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ITS4.2/ERE1.11

EDI
Solutions for a resilient natural environment: opportunities and challenges of ecosystem services assessment

In a fast-changing environment, earth’s ecosystems are facing multiple stressors compromising the provision of essential services for mankind, and the resiliency of the natural environment itself.
Climate change, water pollution and scarcity affect biodiversity, socio-economic and climate related vulnerabilities and as a consequence, water and food security and human health.
The recent European Green Deal aims at Europe becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and it does so by setting climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. This program sets ambitious yet realistic targets for the next decades, auspicating the transformation of European Countries into a modern resource-efficient economy and society in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, to address both the impacts as well as the causes of climate change, it is fundamental to create conditions where ecosystem services are optimized for both the local population and global objectives. Yet, the use of ecosystem services assessment in decision making might prove challenging when it comes to economic and social domains, as well as the perception and concept of natural environment may differ across disciplines. Such transdisciplinary approach plays a key role in Nature Based Solutions and opens up to the participation of multiple stakeholders in local governance, thus offering a multitude of co-benefits for the environment and for communities.
This session aims at opening a common ground between the natural, physical, social and economic sciences towards a resilient planet, by providing examples of challenges and opportunities and harmonizing best practices in this field.
We welcome transdisciplinary contributions on terrestrial, marine, and urban ecosystem services assessment that take into account the natural and the human dimension, advance in modelling complex spatio-temporal and social dynamics and transdisciplinary approaches towards nature inspired and supported solutions for social benefits and ecosystems’ resilience.

Co-organized by BG8/HS12/SSS12
Convener: Luisa GalganiECSECS | Co-conveners: Francesco Di GraziaECSECS, Bruna Gumiero, Steven Loiselle
Presentations
| Fri, 27 May, 11:05–11:46 (CEST), 13:20–14:50 (CEST)
 
Room N1

Fri, 27 May, 10:20–11:50

Chairpersons: Luisa Galgani, Francesco Di Grazia

11:05–11:10
Introduction

11:10–11:16
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EGU22-1677
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Fabio Carvalho et al.

In the rush to decarbonise energy supplies to meet internationally agreed greenhouse gas emissions targets, solar parks (SPs) have proliferated around the world, with uncertain implications for the provision of ecosystem services (ES). SPs necessitate significant land use change due to low energy densities that could significantly affect the local environment. In the UK, SPs are commonly built on intensive arable land and managed as grasslands. This offers both risks and opportunities for ecosystem health, yet evidence of ecosystem consequences is scarce. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand how ES assessments can be incorporated into land use decision making to promote SP development that simultaneously addresses the climate and biodiversity crises. We aim to provide some of the first scientific evidence to help answer this question by determining the effects of land use change for SPs in the UK on the provision of ecosystem services (e.g., biomass production, soil carbon storage) of hosting ecosystems. Through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between Lancaster University and Clarkson & Woods Ecological Consultants, 35 SPs in England and Wales were surveyed in summer 2021. Soil and vegetation data were collected from 420 sample plots (900 cm2) under different types of land use: underneath solar panels, between rows of solar arrays, and control sites (e.g., pastureland, areas set-aside for conservation). Total plant cover was significantly lower underneath solar panels and between solar arrays than on land set-aside for conservation, while land around the margins of SPs showed higher aboveground biomass of monocotyledons and forbs than on land underneath solar panels. Some measures of soil fertility (e.g., nitrogen) and soil organic matter, fractioned into particulate and mineral-associated organic matter, also varied significantly between these different land uses. These results have implications for land management within SPs and will enable optimisation of SP design and management to ensure the long-term delivery of ecosystem services within this fast-growing land use.

How to cite: Carvalho, F., Montag, H., Sharp, S., White, P., Clarkson, T., and Armstrong, A.: Effects of land use change for solar park development in the UK on ecosystem services, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1677, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1677, 2022.

11:16–11:22
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EGU22-3322
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Virtual presentation
Minfeng Yin and Jiaqiong Zhang

