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Ecosystem-functioning approaches for assessing and managing ecosystem services = Methodes voor evaluatie en beheer van ecosysteemdiensten op basis van ecosysteemfunctioneren
Van der Biest, K. (2018). Ecosystem-functioning approaches for assessing and managing ecosystem services = Methodes voor evaluatie en beheer van ecosysteemdiensten op basis van ecosysteemfunctioneren. PhD Thesis. University of Antwerp, Ecosystem Management Research Group: Antwerpen. x, 191 pp.

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Document type: Dissertation

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  • Van der Biest, K., more

Abstract
    Ecosystem services are a general term for all the benefits that nature provides to humans. These include food, clean drinking water, control of greenhouse gasses, protection against floods as well as potential for recreation, a sense of well-being, … . The concept has emerged in response to the unabated loss of biodiversity and as a tool to increase support for nature and biodiversity conservation. Originally it had a main purpose of awareness raising and the most commonly used approach to assess them was to attach a value – often monetary – to land use types for their capacity to deliver certain ecosystem services. With increasing interest to include ecosystem services in spatial planning and using it to support decision-making, criticism started to grow on the lack of ecological underpinning of land-use based indicators. Because of the wide array of disciplines that the concept of ecosystem services covers, developing scientifically rigorous yet user-friendly and transparent methodologies poses a huge challenge. The main aim of this research is to develop practical methodologies to improve the consideration of ecosystem functioning in ecosystem services assessments and thus advance the implementation of ecosystem services in practice.

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