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Comparison of methods for quantifying reef ecosystem services: a case study mapping services for St. Croix, USVI
Yee, S.H.; Dittmar, J.A.; Oliver, L.M. (2014). Comparison of methods for quantifying reef ecosystem services: a case study mapping services for St. Croix, USVI. Ecosystem Services 8: 1-15. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.01.001
In: Ecosystem Services. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 2212-0416, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Coral reef; Ecological integrity; Fishing; Natural products; Recreation; Shoreline protection

Authors  Top 
  • Yee, S.H.
  • Dittmar, J.A.
  • Oliver, L.M.

Abstract
    A key challenge in evaluating coastal and watershed management decisions is that monitoring efforts are largely focused on reef condition, yet stakeholder concerns may be more appropriately quantified by social and economic metrics. There is an urgent need for predictive models to quantitatively link ecological condition of coral reefs to provisioning of reef ecosystem goods and services. We investigated and compared a number of existing methods for quantifying ecological integrity, shoreline protection, recreational opportunities, fisheries production, and the potential for natural products discovery from reefs. Methods were applied to mapping potential ecosystem services production around St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Overall, we found that a number of different methods produced similar predictions. Furthermore, areas predicted to be high in ecological integrity also tended to be high in other ecosystem services, including the potential for recreation, natural products discovery, and fisheries production, but this result depended on the method by which ecosystem services supply was calculated. Quantitative methods linking reef condition to ecosystem goods and services can aid in highlighting the social and economic relevance of reefs, and provide essential information to more completely characterize, model, and map the trade-offs inherent in decision options.

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