Assessment of coastal protection as an ecosystem service in Europe

Camino Liquete, Grazia Zulian, Irene Delgado, Adolf Stips, Joachim Maes
2013 Ecological Indicators  
11 Mapping and assessment of ecosystem services is essential to provide scientific 12 support to global and EU biodiversity policy. Coastal protection has been mostly 13 analysed in the frame of coastal vulnerability studies or in local, habitat-specific 14 assessments. This paper provides a conceptual and methodological approach to 15 assess coastal protection as an ecosystem service at different spatial-temporal 16 scales, and applies it to the entire EU coastal zone. The assessment of
more » ... 17 protection incorporates 14 biophysical and socio-economic variables from both 18 terrestrial and marine datasets. Those variables define three indicators: coastal 19 protection capacity, coastal exposure and human demand for protection. A 20 questionnaire filled by coastal researchers helped assign ranks to categorical 21 parameters and weights to the individual variables. The three indicators are then 22 framed into the ecosystem services cascade model to estimate how coastal 23 ecosystems provide protection, in particular describing the service function, flow and 24 benefit. The results are comparative and aim to support integrated land and marine 25 spatial planning. The main drivers of change for the provision of coastal protection 26 come from the widespread anthropogenic pressures in the European coastal zone, 27 for which a short quantitative analysis is provided. 28 29 Graphical abstract 30 Highlights 32 -We provide indicators of coastal protection capacity, exposure and demand. 33 -The spatial analysis includes ecological, geomorphological, physical and 34 anthropogenic parameters. 35 -We assess and map the ecosystem service capacity, flow and benefit in 36 Europe. 37 -This study supports the European and international biodiversity policy. 38 39
doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.02.013 fatcat:qeckiciidfghxn6k3gddlxheda