are used for a variety of ecosystem services, but because of their enclosed nature and the slow turnover of their water, they are often susceptible to a variety of threats, among them the loss of ecosystem services and resulting disservices. Eutrophication, for instance, results in rapid growth of blue-green algae, which affect tastes and odors of drinking water. Algal blooms disrupt filtration processes during water abstraction and can be toxic, which may affect drinking water for...

Threats to Freshwater Systems

Threats to freshwater systems arise from a myriad of human activities, including channelization, groundwater pumping, diversion, dam building, pollution, human-induced climate change, and overexploitation of natural resources (e.g., Postel & Carpenter 1997 Malmqvist & Rundle 2002). Nearly all major rivers and lakes worldwide have large human population densities associated with them or within their drainage basins, usually sited there with relatively little thought to the availability of...

Cascading Effects of Deforestation on Ecosystem Services Across Soils and Freshwater and Marine Sediments

Deforestation Effects Pictures

Levin, Ronald T. Kneib, Robert O. Hall, Jr., Jan Marcin Weslawski, Richard D. Bardgett, David A. Wardle, Diana H. Wall, Wim H. van der Putten, and Holley Zadeh The full assessment of the impacts of ecosystem management and disturbances on the provision of ecosystem services would be a comparatively simple process if ecosystems were totally self-contained and independent. Simple monitoring, observation, and assessment within a system would inform us of the implications of...

Literature Cited

Putting a value on nature's free services. Worldwatch 11 10-19. Acharya, G. 2000. Approaches to valuing the hidden hydrological services of wetland ecosystems. Ecological Economics 35 63-74. Sp. Iss. Alexander, R.B., R.A. Smith, and G.E. Schwarz. 2000. Effect of stream channel size on the delivery of nitrogen to the Gulf of Mexico. Nature403 758-761. Anderson, D.M., P.M. Gilbert, and J.M. Burkholder. 2002. Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication Nutrient sources,...

Factors Affecting Biodiversity

Marine Ecosystem Flow Chart

Numerous abiotic environmental factors influence species diversity (Levin et al. 2001b) and potentially affect processes, goods, and services provided by marine sediments. Salinity, soil texture, organic content, nutrients, waves, currents, and oxygen are abiotic factors that control species composition, densities, and diversity. All of these factors are affected by natural and human-altered regional control of sediment supply, nutrient input, water depth, exposure to disturbance, and...

Table 31a Positive ecosystem service rankings relative within fresh waters not quantitative for managed floodcontrol

( 3) strong disservice (0) neutral (3) strong positive n.a. not applicable. Goods and Services Rank Biotic Abiotic Rank Biotic Abiotic Supporting Services Waste processing C sequestration Trace gas production Asterisks indicate the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors, from weak (*) to strong (***), in the provision of the associated good or service.

Table 31c Positive ecosystem service rankings relative within fresh waters not quantitative for managed and unmanaged

( 3) strong disservice (0) neutral (3) strong positive n.a. not applicable. Wetlands Unmanaged Wetlands Managed Asterisks indicate the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors, from weak (*) to strong (***), in the provision of the associated good or service. Asterisks indicate the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors, from weak (*) to strong (***), in the provision of the associated good or service.

Table 31e Positive ecosystem service rankings relative within fresh waters not quantitative for prairie floodplain and

The column on the left represents an intact ecosystem and the one on the right represents a managed ecosystem likely to be derived from the other. Explanation of service values ( 3) strong disservice (0) neutral (3) strong positive n.a. not applicable. Prairie Wetlands and Agricultural Crops on Floodplain Forests Drained Wetlands Goods and Services Rank Biotic Abiotic Rank Biotic Abiotic Potable water Water quantity groundwater recharge flood mediation Asterisks indicate the relative importance...

Management and Ecosystem Services

In this final section we present five specific case studies that illustrate, in detail, the interactions between threats and the impact on ecosystem services. We also provide examples of how some benthic ecosystem services themselves have been used to enhance management and contribute to the maintenance of the health of the freshwater ecosystems. The case studies differ in geographical location, type of freshwater system, and nature of the services and threats. The first case study highlights...