Check dam plays a crucial role in controlling soil erosion on the Loess Plateau and reducing sediment loads in the Yellow River. Moreover, sediment deposition in check dams also provides valuable information for understanding of soil erosion on the Loess Plateau. Study on the influence of rainfall patterns on sediment yield in small catchments scale is significant for the reasonable arrangement of soil and water conservation measures, particularly for complex environments such as the wind-water erosion crisscross region. This study estimated sediment yield trapped by the check dam in Laoyeman catchment based on deposited flood couplets formed in erosion rainfall events during the period 1978-2010. All erosive rainfall were divided into three rainfall patterns according to the precipitation, rainfall duration and rainfall erosivity, and the correspondence analysis between sediment yield and rainfall pattern was analyzed. Results showed that there were 1.1´105 t sediment deposited in the dam filed during the trapping history of the check dam as a whole. It has three obvious change stages, which had sediment yield of 4.53´104 t during 1978-1988, 4.48´104 t during 1988-1997, and 1.68´104 t during 1997-2010, respectively. The stage 1989-1997 had the fastest annual deposition rate of 4.98×103 t·year-1, 20.9% and 286% faster than stage 1978-1988 and stage 1998-2010. For similar rainfall pattern in these three stages, sediment yield and the characteristic of flood couplet change were closely related to both rainfall erosivity and land use types. This was also approved by the significant decrease of sediment yield on condition of similar rainfall pattern in a decade before and after the implementation of Grain for Green project indicated that this project made a great contribution to the control of soil erosion on the Loess Plateau. The impact of rainfall pattern on sediment yield indicated that the largest sediment yield is initiated under short duration and high intensity rainfall events, while the sediment in the reservoir area is mainly deposited under the rainfall pattern of moderate precipitation, erosivity and duration. That is the reason for the wettest year (1995) had relatively low sediment deposition, while the year (1982) had strong rainfall erosivity had the maximum annual sediment yield (1.68´104 t).

How to cite: Yin, M. and Zhang, J.: Influence of rainfall patterns on sediment yield in flood couplets of a check dam on the Chinese Loess Plateau, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3322, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3322, 2022.

11:22–11:28
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EGU22-6317
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Michael Asante et al.

An increasing world population and change in consumer preferences necessitate the need to increase food production to meet the demand of a changing world. Intensified agriculture and an accelerated climate crisis with increasing weather extremes threaten the resource base needed to improve crop production. Maize yield obtained by farmers in the guinea savannah zone of Ghana is generally low due to low soil fertility status resulting from continuous cropping coupled with low use of external inputs. Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices have proven to sustainably increase maize yield. However, majority of the farmers practicing ISFM till their land conventionally, potentially resulting in substantial greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions that contribute to global climate change. However, there is dearth of information on GHG emissions regarding crop production systems in sub-Saharan Africa in general and Ghana in particular. Hence, within a field trial we seek to investigate the impact of different tillage practices and ISFM applied to sustain maize yield, on net CO2 or ecosystem exchange (NEE) and net carbon (C) balance (NECB). The field trial was established at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute in Northern region of Ghana. A split plot design was used with the main plot treatments being conventional tillage and reduced tillage and the subplot treatments being factorial combination of organic and inorganic fertilizers at three levels each. To determine NEE and thereon based estimates of NECB, an innovative, customized, low-cost manual, dynamic closed chamber system was used. The system consists of transparent (V: 0.37 m3, A: 0.196 m2; for NEE measurements) and opaque chambers (for ecosystem respiration (Reco) measurements) of the same size. Diurnal regimes of Reco and NEE fluxes were measured twice a month by repeatedly deploying chambers for 5 to 10min on the 3 repetitive measurement plots (PVC frames inserted 5 cm deep into the soil as collars) per treatment. CO2 concentration increase and decrease over chamber deployment time was detected by portable, inexpensive Arduino based CO2 logging systems, consisting of a battery powered microcontroller (Arduino Uno) and data logging unit (3 sec frequency) connected to an NDIR-CO2 sensor (SCD30; ± 30 ppm accuracy), air temperature and humidity (DHT-22) as well as air pressure sensor (BMP280). Measured CO2 fluxes were subsequently gap-filled to obtain seasonal NEE. C import and export were further on added to NEE to determine the NECB for each treatment. In parallel to CO2 exchange measurement campaigns, agronomic and crop growth indices such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were performed biweekly at all plots. Here we present NEE and NECB balances for the first crop growth period.

Keywords: Tillage, Integrated soil fertility management, CO2 emission, Zea mays, net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB)

How to cite: Asante, M., Naab, J., Agyei Frimpong, K., Traore, K., Augustin, J., and Hoffmann, M.: Effect of soil management practices on soil carbon dynamics under maize cultivation , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6317, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6317, 2022.

11:28–11:34
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EGU22-9474
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On-site presentation
Christian Folberth et al.

Agricultural ecosystems provide essential services mainly through food, feed, fiber and consequently income but they also contribute cultural, supporting and regulating services. In turn, farming can adversely affect ecosystem services, especially those from natural ecosystems, if farming practices are unsustainable.

Recently, a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix (SAM; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2021.08.015) of indicators across environmental, economic, and social dimensions has been developed by an international research team to coherently quantify the sustainability of countries’ farming systems globally. The focus was on indicators that can be tracked over time and relate to performance to facilitate analyzes of synergies and trade-offs. At present, this indicator system is being co-evaluated with stakeholders in ten countries within an international consortium including Austria, to elicit stakeholders’ appraisal of the framework’s applicability in their specific geographical and socioeconomic context and eventually co-design a revised matrix based on stakeholders’ requirements.

