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Trends and Evolution in the Concept of Marine Ecosystem Services: An Overview

1
UNESCO Chair on “Environment, Resources and Sustainable Development”, Department of Science and Technology, Parthenope University of Naples, 80133 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Geobotany and Landscape Planning, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Genuario Belmonte
Water 2021, 13(15), 2060; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152060
Received: 18 June 2021 / Revised: 23 July 2021 / Accepted: 27 July 2021 / Published: 29 July 2021
The biotic and abiotic assets of the marine environment form the “marine natural capital” embedded in the global ocean. Marine natural capital provides the flow of “marine ecosystem services” that are directly used or enjoyed by people providing benefits to human well-being. They include provisioning services (e.g., food), regulation and maintenance services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage, and coastal protection), and cultural services (e.g., tourism and recreational benefits). In recent decades, human activities have increased the pressures on marine ecosystems, often leading to ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss and, in turn, affecting their ability to provide benefits to humans. Therefore, effective management strategies are crucial to the conservation of healthy and diverse marine ecosystems and to ensuring their long-term generation of goods and services. Biophysical, economic, and sociocultural assessments of marine ecosystem services are much needed to convey the importance of natural resources to managers and policy makers supporting the development and implementation of policies oriented for the sustainable management of marine resources. In addition, the accounting of marine ecosystem service values can be usefully complemented by their mapping to enable the identification of priority areas and management strategies and to facilitate science–policy dialogue. Given this premise, this study aims to review trends and evolution in the concept of marine ecosystem services. In particular, the global scientific literature on marine ecosystem services is explored by focusing on the following main aspects: the definition and classification of marine ecosystem services; their loss due to anthropogenic pressures, alternative assessment, and mapping approaches; and the inclusion of marine ecosystem services into policy and decision-making processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine ecosystems; ecosystem services; benefits to humans; biophysical assessment; economic valuation marine ecosystems; ecosystem services; benefits to humans; biophysical assessment; economic valuation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Buonocore, E.; Grande, U.; Franzese, P.P.; Russo, G.F. Trends and Evolution in the Concept of Marine Ecosystem Services: An Overview. Water 2021, 13, 2060. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152060

AMA Style

Buonocore E, Grande U, Franzese PP, Russo GF. Trends and Evolution in the Concept of Marine Ecosystem Services: An Overview. Water. 2021; 13(15):2060. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152060

Chicago/Turabian Style

Buonocore, Elvira, Umberto Grande, Pier P. Franzese, and Giovanni F. Russo 2021. "Trends and Evolution in the Concept of Marine Ecosystem Services: An Overview" Water 13, no. 15: 2060. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152060

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