Social Demand for Ecosystem Services and Implications for Watershed Management

Año Publicación:  2016
Responsable: A. J. Castro et al.
Journal, Volumen y páginas:
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 52(1), 209–221


A. J. Castro, C. C. Vaughn, J. P. Julian & M- García-Llorente


We performed a sociocultural preference assessment for a suite of ecosystem services provided by the Kiamichi River watershed in the south-central United States, a region with intense water conflict. The goal was to examine how a social assessment of services could be used to weigh tradeoffs among water resource uses for future watershed management and planning. We identified the ecosystem services beneficiaries groups, analyzed perception for maintaining services, assessed differences in the importance and perceived trends for ecosystem services, and explored the perceived impact on ecosystem services arising from different watershed management scenarios. Results show habitat for species and water regulation were two ecosystem services all beneficiaries agreed were important. The main discrepancies among stakeholder groups were found for water-related services. The identification of potential tradeoffs between services under different flow scenarios promotes a dynamic management strategy for allocating water resources, one that mitigates potential conflicts. While it is widely accepted the needs of all beneficiaries should be considered for the successful incorporation of ecosystem services into watershed management, the number of studies actually using the sociocultural perspective in ecosystem service assessment is limited. Our study demonstrates it is both possible and useful to quantify social demand of ecosystem services in watershed management.

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