Ecosystems services in fragmented landscapes

CBCS senior researchers Jonathan Rhodes, Martine Maron and Clive McAlpine helped develop a new framework for thinking about the provision of ecosystem services in fragmented landscapes that was published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution (Mitchell et al. 2015). This applied concepts of landscape ecology to ecosystem services but incorporates ideas of the supply, demand and flow of services across landscapes. It is commonly assumed that landscape fragmentation reduces ecosystem service provisions, but this is solely based on ecosystem service supply and ignores the flow of services to people. This research showed that landscape fragmentation can have non-intuitive impacts on ecosystem services if these factors are not accounted for. They argue that fragmentation’s effects on ecosystem service flow can be positive or negative, and use their framework to construct testable hypotheses about the effects of fragmentation on final ecosystem service provisions. This is a key topic of ongoing research in CBCS.

Project members

Professor Jonathan Rhodes

School of the Environment