A first workshop has shown that most indicators from the environmental dimension are useful for stakeholders in the Austrian context, but some need further refinements. Biodiversity, for example, is only considered via land cover change whereas threats to (agro-)biodiversity in Austria and the EU foremost occur in-situ. The economic dimension is ranking second in its usefulness for Austrian stakeholders with few indicators such as food loss being of little relevance. The indicators presently included in the social dimension are least relevant as they cover aspects such as land rights, undernourishment, and rural poverty, which do not pose major issues in Austria and more broadly the EU.

General concerns of stakeholders are the directionality of indicator ratings and their scope which is in part considered too narrow. E.g., high government expenditure for agriculture is considered positive in the matrix regardless of its purpose and may cause dependencies. Human nutrition is only included via undernourishment and soil nutrient status solely as surplus, whereas in both cases also the other extreme may be adverse. Accordingly, a bell-shaped indicator and rating would be favored in such cases. A general requirement was expressed for an additional context dimension. Governance arrangements and the overall socioeconomic situation are so far deliberately not included due to the focus on performance in the existing SAM. Yet, indicators describing such framework conditions can be essential to interpret synergies and trade-offs and the effectiveness of policy measures aiming at achieving SDGs. Beyond the evaluation of existing indicators, the stakeholder process yielded comprehensive suggestions for additional indicators, covering biodiversity, research and education, self-sufficiency, as well as various aspects of resilience and stability. Overall, the co-evaluation with stakeholders highlights that only few globally defined indicators are readily applicable in a regional context where consideration of local conditions and specifics is vital.

The proposed revisions are now being matched with available data across geographic scales to revise the matrix and perform further analyses on trade-offs and synergies. This will also include further context information to facilitate the evaluation of policies, ultimately allowing for improved policy-making to attain agricultural sustainability. Results will be further co-evaluated iteratively with stakeholders to eventually produce a globally applicable indicator system.

How to cite: Folberth, C., Sinabell, F., Schinko, T., and Hanger-Kopp, S.: Co-evaluating and -designing a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix for Austria in an international context, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9474, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9474, 2022.

11:34–11:40
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EGU22-9476
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Ji Yeon Kim et al.

Research dealing with three-dimensional structural data of forests or vegetation is increasing. LiDAR-based research to detect biodiversity (LaRue et al. 2019) is growing, through using structural data such as analyzing heterogeneity, distribution, and height in forest structures (Matsuo et al. 2021) or identifying rugosity (Gough et al. 2020). For example, the technology to detect canopy structures is linked with the GEDI technology, leading to structural diversity mapping on a wide scale and further to β-diversity. (Schneider et al. 2020) Meanwhile, most connectivity studies so far have been conducted on two-dimensional surfaces, and resistance value-based studies on species data, topography and vegetation structure, and habitat quality have been performed. In this study, we try to detect changes in the space distribution pattern of species due to anthropogenic intervention through lidar-based 3D structural data. Through structural heterogeneity, the connectivity at the landscape level is analyzed, and for this purpose, it can be compared with the traditional diversity evaluation method through a verification process based on species data. By detecting the impact on species in advance in the impact assessment stage, this study intends to present a methodology that can function as a forestry and conservation decision-making support tool in combination with ICT-based monitoring technology.

How to cite: Kim, J. Y., Lee, D. K., and Kim, E. S.: Detection of Habitat Heterogeneity Changes Using Laser Scanning Data Targeting Birds, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9476, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9476, 2022.

11:40–11:46
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EGU22-9397
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Eun sub Kim et al.

The ecological concept of the meta population helps evaluate the effectiveness of conservation areas (Soule et al., 1988), and is used as a useful tool for evaluating responses between individuals to artificial stressors such as urbanization, habitat destruction, and fragmentation (Kawecki. 2004). In particular meta population model can help increase the accuracy of population estimation across various spatial scales and explain several interactions populations (Walther et al., 2002; Faborg, 2014). Previous studies have demonstrated that habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by urbanization can affect the viability of species in habitats due to reduced fertility and mobility, but papers on the selection of conservation areas can increase the viability of multi species according to the changing surroundings are insufficient. Therefore, this study analyzed the possibility of multi species surviving in the habitat using a meta population model for conservation area scenarios and analyzed the effect of habitat pattern changes on each population from various perspectives.

In order to analyze the survival probability of multi species in habitats by conservation area scenario, (1) setting the 15 virtual habitat spaces within 160ha, (2) Big & Small conservation scenarios considering habitat area, connection, and connection, (3) collecting and estimation of migration rate, home range, dispersal distance for biological species for analyzing the possibility of extinction by population. Finally, the change in the population of each population during period t was analyzed using the meta population model.

Overall, when the Big Conservation area was applied, the probability of extinction of all species was low, followed by the Big+Connectivity scenario. In addition, the probability of survival was similarly derived in the Small scenario and the Connectivity scenario. However, the preferred conservation scenarios for each classification population group were different depending on the conservation scenario. In particular, birds had a high probability of extinction in the small scenario, while small mammals had a low probability of extinction. Through this study, the effect on the change in the number of multi species according to the conservation area scenario was analyzed, which is expected to be used to evaluate the validity and effectiveness of setting up a conservation area in the future.

