ecosystem impact Articles

  • Demystifying the Role of Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessments

    Ensuring that development projects benefit both people and the planet is becoming more and more of a priority. Environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) have been in use for decades to consider the effects of projects such as dams, highways, and oil and gas development. Over the years, ESIAs have evolved to cover both ...

  • How to weave ecosystem services into impact assessments

    The Wayuu people in northern Colombia depend on shrubland for grazing their livestock. These herds serve as the Wayuus’ main source of income and food, and this is partly why they depend so heavily on the existence and condition of shrubland ecosystems. But livestock are also used to pay dowries or make amends, playing a major role in facilitating social interactions between families and ...

  • Ecosystems Are Not Machines

    If we want to save the world, we need to treat nature more as an organism and less as disposable and replaceable technology. “The child is father of the man,” said Wordsworth. We now know that a whole microbial menagerie also contributes to the parentage. In fact, “the man” (or any person) is less a single individual than a fuzzy-edged, mobile ...


    By Ensia

  • Weaving ecosystem services into impact assessment: A step-by-step method

    The services provided by ecosystems play a vital role in human well-being. Although some ecosystem services are easily recognized— food, timber, and freshwater, for example— others may be less apparent. Ecosystems control erosion; reduce the damage caused by natural disasters; and regulate our air, water, and soil quality. A reduction or loss of any of these services and the benefits ...

  • Climate change has a big impact on low-diversity ecosystems

    New research suggests that climate change-induced species decline, in low-diversity ecosystems, could be more detrimental to ecosystem functioning than species decline in temperate regions, where diversity levels are high. Low-diversity ecosystems, such as deserts, cover large areas of Earth’s surface, however, few biodiversity studies have examined the impacts of climate change in these areas. ...

  • Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Vernal Pool Ecosystems and Endemic Branchiopods

    This study evaluated the hydrologic sensitivity of vernal pool ecosystems in the Central Valley of California to climatic changes projected for 2100. A vernal pool water-balance model was used to evaluate rain-fed vernal pools at four locations under future conditions projected by two contrasting global climate models. The potential for change in the duration of continuous inundation, frequency ...


    By Springer

  • Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative: Nutrients and Dissolved Oxygen – Issues and Impacts

    Anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and oxygen-consuming material to aquatic ecosystems can change nutrient dynamics, deplete oxygen, and change abundance and diversity of aquatic plants and animals. The Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative required a research and assessment program to establish the contribution of pulp mill and sewage discharges to eutrophication and depressions ...


    By Springer

  • Linking environment and livelihood: process and impact of hydrological drought in the Usangu-Mtera ecosystem, Tanzania

    Environmental sustainability is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for sustainable development. Since 1993, Tanzania experienced hydrological drought in Mtera reservoir, which impacted sustainability of socio-economic development and livelihoods of the people. The causes and process of the hydrological drought occurrence for energy generation are contested among the ...


    By Inderscience Publishers

  • Bottom‐up nutrient and top‐down fish impacts on insect‐mediated mercury flux from aquatic ecosystems

    Methyl mercury (MeHg) is one of the most hazardous contaminants in the environment; it adversely affects the health of both wildlife and humans. Recent studies have demonstrated that aquatic insects biotransport MeHg and other contaminants to terrestrial consumers, but the factors that regulate the flux of MeHg out of aquatic ecosystems via emergent insects have not been studied. We used ...


    By John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • Valued ecosystem components for watershed cumulative effects: An analysis of environmental impact assessments in the South Saskatchewan River watershed, Canada

    The accumulating effects of human development are threatening water quality and availability. In recognition of the constraints to cumulative effects assessment (CEA) under traditional environmental impact assessment (EIA), there is an emerging body of research dedicated to watershed‐based cumulative effects assessment (WCEA). To advance the science of WCEA, however, a standard set of ecosystem ...


    By John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • Modelling industrial ecosystems and the "problem" of evolution

    Since the emergence of industrial ecology in the 1950s and its take-off during the 1990s, much progress in theory, policy and practice has been achieved. However, there is still progress to be made in many areas. One area is the "problem" of evolution and its inclusion in definitions and modelling. Although the importance of evolution is stressed it is often confused with the optimisation of ...


    By Inderscience Publishers

  • How Much Are Ecosystems Really Worth?

    How do people, governments, and corporations “value” ecosystems? And how can you put a price on the vast array of social, economic, and environmental benefits that ecosystems provide? These are just two of the questions experts sought to address at “The Future of Revaluing Ecosystems,” an event WRI recently convened in ...

  • 10 messages for 2010 — mountain ecosystems

    Key messages - European mountain regions provide essential ecosystem services for lowlands and host a great diversity of habitats and species, many adapted to specific extreme climatic conditions. - Mountain ecosystems are fragile and vulnerable, and face severe threats from land abandonment, intensifying agriculture, impacts of infrastructure development, unsustainable exploitation and climate ...

  • Scaling up ecosystem benefits - a contribution to the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB) study

    Summary At the 2007 meeting of the environment ministers of the G8+5 in Potsdam, Germany, the European Commission launched The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study. Its aim is to assess the economic repercussions of global  biodiversity loss. TEEB has reinforced the need for the economic valuation of changes in ecosystems at large geographical scales. ...

  • The millennium ecosystem assessment and corporate strategy

    Over the past several years, the author has worked on the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Steve's article brilliantly points out that ecosystem degradation presents threats to businesses through high costs, supply disruption, government restraint and stakeholder demands, and, simultaneously, opportunities to businesses through new technologies and business models. Over the past ...


    By AHC Group

  • Social benchmarking to improve river ecosystems

    To complement physical measures or indices of river health a social benchmarking instrument has been developed to measure community dispositions and behaviour regarding river health. This instrument seeks to achieve three outcomes. First, to provide a benchmark of the social condition of communities' attitudes, values, understanding and behaviours in relation to river health; second, to provide ...


    By IWA Publishing

  • Impact of globalisation on biodiversity conservation

    Biodiversity is generally described at three levels – diversity of ecosystems, diversity of species, and diversity of genes. Biodiversity is both a scientific and a political concept, embracing a trinity of globally-agreed objectives such as conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biological resources, and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from this use. This paper describes ...


    By Inderscience Publishers

  • European perspective of ecosystem services and related policies

    In this paper we focus on the importance of terrestrial ecosystems and the services they provide. EU policies, contributing to the conservation and maintenance of ecosystem services in Europe are discussed and their current impacts briefly reviewed in the light of the main challenges that European ecosystems might face in the near future. Integr Environ Assess Manag © 2013 SETAC ...


    By John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • Environmental impacts of electronic invoicing

    Climate change threatens ecosystems and health and may cause severe economic impacts. All sectors of society need to act. New solutions based on information and communication technology (ICT) have been proposed to enable action. One possible conversion is from paper invoices to electronic invoices. The aim of this article is to increase current knowledge about the advantages and disadvantages of ...


    By Inderscience Publishers

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