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Evosystem services: an evolutionary perspective on the links between biodiversity and human well-being


Faith, D P; Magallón, S; Hendry, A P; Conti, E; Yahara, T; Donoghue, M J (2010). Evosystem services: an evolutionary perspective on the links between biodiversity and human well-being. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2(1-2):66-74.

Abstract

A framework for exploring regional-scale trade-offs among ecosystem services and biodiversity protection has been established for some time, and it is clear that optimizing these trade-offs provides a strategy to address targets for a reduced rate of biodiversity loss. Recent trade-off studies have highlighted the need for better biodiversity measures, to complement measures of ecosystem services. Biodiversity typically has been linked in this context to existence and other non-use values. We argue that biodiversity will have a stronger role in such trade-off analyses if measures of biodiversity better reflect additional current and future services. These ‘evosystem services’ have been, and, if we are careful, can continue to be provided by the evolutionary process. Some services have been provided through evolution operating in the past, and a phylogenetic diversity measure can help us to quantify these current and potential future benefits derived from the tree of life. Furthermore, a variety of evosystem services are delivered through ongoing contemporary evolution, and value should therefore be placed on the maintenance of healthy evosystems. We argue that the concept of evosystem services could be useful as a complement to the traditional concept of ecosystem services. Together, these reflect a fuller range of the services supported by biodiversity, and thereby provide a sounder basis for conservation planning and decision-making.

Abstract

A framework for exploring regional-scale trade-offs among ecosystem services and biodiversity protection has been established for some time, and it is clear that optimizing these trade-offs provides a strategy to address targets for a reduced rate of biodiversity loss. Recent trade-off studies have highlighted the need for better biodiversity measures, to complement measures of ecosystem services. Biodiversity typically has been linked in this context to existence and other non-use values. We argue that biodiversity will have a stronger role in such trade-off analyses if measures of biodiversity better reflect additional current and future services. These ‘evosystem services’ have been, and, if we are careful, can continue to be provided by the evolutionary process. Some services have been provided through evolution operating in the past, and a phylogenetic diversity measure can help us to quantify these current and potential future benefits derived from the tree of life. Furthermore, a variety of evosystem services are delivered through ongoing contemporary evolution, and value should therefore be placed on the maintenance of healthy evosystems. We argue that the concept of evosystem services could be useful as a complement to the traditional concept of ecosystem services. Together, these reflect a fuller range of the services supported by biodiversity, and thereby provide a sounder basis for conservation planning and decision-making.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:May 2010
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 17:45
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 02:35
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1877-3435
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2010.04.002

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