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Open AccessArticle

Ecosystem Service Multifunctionality: Decline and Recovery Pathways in the Amazon and Chocó Lowland Rainforests

1
Thünen Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics, 21031 Hamburg, Germany
2
Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Sciences, Institute of Silviculture, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, 85354 Freising, Germany
3
Graduate School Forest and Agricultural Sciences, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
4
Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam, Vía Tena-Muyuna Km 7, Tena 150150, Ecuador
5
Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, Universidad Estatal Amazónica, UEA, Pastaza 160101, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187786
Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 2 September 2020 / Accepted: 10 September 2020 / Published: 21 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation)
The balance between the supply of multiple ecosystem services (ES) and the fulfillment of society demands is a challenge, especially in the tropics where different land use transition phases emerge. These phases are characterized by either a decline (from intact old-growth to logged forests) or a recovery of ES (successional forests, plantations, and agroforestry systems). This highlights the importance of ecosystem service multifunctionality (M) assessments across these land use transition phases as a basis for forest management and conservation. We analyzed synergies and trade-offs of ES to identify potential umbrella ES. We also evaluated the impact of logging activities in the decline of ES and M, and the influence of three recovery phases in the supply of ES and M. We installed 156 inventory plots (1600 m2) in the Ecuadorian Central Amazon and the Chocó. We estimated indicators for provisioning, regulating, supporting services and biodiversity. M indicator was estimated using the multifunctional average approach. Our results show that above-ground carbon stocks can be considered as an umbrella service as it presented high synergetic relations with M and various ES. We observed that logging activities caused a decline of 16–18% on M, with high impacts for timber volume and above-ground carbon stocks, calling for more sustainable practices with stricter post-harvesting control to avoid a higher depletion of ES and M. From the recovery phases it is evident that, successional forests offer the highest level of M, evidencing high potential to recover multiple ES after human disturbance. View Full-Text
Keywords: synergies; trade-offs; carbon stocks; timber; non-timber forest products; diversity; umbrella ecosystem services; logging; restoration; Amazon; Chocó synergies; trade-offs; carbon stocks; timber; non-timber forest products; diversity; umbrella ecosystem services; logging; restoration; Amazon; Chocó
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eguiguren, P.; Ojeda Luna, T.; Torres, B.; Lippe, M.; Günter, S. Ecosystem Service Multifunctionality: Decline and Recovery Pathways in the Amazon and Chocó Lowland Rainforests. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7786.

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