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Valuing Ecosystem Services and Disservices across Heterogeneous Green Spaces

Environmental Science and Studies, DePaul University, 1110 W. Belden Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Mansfield, CT 06269, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Karsten Grunewald and Olaf Bastian
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 853;
Received: 12 July 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
PDF [2049 KB, uploaded 29 August 2016]


This study investigates small-scale variability in ecosystem services and disservices that is important for sustainable planning in urban areas (including suburbs surrounding the urban core). We quantified and valued natural capital (tree and soil carbon stocks) ecosystem services (annual tree carbon sequestration and pollutant uptake, and stormwater runoff reduction) and disservices (greenhouse gas emissions and soil soluble reactive phosphorus) within a 30-hectare heterogeneous green space that included approximately 13% wetland, 13% prairie, 16% forest, and 55% subdivision. We found similar soil organic carbon across green space types, but spatial heterogeneity in other ecosystem services and disservices. The value of forest tree carbon stock was estimated at approximately $10,000 per hectare. Tree carbon sequestration, and pollutant uptake added benefits of $1000+ per hectare per year. Annual per hectare benefits from tree carbon stock and ecosystem services in the subdivision were each 63% of forest values. Total annual greenhouse gas emissions had significant spatial and temporal variation. Soil soluble reactive phosphorus was significantly higher in the wetland than in forest and prairie. Our results have implications for urban planning. Adding or improving ecosystem service provision on small (private or public) urban or suburban lots may benefit from careful consideration of small-scale variability. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban ecosystem valuation; green space; soil organic carbon; soil soluble reactive phosphorus; greenhouse gas emissions urban ecosystem valuation; green space; soil organic carbon; soil soluble reactive phosphorus; greenhouse gas emissions

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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Klimas, C.; Williams, A.; Hoff, M.; Lawrence, B.; Thompson, J.; Montgomery, J. Valuing Ecosystem Services and Disservices across Heterogeneous Green Spaces. Sustainability 2016, 8, 853.

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