Discussion and Conclusions

These case studies provide a spectrum of examples that demonstrate not only the ways in which ecosystem services are provided by freshwater benthic species, but also how they are vulnerable to human activities. The studies also provide some lessons that can be carried over into creating improved management of complex, interconnected ecosystems. A central feature of vulnerability of these benthic species is that, although freshwater is widely available, it is often extremely and unevenly...

Contributors

Chair, SCOPE Committee on Soil and Sediment Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (SSBEF) Diana H. Wall is a professor and Director of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, an international ecosystem research center at Colorado State University, and is a former president of the Ecological Society of America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the Society of Nematologists. Her research addresses the importance of soil biodiversity for ecosystems and the consequences of human...

Connecting Soil and Sediment Biodiversity The Role of Scale and Implications for Management

Bignell, Melanie C. Austen, Valerie K. Brown,Valerie Behan-Pelletier, James R. Garey, Paul S. Giller, Stephen J. Hawkins, George G. Brown, Mark St.John, H.William Hunt, and Eldor A. Paul Identification of the pertinent scales at which to measure various ecosystem processes, along with the recognition of possible emergent properties, are challenges that ecolo-gists have faced over the last 20 years, often using the conceptual bases provided by hierarchy theory (Allen...

About Island Press

Island Press is the only nonprofit organization in the United States whose principal purpose is the publication of books on environmental issues and natural resource management. We provide solutions-oriented information to professionals, public officials, business and community leaders, and concerned citizens who are shaping responses to environmental problems. In 2004, Island Press celebrates its twentieth anniversary as the leading provider of timely and practical books that take a...

Freshwater Sediments Marine Sediments and Soils

Marine Processes

Freshwater sediments, marine sediments, and soils cover the Earth's surface (Table 1.1) and are critical links between the terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric realms (Figure 1.1). These below-surface habitats are arguably the most diverse on the planet, teeming with a complex assemblage of species. The profusion of organisms and the composition of the biotic assemblages are integral to the maintenance of below-surface and above-surface habitats, to ecosystem functioning, and to the provision...

Linkages to Marine Sedimentary Systems

Marine sedimentary goods and services are linked to adjacent ecosystems, including the water column above, the coastal zone, and even freshwater systems (Figure 4.1 see also Chapter 1, Figure 1.1). Because they are open transitional systems between land and sea, estuaries and their associated biotic components have direct hydrological links to coastal seas and upland watersheds. Tides provide the principal natural vector for marine-derived inputs to estuaries and freshwater flows from surface...

Paul S Giller Alan P Covich Katherine C Ewel Robert O Hall Jr and David M Merritt

Society obtains great benefits from properly functioning ecosystems in the form of provisioning (e.g., food), supporting (e.g., waste processing, sustained supplies of clean water), and enriching (e.g., recreation) services, all of which are provided at multiple scales and at no charge to society. Freshwater benthic ecosystems often play important and unique roles in providing many of these services (see Chapter 3, Table 3.1), but the number and magnitude of anthropogenic stressors that...

Coping with Heavy Metals and Ecosystem Disservice

The Everglades is a vast freshwater wetland that originally covered an area of more than 10,000 km2 in south Florida, United States. It is part of a 100-km-long basin in which water flows along a gradual gradient of 3 cm km from shallow Lake Okechobee to the mangroves lining Florida Bay. Exploitation of rich organic soils for agriculture, drainage for urban development, the construction of canals, and the impoundment of surface water for flood control and water storage have led to dramatic...

Micro Patch Habitat Ecosystem Landscape Region

Spatial scales of functional groups in freshwater systems. Furthermore, although terminologies vary between domains, there is a degree of consistency in function of the groupings. A set of 15 common functional groups may occur in soil, freshwater, and or sediment environments, representing a wide variety of major taxonomic groups (Table 8.1). Each functional group includes a variable number of species, from one species to relatively species-rich phylogenetic clades (Brussaard et al....

