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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Professorship of Ecological Services (PES) – Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner

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Telecoupling through global and interregional flows of ecosystem services


Session T11 at ES Partnership Conference, San Sebastian, 15-19 October, 2018

Host: Matthias Schröter, Co-hosts: Nynke Schulp & Thomas Koellner

Abstract: Many studies focused on mapping, modelling and valuing a set of ecosystem services for a specific region or nation. Quite frequently those activities choose the political border as their system boundaries assuming that the regions are closed. However, these regions are typically open with respect to flows of matter, energy and information, and hence a multitude of ecosystem services. Regional and national studies often neglect the dependence on "overseas" ecosystem services. However, interregional flows of ecosystem services can cause telecouplings between regions. Such ecosystem services flows may cause detrimental effects in distant source regions and hence cause conservation problems. Some of the interactions between regions are directly embedded in trade flows, others cascade more indirectly through the socio-economic system, yet others are transferred through different types of environmental flows. Ultimately, policies aiming at enhancing ecosystem services in one region should not lead to ecosystem damage elsewhere. To cover this field a new ESP thematic working group "Global Ecosystem Service Flows" was installed during the World Conference in 2015 in South Africa. This group is hosting this session. Presentations address open research questions related to (i) quantitative assessments of interregional ecosystem service flows and telecouplings, incl. (spatial) modelling, (ii) their evaluation in terms of benefits and damages, (iii) consequences for interregional conservation of biodiversity and management of ecosystem services. 

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