How to cite: Kim, E. S., Mo, Y. W., Kim, J. Y., and Lee, D. K.: Analysis of survival probability on multiple species using metapopulation model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9397, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9397, 2022.

Fri, 27 May, 13:20–14:50

Chairpersons: Luisa Galgani, Francesco Di Grazia

13:20–13:26
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EGU22-7664
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Virtual presentation
Séverine Bernardie et al.

PHUSICOS platform aims at gathering nature-based solutions (NBS) relevant to reduce hydro-geological risks in mountain landscapes. The platform can be accessed directly through a web portal. It is based on an Open Source CMS website, including a filter to store documents and a map server to bring ergonomic and powerful access.

To design the platform, an in-depth review of 11 existing platforms has been performed.  Furthermore, a list of metadata has been proposed to structure the information. These metadata have provided the baseline for database. The PHUSICOS platform currently references 176 NBS cases and 83 documents of interest (review articles, assessment papers…). It is continuously enriched through the contribution of NBS community.

For that, a questionnaire based on relevant data, necessary for the definition and identification of the NBS (metadata, to be used for searching the NBSs within the platform) has been defined to enter new entries. A preliminary analysis of the cases has been realized. To characterize and analyse the current 152 solutions, we have worked on the following four categories: The nature of impacted ecosystems, The hazard(s) concerned, The other challenges treated by the NBS, The type of exposed assets.

The platform also proposes a qualitative assessment of the NBSs collected according to 15 criteria related with five ambits: disaster risk reduction, technical and economical feasibility, environment, society, and local economy. The criteria level is sufficiently general to be analysed for the entire PHUSICOS platform NBSs whatever the type of work, the realized approaches, the problematic or the spatial or temporal scale.

The structure of the platform and a first analysis of the qualitative NBS assessment are presented in this work.

How to cite: Bernardie, S., Baills, A., and Garçin, M.: PHUSICOS platform, dedicated to Nature-Based Solutions for Risk Reduction and Environmental Issues in Hilly and Mountainous Lands : presentation and qualitative NBS assessment, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7664, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7664, 2022.

13:26–13:32
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EGU22-1425
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Mehrdad Ghorbani Mooselu et al.

Sedimentation ponds (SPs) are nature-based solutions (NBSs) for sustainable stormwater management. SPs control the quantity and quality of runoff and promote biodiversity. Hence, the optimal design of SPs is crucial for ecosystems resilience in urban and natural environments. This study aims to optimize the design of roadside SPs in terms of location and surface area, considering the resilience to stressors such as climate changes and pollution load variations. Accordingly, the highway runoff in a new 22 km highway (E18 Arendal-Tvedestrand) in southern Norway was simulated by the storm water management model (SWMM). The quantity and quality (BOD and TSS values) of highway runoff in all probable scenarios of existing uncertainties were estimated for potential outfall points using the repeated execution model of SWMM coded in MATLAB®. The scenarios were defined based on applying best management practices (BMPs), including grass swale and infiltration trench in different sections of the road that work before SPs, climatic (rainfall quantity estimated by the LARS-WG model), and modeling uncertainties (buildup and washoff coefficients). The generated dataset was then applied to assess the resilience of sedimentation ponds in potential outfalls to climate change and pollution load shocks. The resiliency was quantified for three metrics, including the quantity and quality of receiving runoff to sedimentation ponds and biodiversity in ponds over 25 years (2020-2045). The biodiversity index was defined based on Shannon's Entropy computed from field observation in 12 highway sedimentation ponds across Norway. Using this procedure, it was determined that the proper arrangement of BMPs along the road and the optimal design of ponds enhance the resilience of SPs by 40% over time. This study makes important contributions to stormwater management, the resilient design of NBS, and achieving UN SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation).

How to cite: Ghorbani Mooselu, M., Liltved, H., Alizadeh, M. R., and Meland, S.: Optimal design of nature-based solutions in highway runoff management based on resilience to climate and pollution load changes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1425, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1425, 2022.

13:32–13:38
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EGU22-7121
Ralph Schielen et al.

In 2021, the International Guidelines on Natural and Nature Based Features for Flood Risk Management  were published, as a result of a joint project between the Rijkswaterstaat (Netherlands), the Environment Agency (England) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USA). These Guidelines give direction in the application of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for coastal and fluvial systems. In this contribution we will focus on the fluvial part of the guidelines. We will briefly discuss the process that lead to the origin of the Guidelines and discuss the intended use. It is important to realize that the location within a catchment, and the scale of a catchment determine the specifications of the most optimal NBS. Considering the classical ‘source-pathway-receptor’ approach, in the source of a catchment, NBS aim to hold back the water in the headwaters of larger catchments, enhancing management of water and sediment. In the pathways-receptor (floodplains),  NBS are more focussed on increasing the discharge capacity of the main stem. In smaller catchments, also temporarily storage of water in the floodplains occurs, if flooding of such a temporary nature can be accommodated. Rather than a detailed instruction guide, the Guidelines are intended to give best practices and list important points of attention when applying NBS. Furthermore, they act as inspiration through the many case studies that are listed.

