Exploring the links between functional traits and cultural ecosystem services to enhance urban ecosystem management

Author(s): Goodness, J., E. Andersson, P. Anderson, T. Elmqvist
In: Ecological Indicators 70: 597 – 605
Year: 2016
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Urban
Full reference: Goodness, J., E. Andersson, P. Anderson, T. Elmqvist. 2016. Exploring the links between functional traits and cultural ecosystem services to enhance urban ecosystem management. Ecological Indicators 70: 597 – 605.

Summary

Functional traits have been proposed as a more mechanistic way than species data alone to connect biodiversity to ecosystem processes and function in ecological research. Recently, this framework has also been broadened to include connections of traits to ecosystem services. While many links between traits and ecosystem processes/functions are easily and logically extended to regulating, supporting, and provisioning services, connections to cultural services have not yet been dealt with in depth. We argue that addressing this gap may involve a renegotiation of what have traditionally been considered traits, and a targeted effort to include and expand upon efforts to address traits-cultural ecosystem services links in traits research. Traits may also offer a better way to explore the recognition and appreciation of biodiversity. Drawing upon examples from outside the explicit traits literature, we present a number of potential connections between functional traits and cultural ecosystem services for attention in future research. Finally, we explore considerations and implications of employing a traits approach in urban areas, and examine how connections between traits and ecosystem services could be developed as indicators in a research and management context to generate a robust and resilient supply of ecosystem services.

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