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Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1037; doi:10.3390/su9071037

Social-Ecological Dynamics of Ecosystem Services: Livelihoods and the Functional Relation between Ecosystem Service Supply and Demand—Evidence from Socotra Archipelago, Yemen and the Sahel Region, West Africa

1
ISOE—Institute for Social-Ecological Research, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre BiK-F, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects)
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Abstract

In aiming to halt global biodiversity loss, it is essential to address underlying societal processes. The concept of ecosystem services claims to bridge between biodiversity and society. At the same time there is a considerable research gap regarding how ecosystem services are provided, and how societal activities and dynamics influence the provision of ecosystem services. Interactions and dependencies between ecosystem services supply and demand come to the fore but context-specific dynamics have largely been neglected. This article is a critical reflection on the current research of ecosystem services supply and demand. We argue that there is a functional relation between the supply and demand for ecosystem services, with the two influencing each other. Scientific interest should focus on both the temporal and spatial dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand. Presenting two studies from Socotra Archipelago, Yemen and the Sahel regions in Senegal and Mali, West Africa, we illustrate that the society behind the demand for ecosystem services is highly interrelated with ecosystem services supply. We thus advocate the adoption of a social-ecological perspective for current research on ecosystem services supply and demand in order to address these context-specific temporal and spatial dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamics of use; ecosystem services; social-ecological system; spatial and temporal dynamics; supply and demand dynamics of use; ecosystem services; social-ecological system; spatial and temporal dynamics; supply and demand
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mehring, M.; Zajonz, U.; Hummel, D. Social-Ecological Dynamics of Ecosystem Services: Livelihoods and the Functional Relation between Ecosystem Service Supply and Demand—Evidence from Socotra Archipelago, Yemen and the Sahel Region, West Africa. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1037.

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