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Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation$
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John N. Kittinger, Loren McClenachan, Keryn B. Gedan, and Louise K. Blight

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276949

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276949.001.0001

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Estimates of Historical Ecosystem Service Provision Can Guide Restoration Efforts

Estimates of Historical Ecosystem Service Provision Can Guide Restoration Efforts

(p.187) Nine Estimates of Historical Ecosystem Service Provision Can Guide Restoration Efforts
Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation

Philine S.E. Zu Ermgassen

Mark D. Spalding

Robert D. Brumbaugh

University of California Press

Restoration is undertaken not only to reverse habitat losses but also to recover the many valuable ecosystem services associated with coastal habitats. While ecosystem services are increasingly being used to define restoration objectives for a number of marine and terrestrial habitats, historical estimates of ecosystem service delivery are rare, in part due to the difficulty of making such estimates. However, by combining historical data with an understanding of the habitat characteristics (e.g., density or habitat complexity) and environmental conditions (e.g., salinity, location relative to other habitats) that influence service provision, historical estimates of ecosystem services can be used to target restoration efforts and management practices toward the desired outcomes. Oyster reefs have suffered an estimated 85 percent decline globally over the past 150 years, and there are growing efforts to restore oyster reefs at a large scale to recover oyster fishery, fish production, water quality, and other ecosystem services. In this chapter, Philine zu Ermgassen, Mark D. Spalding, and Robert D. Brumbaugh explore the estimation of historical provision of ecosystem services in oyster reefs as a case study to understand the ecological and socially relevant reference points that these estimates provide for restoration goals.

Keywords:   ecosystem services, habitat, historical ecology, restoration ecology, estuaries

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