We will also connect the Guidelines to other initiatives on the application of NBS, for example the impact that NBS might have on reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This requires a proper assessment framework which has been developed in adjacent projects and which values the added co-benefits that NBS have, compared to grey or grey-green alternatives. These benefits are also addressed in the Guidelines. Finally, we will share some thoughts on upscaling and mainstreaming NBS and the actions that are needed to accomplish that.

How to cite: Schielen, R., Spray, C., Haring, C., Guy, J., and Burgess-Gamble, L.: Application of the International Guidelines on Natural and Nature Based Features for Flood Risk Management and the way forward, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7121, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7121, 2022.

13:38–13:44
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EGU22-8395
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Kalina Fonseca et al.

An adequate strategy for water quality improvement in developing countries must consider the economic scarcity of water, the external factors that affect its quality, and the participation of multisectoral stakeholders in water management decisions. In addition, stronger links to nature can be established through methods inspired from nature to clean the water, such as artificial floating islands (AFI). Restoration of aquatic ecosystems with AFIs occurs as water passes beneath the floating mat and the roots of macrophytes take up metals and nutrients. In this context, we utilized Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs) to identify the principal concepts that affect water quality from different perspectives: political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal (PESTEL). We also theoretically explore the use of AFIs combined with different policies, to find the strategy that best adapts the local water situation.

By applying the principles of FCMs, different sources of knowledge can predict the effects of policy, and problems can be identified using the centrality index of the underlying graph theory. Thus, a two-step approach was implemented for our analysis: First, from 40 literature-based PESTEL concepts related to water quality deterioration, local experts in water management were invited to identify the most influential concepts and to include additional ones regarding the local water situation and policies to support the improvement of water quality. Second, workshops were organized, inviting members of communities to discuss the degree of cause-effect influence of the identified concepts, and also to include a water management policy, considering AFIs as one solution.

Three Ecuadorian communities distributed to cover representative ecosystems from the Pacific coast, Andean mountains, and Amazon floodplain were selected for this research, i.e. the community of Mogollón dominated by mangroves land cover, Chilla chico by páramos, and Awayaku by rainforest. According to the FCMs, 21 PESTEL concepts affect water quality in the páramos community and most of them are related to politics (23%) and the environment (23%). Community workshop at the same community identify that the major problem is related to natural water pollutants. For the mangrove community, 23 concepts were identified mainly driven (47%) by environmental concepts, whereas the communities see the major water quality issue in view of human exposure to environmental pollutants. In the case of the rainforest community, 19 concepts were recognized with 40% related to economics, whereas the communities identify the principal concern being the violation of environmental legislation. Regarding the potential implementation of AFIs, the páramos community concludes that AFIs should be implemented and coupled with environmental education programs. Additionally, water-related governmental institutions should be involved during realization. The mangrove community shows interest in AFIs, when combined with payment for ecosystem services. Finally, the rainforest community do not consider AFIs as a primary solution. Instead they propose the creation of a committee to denounce violations of water quality laws and to improve the educational level of community members. In conclusion, the FCM is a powerful tool to bring together the knowledge of multisectoral stakeholders and to analyse suitable strategies for the local improvement of water quality.

How to cite: Fonseca, K., Correa, A., and Breuer, L.: Using the fuzzy cognitive map approach to promote nature-based solutions as a strategy to improve water quality in Ecuadorian communities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8395, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8395, 2022.

13:44–13:50
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EGU22-8884
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Francesco Di Grazia et al.

Sustainable river management should consider potential impacts on ecosystem services in decision-making with respect to mitigating future climate impacts. In this respect, there is a clear need to better understand how nature-based solutions (NBS) can benefit specific ecosystem services, in particular within the complex spatial and temporal dynamics that characterize most river catchments. To capture these changes, ecosystem models require spatially explicit data that are often difficult to obtain for model development and validation. Citizen science allows for the participation of trained citizen volunteers in research or regulatory activities, resulting in increased data collection and increased participation of the general public in resource management.

In the present study, we examined the temporal and spatial drivers in nutrient and sediment delivery, carbon storage and sequestration and water yield in a major Italian river catchment and under different NBS scenarios. Information on climate, land use, soil and river conditions, as well as future climate scenarios, were used to explore future (2050) benefits of NBS on local and catchment scales, followed the national and European directives related to water quality (Directive 2000/60/EC) and habitat (Directive 92/43/EEC). We estimate the benefits of individual and combined NBS approaches related to river restoration and catchment reforestation.

How to cite: Di Grazia, F., Galgani, L., Gumiero, B., Troiani, E., and Loiselle, S. A.: Effects of the Nature-Based Solutions on the ecosystem services; an evaluation of the Piave River catchment (Italy) in a 2050 scenario, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8884, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8884, 2022.

