Title
Ecosystem service delivery in restoration projects : the effect of ecological succession on the benefits of tidal marsh restoration Ecosystem service delivery in restoration projects : the effect of ecological succession on the benefits of tidal marsh restoration
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Source (journal)
Ecology and society: a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability
Volume/pages
21(2016) :2 , 26 p.
ISSN
1708-3087
Article Reference
10
ISI
000380049100023
Carrier
E-only publicatie
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Long-term assessment of ecosystem restoration projects is complex because of ecological processes such as succession, particularly in highly dynamic ecosystems such as estuaries. Restoration of intertidal flats and marshes on formerly embanked land, often called managed coastal realignment (MR), became popular in estuarine management. In our study, biophysical and monetary data were collected to calculate the value of 15 (sub)ecosystem services (ES) delivered by a large tidal marsh restoration project in the Schelde estuary in Belgium and the Netherlands. We hypothesized that ES delivery changes over time due to ecological succession and hence the long-term benefits are subject to this phenomenon and need to be taken into consideration. A marsh sediment accretion model (MARSED) was used to simulate potential marsh succession scenarios. In this way, the temporal evolution of ES delivery caused by ecological succession could be evaluated. Our study shows that benefits during successional marsh stages could actually be higher than for marshes in equilibrium. This finding does not suggest that ecosystems in transition always have a higher value than systems in equilibrium, but emphasizes the need to consider long-term ecological dynamics, such as succession, in a benefit assessment for restoration projects.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/6fce1c/133004.pdf
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