Deep Sea Sediments

Deep-sea sediment ecosystems are often ignored when considering the services provided by the ocean. Although human activities continue to expand to greater depths with improved technology, much of the current exploitation (Table 4.2c) is concentrated in the upper 1,000 m. These upper slope sedimentary habitats are repositories for organic carbon moving off the shelf (Walsh et al. 1981) and support expanding commercial and sport fisheries. Continental slope sediments have higher carbon input and...

Alan P Covich

In the next three chapters we describe how different types of goods and services are provided by diverse soil and sediment biota. We know that biotic communities living in soils as well as in freshwater and marine sediments provide many critical ecosystem services. Yet our understanding of the importance of biodiversity loss in these ecosystems is very limited. Information is available for some essential keystone species, but the many species-specific relationships that characterize these...

Vulnerability to Global Change of Ecosystem Goods and Services Driven by Soil Biota

Brown,Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Mark St.John,Todd Wojtowicz, Richard D. Bardgett, George G. Brown, Phillip Ineson, Patrick Lavelle,Wim H.van der Putten, Jonathan M.Anderson, Lijbert Brussaard, H.William Hunt, Eldor A. Paul, and Diana H. Wall Soil biota play an essential role in the delivery of a range of ecosystem goods and services. However, it is important to recognize that ecosystems are not static, and that human-induced global change phenomena have the potential...

Appendix Table 5A1 Vulnerability of ecosystem goods and services in arable tilled ecosystems provided by the soil biota

The service rank (range 3 to +3) indicates the importance of the ecosystem under consideration (arable, tilled) in providing each ecosystem good and service positive and negative values indicate positive and negative effects, respectively, of the ecosystem in providing that good or service. The importance of biotic and abiotic factors in providing each good or service ranges from unimportant (designated by *) to highly important (***). Vulnerability scores (range 0 to 3) relate to the...

Research Needs and Recommendations

The vast majority of marine sedimentary organisms are undescribed and unknown (e.g., 10 million macrofaunal species are estimated in Grassle & Maciolek 1992), with the diversity of the smaller organisms much less well understood than that of larger organisms. There is a fundamental need to document the taxonomic composition of sedimentary biota through biodiversity surveys of representative marine habitats. Although the large area of marine sedimentary habitat precludes a comprehensive...

Ecosystem Services Provided by Freshwater Benthos

Fresh Water Ecosystem Diagram

Ewel, Robert O. Hall, Jr., Paul S. Giller, Willem Goedkoop, and David M. Merritt The concept of ecosystem goods and services (Daily 1997 Heal 2000 Brismar 2002) conveys how natural processes such as biomass production and nutrient cycling are essential to the Earth's capacity for sustaining human populations. Here we examine how species diversity and ecosystem processes, which supply these goods and services to human societies, are mediated by sediment- or...

SCOPE Series List

SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE SCOPE 1 59 Now out of print. Selected titles from this series can be downloaded free of charge from the SCOPE Web site (http www.icsu-scope.org). 1 Global Environment Monitoring, 1971, 68 pp 2 Man-made Lakes as Modified Ecosystems, 1972, 76 pp 3 Global Environmental Monitoring Systems (GEMS) Action Plan for Phase I 1973, 132 pp 4 Environmental Sciences in Developing Countries, 1974, 72 pp 5 Environmental Impact...

Narratives to Tables 22 23 and

Narrative to Table 2.2 about Grasslands Food production In both unmanaged and managed grasslands, plant products are considered insignificant because plant materials are harvested by herbivores, but they would be affected by biotic and abiotic factors in the same way as animal products. Management shifts decomposition and organic matter transformations toward bacterial dominance, with a reduction of faunal diversity, especially macroarthropods. Water quality Water quality refers to runoff to...