13:50–13:56
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EGU22-11996
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Francesco Busca and Roberto Revelli

The concept of ecosystem services (ES), as a set of components of the natural capital that provide products and services directed to humans, was born around the middle of the last century, reaching a more systematic definition in the early 2000s with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005). This issue is implicitly linked to popular research topics, such as climate change,  population well-being, fight against hunger in the world and has undergone a significant increasing interest from scientific research since the SDGs subscription, defined in the 2030 Agenda.

With the thrust of the investigation into this new branch, various tools have been created aimed at dealing with ecosystem services, not only from a qualitative point of view but in quantitative terms. The present work aims to analyze the applicability of a specific SE quantification software for vegetation, based both on the use of meteorological data and on the acquisition of field data and capable of returning outputs relating to the main components: environment (air quality), soil (use and cover) and water (quality and quantity of water runoff, with a focus on vegetation hydrology). The combination of this eco-hydrological model with a monetary ES evaluation is also interesting: although the economic model considered is particularly simple and therefore characterized by a non-negligible standard error, it is important to underline the direct and spontaneous association between SE and monetary quantification considered by the software, unlike how at the end of the last century the economic value of nature was still neglected.

Finally, the main results of a ES quantification project in an Italian urban context will be discussed, underlining  the environmental improvement to the surroundings and the social benefits for the population.

How to cite: Busca, F. and Revelli, R.: Ecosystem services, monetary value and social sphere: a specific-vegetation software suite on a urban-scale project, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11996, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11996, 2022.

13:56–14:02
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EGU22-12354
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ECS
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Virtual presentation
Ying Zheng et al.

Social learning is increasingly used to address environmental challenges including sustainable farming. How sustainable agricultural knowledge is co-produced, shared and used between farmers, scientists and government is important for building capacity and trust for sustainability in stressed socio-ecological communities worldwide. However, such understanding is largely lacking in developing economies. This research presents the findings from analysis of smallholder farmers’ social learning in three agricultural regions in China. Combining an existing social capital framework with questionnaires (Q) and interviews (I) with farmers (Q n=632; I n=30) and officials (Q n=77, I n=64), we demonstrate how farmers access and share farming knowledge through bonding, bridging and linking networks. In two regions, family bonding was the dominant learning pathway while linking networks to access ‘formal knowledge’ from government (or scientists) were limited. However, in the third region, government played a more important role in farmers’ knowledge sharing and acquisition processes. In all regions, learning from researchers was largely absent. Key suggestions about ways to enhance use of multiple forms of knowledge are provided. First, this study highlights the need for a more locally and socially embedded approach to facilitate enhanced farmers’ knowledge exchange and learning, to then build trust and capacity to help better address pressing local environmental challenges. Second, we show how social dynamics research can usefully inform knowledge exchange plans for collaborative, international development science, so that it can be best suited to local contexts, to optimise research impacts, capacity building and avoiding of mismatches. 

How to cite: Zheng, Y., Naylor, L. A., Wang, W., Stanton, A., Oliver, D., Munro, N., Chng, N. R., Waldron, S., and Peng, T.: Social capital in stressed social-ecological systems: understanding social learning in agricultural communities in China to aid environmental policy and practice, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12354, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12354, 2022.

14:02–14:08
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EGU22-3770
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On-site presentation
Guido J.M. Verstraeten and Willem W. Verstraeten

A sustainable society is considered as an organic system, called an ecosystem, wherein all possible connected parameters are contributing to the conservation and evolution of the ecosystem containing life and landscape against stress from outside. Any ecosystem contains species of mutually interacting organisms all contributing to a dynamic equilibrium. An ecosystem is characterized by a population carrying capacity.

Humans are the only species on earth without a specific ecosystem. They live everywhere. The evolution did not adapt the homo sapiens to some ecosystem, on the contrary humans transformed all ecosystems to their own environment. Nature transforms into environment when humans are managing an ecosystem and transform it to their environment by attributing to nature the concept of natural capital as first instrumental step to economic growth, considering pollution as collateral damage.

Inspired by Enlightenment Anthropology (Shallow Ecology and Naess´ Deep Ecology) the UN encourages humanity to transform the consumption of raw matter, energy and food into a more sustainable cleaner way and even to start transition of energy resources and human diet in order to dampen the effects of global warming. Economic policy supports technological procedures avoiding waste of raw material and stimulating sustainable production processes and sustainable recuperation of raw material inside the produced items. The energy transition and preferable industrial production method, however, is globally imposed top-down without examining the consequences for local life of humans, non-humans (e.g. wind turbines near human settlement, bird mortality, destruction of the ecosystems of the seafloor) and the landscape (e.g. solar energy systems on hillside, water dams). Moreover, the global view favors large scale in policy as well as in means of production. However, this global transition organization of the global environment establish the new order characterized by its global and universal action and is not in balance with local ecosystems characterized by diversity of life and human management (so called perverted adaptation). Nature is reduced to things and just rewarded in terms of natural capital to sustain a Global Urban Middleclass consumptive society.

