A Framework for Characterizing and Regulating Ecosystem Services in a Management Planning Context

Creative Commons License

Baskent E. Z.

FORESTS, vol.11, no.1, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/f11010102
  • Journal Name: FORESTS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Geobase, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Sustainable management promises to improve the conservation and utilization of ecosystem services and their contribution to human wellbeing through management plans. This paper explores the concept of characterization and integration of ecosystem services in a management planning concept. The integration process involves the identification, quantification, valuation, assessment, and monitoring of ecosystem services over time. The quantification of common ecosystem services, such as soil erosion, water conservation, recreation, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration was explored. A framework was developed to integrate ecosystem services into management planning process. Ecosystem services are classified as provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services with a defined typology. The conceptual framework acts as an organizing structure and it serves as a model for the management of ecosystems with their contribution to human wellbeing. Ecosystem management with multi-criteria decision techniques, information technologies and a structured participation is a proposed approach for the sustainable management of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural functions. Establishing the quantitative relationships between ecosystem services and societal benefits is essential. The provision of a universally accepted clear measurement of regulating, supporting, and cultural services is challenging. A commitment, vision, and strong willingness are required to adopt policies, regulations, and management objectives in planning. Integration can only be realized with prioritizing ecosystem services with the involvement of stakeholders. Substantial understanding of both the ecological and social systems is a prerequisite for sustainable management of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services with significant benefits to the wellbeing of society should primarily be characterized, their relative importance be weighted, and prioritized through a participatory approach. A holistic approach with a comprehensive decision support system is essential in forecasting the future provision of ecosystem services and assessing the trade-off analysis, resulting in better policy formulation before on-the-ground implementation.