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Improving coherence of ecosystem service provision between scales

Everard, Mark; Dick, Jan; Kendall, Hazel; Smith, Ron; Slee, Bill; Couldrick, Laurence; Scott, Marian; McDonald, Claire

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Mark Everard
Associate Professor in Ecosystem Services

Jan Dick

Hazel Kendall

Ron Smith

Bill Slee

Laurence Couldrick

Marian Scott

Claire McDonald


© 2014 Elsevier B.V. High-level consensus about safeguarding ecosystem services for optimal benefits to society is not yet matched by transposition to field scale. Various 'societal levers' - markets, statutory legislation, common/civil law, market-based instruments and protocols - have evolved as a fragmented policy environment of incentives and constraints, influencing the freedoms of resource owners. This has produced mosaic landscapes reflecting both natural conditions and landowner aspirations. The Principles of the Ecosystem Approach serve as a framework to consider three case study sites: an English lowland estuary and two in Scotland. Societal levers today safeguard some socially valuable services, but the present policy environment is neither sufficient nor sufficiently integrated to achieve coherence between the choices of resource owners and wider societal aspirations for ecosystem service provision. The heterogeneity of societal levers protects freedom of choice, enables adaptive decision-making related to the properties of the natural resource, and makes allowance for changes in societal preferences. Resultant mosaic landscapes provide flexibility and resilience in ecosystem service production. However, further evolution of societal levers is required to bring about greater coherence of ecosystem service production from local to national/international scales. This paper explores how issues of scale, regulation and variability manifest in the ecosystem service framework.


Everard, M., Dick, J., Kendall, H., Smith, R., Slee, B., Couldrick, L., …McDonald, C. (2014). Improving coherence of ecosystem service provision between scales. Ecosystem Services, 9, 66-74.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2014
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 13, 2016
Journal Ecosystem Services
Print ISSN 2212-0416
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Pages 66-74
Keywords scale, regulation, markets, common law, civil law, societal levers
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ecosystem Services. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ecosystem Services, [9, (September 2014)] DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.04.006


Improving coherence - COLLATED VERSION (2015-02-18).docx (204 Kb)

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