Appendix Table 5A3 Vulnerability of ecosystem goods and services in unmanaged forest ecosystems provided by the soil

Water quality and quantity Flood, erosion control ** plant species composition, soil organisms, bioturbators * pathogens, parasites, decomposers, N2 fixers * pathogens, parasites, decomposers, N2 fixers topography, soil texture, porosity 1 altered fungal diversity, increased fungal dominance4 1 increased soil erosion, nitrate *** soil factors 0 increased NPP affecting NPP 1 reduced fruiting body abundance5, changes in phenology synchrony 3 reduced water yield, solute concentrations increased 1...

Diana H Wall Richard D Bardgett Alan P Covich and Paul VR Snelgrove

Many species of plants and animals live in soils and sediments, and they play crucial roles in providing ecosystem services for human well-being. A comprehensive synthesis of existing information on which habitats, taxa, and ecological functions in soil and freshwater and marine sediments are most essential is urgently needed if we are to maintain or restore their low-cost natural ecosystem services. This is of increasing importance when we recognize that more than 90 percent of the energy that...

SCOPE Soil and Sediment Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Ssbef Committee Publications

Biodiversity above and below the surface of soils and sediments Linkages and implications for global change. BioScience 50 1043 1048. Adams, G.A., D.H. Wall, and A.P Covich. 1999. Linkages between below-surface and above-surface biodiversity. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 80 200 204. Austen, M.C., PJ.D. Lambshead, PA. Hutchings, G. Boucher, P.V.R. Snelgrove, C. Heip, G. King, I. Koike, and C. Smith. 2002. Biodiversity links above and below the...

Building the Foundation for This Book

The synthesis of available knowledge on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning below surface became an international scientific priority in 1992 as a result of a workshop on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (Schulze & Mooney 1994). In 1995, a SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems in the Environment) Committee on Soil and Sediment Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (SSBEF) began to evaluate available data with the goal of providing policy makers with the scientific tools and...

Belowground Responses to Different Global Change Drivers

There are those drivers that result from changes in atmospheric properties (e.g., CO2 enrichment, N deposition, climate change), those that arise from direct manipulation of land (e.g., land use change, intensification), and those that involve shifts in organism presence or abundance (e.g., extinctions, invasions, outbreaks). Of the human-induced changes in atmospheric composition, the enhancement of CO2 concentration is arguably the most pervasive. Given the high levels of CO2 in the soil,...

Relative Vulnerability ofDifferent Biotic Components ofCommunities

Susptibility Biotic

Subsets of the soil biota may differ considerably in terms of how they are affected by global change phenomena. Of these phenomena, the best understood for the soil biota is land use change, including intensification of land management practices. The degree Figure 5.1. Different response dynamics of soil biota to disturbance (from Brown et al. 2001). The effect of a disturbance can result in changes to soil biomass, density, or diversity with very different results over time. This will affect...

Of the Underlying Processes in Soils

The complete destruction of the community of soil organisms for example, due to erosion results in obvious loss of soil ecosystem functions. Far less is known about the consequences of the loss of soil biodiversity for the sustainable delivery of ecosystem goods and services (Wall et al. 2001). Results from empirical studies on the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions range from positive to neutral or even negative (Mikola et al. 2002). However, it is obvious that soil...

Acknowledgments

This book is a product of the final workshop of the SCOPE Committee on Soil and Sediment Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (SSBEF) held in October 2002. Funding for the workshop and the publication of this book was graciously provided by a private, anonymous US foundation that also supported many of the other exciting interdisciplinary SSBEF workshops. For their support and dedication to advancing understanding on the role of a significant component of the world's biodiversity, I am deeply...

Appendix Table 5A2 Vulnerability of ecosystem goods and services in unmanaged grassland ecosystems provided by the soil

Water quality and quantity Flood, erosion control7 position, nutri- topography, ent cycling, fire, precipita-bioturbation, tion resistance to pests and diseases 1-3 unpalatable -5 species, indirect and subtle effects on soil food web 1 transpirational -5 losses from deep-rooted shrubs and trees13 3 increased particulate matter and nutrient load in surface runoff and erosion8, flush of biological activity following re-wetting events, increased plant uptake and decreased retention 3 change from 0...