Therefore, we adopt Aldo Leopold ‘Land ethics’ (1949) and apply it to the shear coast of Southwestern Finland. We summarize his ideas in three hot headlines: (i) The land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen; (ii) We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong to, we may begin to use it with love and respect; (iii) Anything is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. Participation to the ecosystem based on autonomous technology, i.e. not controlled, is focused on global energy transition to save the Universal Urban Middleclass Life. On the contrary, the concept of Land Ethics makes room for eco-development based on care for humans, culture, environment and nature in interaction with all ecosystems. In a nutshell: act local, interact global.

How to cite: Verstraeten, G. J. M. and Verstraeten, W. W.: The approach ‘think global, act local’ neglects the particular ecological value of ecosystems, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3770, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3770, 2022.

14:08–14:14
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EGU22-3784
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Martina Viti et al.

When assessing strategies for implementation of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) it is fundamental to quantify all benefits for securing better, informed decision making. Particularly relevant is the quantification of their multiple co-benefits for communities and the environment. One of the most widespread techniques to quantify these values is to use contingent valuation (CV) methods, such as the Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) approach. Within the CV method, questionnaires are the main tool used to elicit the value attributed to a specific good by the respondents. However, many studies focus on site-specific economic valuation, whereby transferability to other locations is jeopardized. We therefore created a survey to explore how the valuation of an NBS is shaped by its relationship with the users (e.g. frequency and length of visits), and how these responses are linked to both the respondents and the sites’ characteristics (e.g. socio-economic status, size of the NBS, etc.).

We applied this method to a case study comprised of two distinct areas located in Aarhus, Denmark, asking users to explore their perception of the two NBS sites with different features. Both NBS sites have as overarching goals to (i) prevent flooding from cloudburst or water bodies, (ii) improve the biodiversity in the area, and (iii) benefit the local population, e.g. by providing more recreational areas. Despite these common goals, the two sites differ by a number of characteristics, i.e. size, location, and time passed since construction. One NBS involves a large artificial lake in a peri-urban setting, while the other is a small urban park. Respondents were allowed the option of either expressing a value for only one, or for both of the sites. 

We analyzed both responses that stated a WTP and protest votes, that is, responses that rejected the valuation scenario altogether. We found that older citizens are more likely to protest, as well as those not visiting the sites. For the respondents who accepted to state a WTP, their bids significantly increased when the improvement of nature and biodiversity was mentioned in the valuation scenario. Comparing the value given to the two different sites, the characteristics of the NBS seem to play a role in the respondents’ perception and use of the sites, which in turn enhances valuation. In our case study, people’s perception of the site and their relationship with it appear to have a stronger link with the WTP than their socio-economic characteristics. Specifically, frequency and length of visits, and interest in a good quality of nature were mostly related to a positive WTP.

The inclusion of people-NBS relational variables in benefit quantifications appears to be an essential tool to realize a more realistic economic valuation, as well as correctly design NBS in order to achieve the desired impacts. Understanding the underlying synergies between the multiple co-benefits of NBS, their features and the users’ perception is decisive for maximizing these strategies’ potential and avoiding missing opportunities.

How to cite: Viti, M., Löwe, R., Sørup, H. J. D., Mcknight, U. S., and Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K.: Assessing the interconnections between the characteristics, perception, and valuation of Nature-Based Solutions: A case study from Aarhus, Denmark, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3784, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3784, 2022.

14:14–14:20
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EGU22-4971
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Oleksandr Karasov et al.

Over the past decade, we witnessed a rapid growth in the use of social media data when assessing  cultural ecosystem services (CESs), like modelling the supply-demand relationships. Researchers increasingly use user-generated content (predominantly geotagged pictures and texts from Flickr, Twitter, VK.com) as a spatially explicit proxy of CES demand. However, for modelling CES supply most of such studies relied on simplistic geospatial data, such as land cover and digital elevation models. As a result, our understanding of the favourable environmental conditions underlying good landscape experience remains weak and overly generic.

