Presentation on theme: "Aligning Methods for Assessing Wetland Ecosystem Services Anthony Dvarskas NOAA Assessment and Restoration Division/IMSG CNREP 2010 New Orleans, LA."— Presentation transcript:
Aligning Methods for Assessing Wetland Ecosystem Services Anthony Dvarskas NOAA Assessment and Restoration Division/IMSG CNREP 2010 New Orleans, LA
Presentation Outline n Components for ecosystem service assessment n Current methods available n Components of available approaches n Research needs, policy questions and next steps
Intermediate and Final Ecosystem Services Figure from: Fisher B, et al. Ecological Applications. 2008; 18: 2050-2067.
Components of a Wetland Ecosystem Services Assessment Tool n Ecological element l Structure and function of ecosystem n Human element l Benefits to humans from given ecosystem structure and level of function/provision of intermediate services n Ability to evaluate tradeoffs within and across categories
Wetland Assessment Approaches n Several procedures available for assessing ecological components (physical and biological functions) from multiple Federal agencies n Different contexts for use of techniques n Not all techniques consider both ecologic and human elements n Biological assessment vs physical/functional assessment n Approaches generally do not assign a monetary value (is this always necessary?)
Wetland Evaluation Technique (WET) n Developed in 1980s (Adamus 1988) n Evaluates multiple functions (e.g., sediment stabilization, nutrient removal/transformation) n Considers social significance, effectiveness, opportunity, and habitat suitability of evaluated wetland n Arrive at probability that selected wetland function will occur
Habitat Evaluation Procedure n Developed by Fish and Wildlife Service n Can compare areas in terms of wildlife habitat n Relies on understanding of species and habitat interaction (use of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI)) n HSI X AREA HABITAT = Habitat Unit Habitat Evaluation Procedures. ESM 102. USFWS. 1980.
Hydrogeomorphic Method n Developed by Army Corps of Engineers n Uses reference wetlands (e.g., natural in region of interest) n Evaluates set of wetland functions through field assessment l Functional capacity index (FCI) – 0-1, 1 equals function at same level as reference wetland n FCI X acres of habitat assessed = FCUs
Habitat Equivalency Analysis n Developed by NOAA n Used in assessing ecological service gains and losses resulting from injuries to natural resources n Metric(s) selected as proxy for habitat services n Discounting used to aggregate injuries over time n Output of discounted service acre-year (DSAY)
Time Resource Services Baseline Service Level Incident Full Natural Recovery A Compensatory Resource Services Compensatory Restoration Begins B Interim Lost Resource Services
Indices of Biological Integrity n Used in stream assessments n Have been applied in wetlands n Similarities to HEA approach n Identify assemblages, select set of metrics, combine metrics into index n Demonstrate change in index with changing human disturbance http://www.epa.gov/Wetlands/wqual/bio_fact/fact5.html
State Wetland Mitigation Ratios n States also develop mitigation ratios n Different ratios for different wetland enhancements (e.g., creation vs preservation), types of wetlands impacted n Virginia DEQ example: l 2:1 forested wetlands l 1.5:1 for scrub-shrub wetlands l 1:1 for emergent wetlands http://www.deq.state.va.us/wetlands/mitigate.html
Economic Analyses of Wetland Values n Economic literature provides attempts to value wetland ecosystem services n Benefit of using the metric of currency – widely understood and consistent across areas n Challenge remains in transfer of monetary values from one wetland to another (benefit transfer) l Since values based on human perception and behavior, can vary from region to region
Where do we stand? n Range of methods that assess wetland ecosystem functions/intermediate services n Different units produced from each assessment method n No prescribed translation of those functions and services described to final ecosystem services/benefits to humans
Common Characteristics of Assessment Methods n Need to define area for assessment l At baseline and under future conditions l Role of GIS in ecosystem services evaluation n Habitat types play key role n Selection of indicator metrics for analysis n Assessment of changes over time from impacts other than policy l What does the baseline trajectory look like?
Research Needs and Questions n How to take information from assessments using different scales and translate to a common method? l Boyd and Banzhaf (Ecol Econ 2007) argued for standardized methods of ecosystem service measurement n How can information from an “aligned” method translate into policy-relevant tradeoff information? l Making the leap between the functional analysis and the benefits n Need to consider intergenerational aspect of ecosystem service valuation l What is appropriate discount rate, if any?
Research Needs and Questions n Metrics for policy decisions need to be in readily understandable terms n Many wetland evaluation procedures rely on subjective evaluations l Additional data monitoring at wetland sites n Increased understanding of links between level of function and societal values l How does assessment of function inform the value tradeoff determinations? l Ecological production functions? l How to link ecological and human components? n Mapping of relationship between ecosystem functions and human well-being l Work by EPA ESRP, USDA ERS and Natural Capital Project
Consistency vs Specificity n Consistent and similar framework aids in accounting of credits/potential expansion of markets n Consistent framework may create broad metrics that do not capture specific regional characteristics n Will likely always be some tradeoff between consistency and specificity l How does this limit potential size of an ecosystem services market? n Carbon markets have developed frameworks and guidance with formalized accounting procedures
Summary n Multiple techniques available to assess wetland functions and, in some cases, values n Ongoing need to link assessment of function and collected ecological metrics to policy-relevant values n Need for further collaboration across Federal and non-Federal entities that calculate restoration uplift n How to develop consistent tool that works across regions? n Contact info: Anthony.Dvarskas@noaa.govAnthony.Dvarskas@noaa.gov