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Trinity College Dublin

Managing for ecosystem services

Yvonne Buckley, Jane Stout, Fraser Mitchell, Matt Saunders, Nessa O’Connor & Andrew Jackson

The environment and organisms that make up agricultural systems, grasslands, forests, rivers and urban systems provide us with many products and services including: food, fuel, carbon sequestration, building materials, clean water, climate control, waste processing and pollination as well as health and recreational benefits.

"Multiple services can be provided by the same ecosystem and management of that ecosystem can shift the supply of services."

We use technical and conceptual advances to enable prediction of ecosystem service supply from different terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems under different management actions. We investigate valuation approaches to provide decision makers with the information they need for investment and process decisions as well as financial and non-financial reporting on natural capital stocks and the ecosystem services they provide.

We provide the knowledge base and tools to develop new markets for ecosystem services. We provide scientific advice to industry, civil society and government for the development of new approaches for quantifying and reporting on natural capital stocks and ecosystem service provision.

Key discoveries to date:

  • Developed cost effective Nature-Based solutions for biological indicators of freshwater quality
  • Designed the use of an ecosystem services “provider group” approach for assessing management effects on ecosystem service supply
  • Discovered effects of climate on plant population performance worldwide