A combination of methods needed to assess the actual use of provisioning ecosystem services

Rasmussen, Laura Vang, Mertz, Ole, Christensen, Andreas E., Danielsen, Finn, Dawson, Neil and Xaydongvanh, Pheang (2016) A combination of methods needed to assess the actual use of provisioning ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services, 17. pp. 75-86. ISSN 2212-0416

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S2212041615300541-main]
PDF (1-s2.0-S2212041615300541-main) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (610kB) | Preview


Failure to recognize that potential provisioning ecosystem services are not necessarily collected and used by people may have important consequences for management of land and resources. Accounting for people's actual use of ecosystem services in decision making processes requires a robust methodological approach that goes beyond mapping the presence of ecosystem services. But no such universally accepted method exists, and there are several shortcomings of existing methods such as the application of land use/cover as a proxy for provisioning ecosystem service availability and surveys based on respondents' recall to assess people's collection of e.g. wild food. By combining four complementary methods and applying these to the shifting cultivation systems of Laos, we show how people’s actual use of ecosystem services from agricultural fields differs from ecosystem service availability. Our study is the first in Southeast Asia to combine plot monitoring, collection diaries, repeat interviews, and participant observation. By applying these multiple methods borrowed from anthropology and botany among other research domains, the study illustrates that no single method is sufficient on its own. It is of key importance for scientists to adopt methods that can account for both availability of various services and actual use of those services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: C 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_on_land
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2015 15:00
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:59
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/55689
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2015.11.005


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item