Repairing Years of Abuse The Impact of Management for Transport and Waste Disposal in the Lower Rhine and Meuse Rivers

The Rivers Rhine and Meuse have served as vital European transport arteries for centuries, as well as sites for urban and industrial development and water resources. Thus, the two rivers are of considerable economic importance but have been subject to substantial anthropogenically derived changes over time. The River Rhine, a combined glacier-rainfall river, originates in Switzerland (2,200 m above sea level) and flows over 1,250 km through France, Germany, and the Netherlands with a drainage...

Appendix Table 5A3 continued

* climate, soil properties, topography, P cycling 3 accelerated + cycling of nutrients 2 biological activity decreased 3 higher rates of decomposition and leaching from system *** roots, substrate for soil organisms * climate, soil resource quality, microhabitats 3 displacement + -extirpation of native soil organisms 0 dependent on -abiotic drivers, resource quality, microhabitats, roots 3 community shifts to opportunistic species, increased dominance 1 Entries are for a typical temperate...

Clean Drinking Water Managing the Catskill Mountains of New York Citys Watershed to Provide High Quality Water Supplies

One of the major success stories in the use of natural ecosystems to deliver vital ecosystem services is the use of a series of river-reservoir ecosystems located in the Catskill Mountains to provide water for New York City's nearly nine million people (Ashendorff et al. 1997). Three large reservoir systems (Croton, Catskill, and Delaware) containing 19 reservoirs, 3 controlled lakes, and numerous tributaries cover an area of 5,000 km2 with a reservoir capacity of 2.2 X109 m3. The US...

Estuarine and Continental Shelf Sediments

Approximately 39 percent of the global human population, or approximately 2.2 billion people, lived within 100 km of the coast in 1995, most within estuarine watersheds (Burke et al. 2001). In countries such as the United States, coastal populations have increased faster than the overall population (Beach 2002). Historically, human populations have depended on estuaries for food (e.g., fish and shellfish), transportation, trade (e.g., waterways, sheltered ports), and recreation. Ancient...

How This Book Is Organized

Part I of this book outlines the critical soil and sediment ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration, oxygen production, renewal of fertility, cleansing of water, provision of food see Table 1.4) that sustain our natural and managed ecosystems. We also discuss, in Part I, the most essential below-surface habitats, ecological functions, and taxa for the provision of these services at different spatial and temporal scales. Table 1.4 provides a template of the types of ecosystem services...

Assessment of the Vulnerability of Critical Below Surface Habitats Functions and Taxa

In the previous chapters, we described the many goods and services provided by soil and sediment biota and alluded briefly to some of the effects that human activities have had or will likely have on the continued delivery of these services. The next section focuses specifically on the vulnerability of ecosystem goods and services, defined here as the probability that ecosystem services will be altered by external disturbances. Each of the chapters that follow notes that different threats...

Wetland Protection to Preserve Biodiversity and to Enhance Food Production and Recreation The Pantanal of South America

This enormous tropical wetland, the Pantanal of South America, is approximately the size of the state of Florida and is the fourth largest complex of wetland ecosystems in the world (Keddy 2000). Its basin covers approximately 138,000 km2 in Brazil and 100,000 km2 in Bolivia and Paraguay. It consists of numerous streams, lakes, and seasonally flooded swamps. The basin receives inflows from several large rivers (e.g., Rio Paraguay, Rio Petras, Rio Cuiaba) that flow southward to join the Rio...

Richard D Bardgett

The next two chapters discuss the different types of goods and services that are provided by diverse soil and sediment biota, and highlight the vulnerability of these biota and the services they perform to global environmental change. To understand fully the roles and vulnerabilities of soil and sediment biota in a changing world requires explicit consideration of the issue of scale in terms of the spatial and temporal scale at which organism activities operate, and also consideration of the...

The Quantification Exercise

Arable tilled ecosystems represent the most biologically simple of the three ecosystem types that we evaluated. The three perturbations that we considered were (1) invasive species root parasites (2) climate change drought and (3) land-use change to forest. The quantification exercise (Table 5.A1 in the appendix on page 121) revealed high vulnerability of the primary ecosystem services provided by arable systems (food and fiber production) to both the invasive species and climate change...

