Research News > A framework for the co-production of ecosystem services

How natural capital along with other forms of capital in social-ecological systems co-produce ecosystem services and the implications for management & policy.

"Disentangling the Pathways and Effects of Ecosystem Service Co-Production" by I. Palomo and co-authors describes how ecosystem services are co-produced with natural capital and human capital inputs. The authors assert that acknowledging ecosystem services require some form of human intervention for humans to 'receive' benefits has implications including: the need for ES assessments to consider human capital inputs that contribute to ES delivery and also the need to broaden the concept of ES by embedding it in social-ecological systems (SES) to include the complexity of co-produced ecosystem services in environmental management and policy.

The paper presents a framework for ES co-production and explores the variety of ways in which different forms of capital (e.g., human capital, manufactured capital, social capital, financial capital) contribute to ecosystem service delivery and potential implications for policy, trade-offs and interactions among ecosystem services, equity, and also for the resilience of the SES.

Ignacio Palomo, Maria R. Felipe-Lucia, Elena M. Bennett, Berta Martin-Lopez, Unai Pascual. 2016. Disentangling the Pathways and Effects of Ecosystem Service Co-Production. Advances in Ecological Research, Volume 54: 245 - 272.