Magnus defended in 2012 his Doctoral Thesis in Natural Resources Management at Stockholm University with the title “Ecosystem services - a tool in sustainable landscape management”.
His work approaches the question of how human—ecology interaction can be articulated in a way that is useful as a vector for societal transformation. The focus is on the ecosystem service framework and how this can help to address mismatches between social and ecological systems.
The thesis contains five papers that both treats ecosystem services conceptually and make use of it as a research tool in real landscapes.
Paper I presents a typology of how tradeoffs between regulating and provisioning ecosystem services can be understood.
Paper II uses the ecosystem service framework together with resilience thinking to identify stakeholders and analyse how they are affected by a change in ecosystem service delivery.
Paper III investigates how a bridging organisation can counteract a social-ecological mismatch, and suggest how the strength of “bridging” can be measured.
In paper IV a single ecosystem service is followed to understand on what scale management decision should be taken.
Paper V expands upon how resilience thinking can complement an ecosystem service approach and presents a method, response strategy assessment, for estimating resilience in a social-ecological system.
Ecosystem services are used to describe how nature or ecosystems are useful for humans. At a more basic level ecosystem services can be understood as a heuristic device for making human-ecology interaction more visible in decision making.
As such the ecosystem services has the potential to contribute to three major challenges: 1) increasing overall understanding and awareness of human dependence on ecosystems, 2) the quantification and valuation (in some form) of services from nature and inclusion of these values in decision making and 3) to inspire novel solutions for sustainable management and governance of ecosystems by challenging existing institutions.