Conclusions

There are many determinants of vulnerability of soil biota and the services that they provide to global change. The overarching determinant is spatial and temporal scale global change phenomena are simultaneously manifested at a range of scales, and can affect soil biota at each of these scales. Soil organisms and the processes that they regulate also function at several scales, and this in turn results in the effects of global change on services provided by the soil biota being inherently...

Management Trade Offs and Functional Diversity in Grassland Forest and Arable Land

In evaluating the consequences of management options for ecosystem services, it is impossible to consider all possible combinations of potentially interacting factors, such as soil type, vegetation type, and climate. Therefore specific examples were chosen, which we believe may be adopted for any type of ecosystem at any place on earth. Tabulating our information (see Tables 2.2-2.4) gives us the opportunity to quickly assess where specific soil organisms contribute positively, neutrally, or...

Hierarchy of Environmental Controls of Soil Ecosystem Goods and Services

The contribution of soil organisms to ecosystem goods and services is determined by a suite of hierarchically organized abiotic factors, and by the nature of the plant community (Lavelle et al. 1993 Figure 2.1). At the highest level of the hierarchy, climate determines soil processes at regional and global scales (Gonzalez & Seastedt 2001). Climatic limitations, such as drought or low temperatures, directly determine the rates of the main physical, chemical, and microbiological reactions...

Complexity of Natural and Managed Freshwater Ecosystems

Determining the total economic value of freshwater ecosystems is very difficult because some of their ecological functions have competing commercial values and others have primarily aesthetic or existence values. Studies that illustrate the importance of freshwater benthic ecosystems in providing essential services for sustainable human populations require a comprehensive perspective on evaluation of freshwater services that include both use and non-use values (National Research Council in...

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Determinants of Vulnerability

Soil organisms vary considerably in their susceptibility to global change, and even the same taxonomic and or functional group may vary in its response according to the nature, extent, and frequency and intensity of perturbation (Wall et al. 2001). Thus, the vulnerability of individual components of the soil fauna is context dependent. Determinants of vulnerability are wide ranging, encompassing both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Many of these are intuitive, and empirical assessments of...

Marine Sedimentary Biota as Providers of Ecosystem Goods and Services

Snelgrove, Lisa A. Levin, Melanie C. Austen, Ronald T. Kneib,Thomas M. Iliffe, James R. Garey, Stephen J. Hawkins, and Robert B.Whitlatch Marine sediments cover more of the Earth's surface than all other ecosystems combined (Snelgrove 1999), yet direct human experience is limited largely to the narrow zone at the interface between land and sea. Although 62 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water greater than 1,000 m deep, only approximately 2 km2...

Context Dependence of Environmental Controls

Environmental controls of soil ecosystem processes and the delivery of soil ecosystem goods and services depend on climate, soil type, vegetation, and the local context (Figure 2.1). Stressed systems, whether they are stressed from extreme climatic seasonality (seasonal forests and savanna) or human interventions (managed grassland, managed forest, and tilled arable land), are usually characterized by lower diversity of soil fauna (there is little comparative information on microbes) and...

Table 41 Goods and services provided by sedimentary systems

The role of sedimentary invertebrates has been inferred from published studies ratings are based on estimated global importance. Public concern is based on qualitative observations of how frequently the good or service is discussed in the popular press. Role of Sedimentary Biota Public Concern Medicine & models for human research Fuels & energy (on geological time scales) high low Regulating Services Remineralization Waste treatment Biological control Gas and climate regulation...

Assessment of Vulnerability

Arable, grassland, and forest ecosystems are managed primarily for the purpose of providing material goods such as forage, food, and fiber. However, terrestrial ecosystems also provide a range of other goods and services, notably through the improvement of environmental quality (e.g., water purification, flood and erosion control, atmospheric regulation), recreational and amenity values, provision of habitats for species and conservation of biodiversity, and mitigation of anthropogenic CO2...