Our study aims to detect the spatial disparities between population density and CES supply in Estonia in order to prioritise them for further in-depth CES assessment and green and blue infrastructure improvements. We relied on Flickr and VK.com photographs to detect the usage of three CESs: passive landscape watching, active outdoor recreation, and wildlife watching (biota observations at organism and community levels) with automated image content recognition via Clarifai API and subsequent topic modelling. Then, we used Landsat-8 cloudless mosaic, digital elevation and digital surface models, as well as land cover model to derive 526 environmental variables (textural, spectral indices and other indicators of landscape physiognomy) via the Google Earth Engine platform. We conducted an ensemble environmental niche modelling to analyse the relative strength and directions of relationships between these predictors and the observed occurrence of CES demand. Based on multicollinearity and relative importance analysis, we selected 21 relevant and non-collinear indicators of CES supply. With these indicators as inputs, we then trained five models, popular in environmental niche modelling: Boosted Regression Trees, Generalized Linear Model, Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline, Maxent, and Random Forest. Random Forest performed better than the other models for all three CES types, with the average 10-fold cross-validation area under curve > 0.9 for landscape watching, >0.87 for outdoor recreation, and >0.85 for wildlife watching. Our modelling allowed us to estimate the share of the Estonian population residing in the spatial clusters of systematically high and low environmental suitability for three considered CESs. The share of the population residing in the clusters of low environmental suitability for landscape watching, outdoor recreation, and wildlife watching is 5.5%, 3.1%, and 7.3%, respectively. These results indicate that dozens of thousands of people in Estonia (population is >1.3 million) likely have fewer opportunities for everyday usage of considered CESs. However, these results are biased as there was not enough evidence in social media for CES use in some of these areas.

Although our results should be treated with caution, because social media data are likely to contain a considerable sampling bias, we have demonstrated the added value of remote sensing data for CES supply estimation. Given nearly global and continuously updated satellite imagery archives, remote sensing opens new perspectives for monitoring the loss and gains in landscape suitability for CES across temporal and spatial scales. As such, we can better account for the intangible underlying geospatial features that can influence  economic and environmental decision-making.

How to cite: Karasov, O., Heremans, S., Külvik, M., Domnich, A., Burdun, I., Kull, A., Helm, A., and Uuemaa, E.: Integrating remote sensing and social media data advances assessment of cultural ecosystem services, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4971, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4971, 2022.

14:20–14:26
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EGU22-2049
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On-site presentation
Chiara Scaini et al.

Sustainable river management frameworks are based on the connection between citizens and nature. So far, though, the relationship between rivers and local populations has played a marginal role in river management. We present a blueprint questionnaire to characterize the perception of cultural ecosystem services and flood risk by locals, and how preferences change across the river landscape. We investigate how locals value the river and whether their preferences are affected by characteristics such as place of residence, age, frequency of visits and relation to the river. The approach is tested on the Tagliamento river, the last major free-flowing river in the Alps, which is characterized by debates on flood protection, flood management and ecological conservation. The questionnaire was filled in by more than 4000 respondents, demonstrating huge interest and willingness to contribute with their opinion on this topic. A participatory map of favorite places shows that most of the river is valued/appreciated by locals, with a high preference for the landscape of the braided middle course. River conservation is the main priority for most respondents across different stakeholder groups, highlighting the need for nature-based solutions in flood-risk management and demonstrating the mismatch between management choices and citizens´ values and priorities. Land-use planning is identified as a factor that can increase flood risk. The results highlight the necessity to tackle conservation, risk management and land-use planning together in order to develop risk-oriented river management strategies. More generally, this work points out that any river intervention should be pondered carefully accounting for its environmental impact also in terms of loss of cultural ecosystem services.

How to cite: Scaini, C., Stritih, A., Brouillet, C., and Scaini, A.: What locals want: (mapping) citizen preferences and priorities for an alpine river landscape, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2049, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2049, 2022.

14:26–14:32
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EGU22-9542
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ECS
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On-site presentation
Haleema Misal et al.

Fire regimes form an integral part of terrestrial biomes in the Mediterranean region as they provide essential disturbances which change the structure and function of plants that favour Mediterranean type climates. Fire is inextricably linked to such ecosystems and cannot be excluded from them. However, the intensification of human activities in Greece, coupled with increasingly unpredictable wildfires has created huge imbalances and jeopardised the ecological integrity of ecosystems. Expansions into the wildland urban interface, rural abandonment, and the focus on fire suppression are increasing the vulnerability and flammability of the Greek environment. The duality of fire is delicate, both at local and national level, catastrophic wildfires singe deeply on landscapes and economies, social burns can take just as long to heal. In Greece, this is further exacerbated by the burgeoning socio-economic and political complexities that have catalysed the current ineffective and unsustainable fire management strategies. Damages from wildfires affect ecosystem services which can lead to a reduction in human wellbeing. Understanding the interactions between ecosystems and humans through environmental valuation is key to implementing effective policy. This study uses economic valuation methods in the form of a choice experiment to elicit public preference for a wildfire management policy in Crete. A survey was deployed around the island, with respondents asked about their preferences between different management strategies. The policies outlined in the survey are made up of the following attributes: risk of fire, agricultural production, landscape quality and post-wildfire damage mitigation. Results from this study indicate a positive preference by the public for a new proposed policy. The findings from this study can be used for decision making in Crete and other similar southern European environments by providing metrics for appropriate wildfire management.

How to cite: Misal, H., Kountouris, I., Voulgarakis, A., and Rovithakis, A.: Eliciting public preferences for wildfire management policies in Crete, Greece, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9542, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9542, 2022.

14:32–14:50
Final discussion