Trade-offs across value-domains in ecosystem services assessment Articles uri icon

authors

  • MARTIN LOPEZ, BERTA
  • GÓMEZ BAGGETHUNB, ERIK
  • GARCIA LLORENTE, MARINA
  • MONTES DEL OLMO, CARLOS

publication date

  • February 2014

start page

  • 220

end page

  • 228

issue

  • Part A

volume

  • 37

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1470-160X

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1872-7034

abstract

  • One of the key challenges for ecosystem services research is to develop a comprehensive methodological approach in which biophysical, socio-cultural and monetary value-domains can be explicitly consideredand integrated into decision making processes. This paper operationalizes a methodological approach for ecosystem service assessment on the basis of value pluralism. We assessed eleven ecosystem servicesdelivered in the Doñana social&-ecological system (SW Spain). We found that different ecosystem service trade-offs came into view depending the value-domain in which services were assessed. The use of differ-ent valuation methods uncovers the fact that methods to elicit value actually shape and define the valuesbeing elicited. In this context, the prevalence of biophysical and monetary value-domains in scientificliterature entails two main concerns: (1) the ecosystem service concept reflect in a limited extent theconcerns of their beneficiaries, and (2) ecosystem service assessment results are based towards the infor-mation provided by markets at the expense of other value-articulating institutions. Recognizing the roleof ecosystem service assessment methods as value-articulating institutions, we call for a methodologicalframework able to contemplate the multidimensional nature of ecosystem services.

keywords

  • quantitative evaluation; social–ecological system; trade-offs; value-articulating institutions; value pluralism