Table 42a The provisioning of goods and services for estuaries

We have used a qualitative ranking scale from 3 to +3 to compare the relative importance of a given good or service (Rank) within estuaries. Negative scores denote situations where sedimentary fauna can negatively influence a good or process (e.g., remobilizing pollutants into the environment). We have also estimated the relative importance of species, functional, and habitat diversity in the delivery of a given good or service (Diversity Importance) using a relative scale from 0 to 3. These...

Arable Land

Intensive tilled arable farming systems occur worldwide, but are most prominent in industrialized countries in temperate regions. Intensive tilled agriculture bears little resemblance to highly complex unmanaged ecosystems. Arable soils are extremely disturbed by cultivation, fertilizers, and pesticides, all of which alter their biophysical composition (Anderson 2000). Plant communities of these conventionally managed, tilled agro-ecosystems are unnaturally simple. Intensive tillage farming...

The Overarching Role of Spatial and Temporal Scale

The study of the vulnerability of ecosystems to global change requires explicit consideration of spatial and temporal scale. Agents of global change simultaneously operate over a range of scales some operate mainly in the short term at local scales while others are more pervasive (Table 5.1). Further, ecosystem services are delivered at different scales of time and space from the immediate release of nutrients in the vicinity of a root tip to infiltration of water and storage in capillary...

Grasslands

Unmanaged and lightly managed grasslands can be seen as having a low rank for ecosystem service for products directly consumed by human beings, but they often sustain populations of large herbivores that serve as food and other animal products used by humans (Table 2.2). Unmanaged grasslands are extensive in the tropics, and range along a broad gradient of precipitation that strongly influences both production and biological diversity, aboveground and belowground, merging into parkland and,...

Appendix Table 5A2 continued

Invasive Species Climate Change Land-Use Change Unmanaged (Grassland)1 Plant Species Drought To Arable Land ** plant compounds and microbial enzymes 1 possible loss of native plant species 3 change from fungal- to bacterial-based food web, removal of native plants 1 Lightly managed free-range grasslands (i.e., including supplemental winter livestock feed, but excluding fertilizer or pesticide inputs). 2 Considers general case of a plant species invasion. 3 Drought is defined here as a 20...

Appendix Table 5AL continued

0-1 dependent - + on whether biotic factors, e.g., microbial activities, micro-food web slowed 2 biological activity decreased21 possible further reduction in NPP through salinization 0 change to 0 nutrient conserving mechanisms ** climate, soil resource quality microhabitats 0-1 dependent - + on impact on rhizosphere biota 0 dependent on -22 abiotic drivers, resource quality, microhabitats, roots 0 dependent on + forest type, litter quality and quantity, increased biotic processes and...

Table 51 Vulnerability matrix showing how different global change drivers have effects on the belowground subsystem

Note that some drivers operate mainly at local spatial scales while others are more pervasive. Global Change Driver Agricultural Climate Invasive Global Change Driver Agricultural Climate Invasive by an accumulation of surface deposits by soil invertebrates (Nye 1955). As long-term plant successional processes and pedogenesis operate, changes occur in soil organism communities and their effects on soil structure over whole watersheds and timescales of years to centuries (Bernier & Ponge 1994)....

Marine Sediment Diversity and Ecosystem Function

The role of species diversity in regulating ecosystem processes and services in sedimentary systems has received considerably less attention than its role in terrestrial systems (Estes & Peterson 2000). Although there are many examples of living organisms that play critical roles in providing services and functions, there is little evidence that biodiversity per se is critical for the delivery of services and functions. In many instances, it is likely that the availability of specific...

Species Diversity and Ecosystem Services

In many regions, biodiversity is concentrated in specific hot spots of high species richness. For example, riparian areas and riverine wetlands typically maintain a much higher biodiversity than the proportion of the landscape that they occupy (National Research Council 2002). Large, ancient ecosystems such as Lake Baikal, the Amazon River, and the Pantanal wetland are other examples of especially diverse biotic communities. The seasonally flooded forests in the Amazon basin contain about 20...