Special Issue "Urban Ecosystem Disservices across Heterogeneous Urban Landscapes"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Charlie Shackleton
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, South Africa
Interests: non-timber forest products; NTFP ecology; NTFP management; multipurpose landuse; poverty alleviation; rural livelihoods; urban foraging
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase
grade E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Lab of Landscape Ecology, Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin, Rudower Chaussee 16, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Interests: land-use change modelling; ecosystem services; socio-environmental justice; urban land teleconnections; urban ecology; GIS and remote sensing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Lara Roman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC 20227, USA
Interests: urban forestry; urban ecology; tree demography; participatory research; citizen science
Dr. Peer von Döhren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Interests: cultural ecosystem services; service value; natural capital; street trees; urban forests; urban green space

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The management of ecosystem services and their importance to human wellbeing are increasingly being integrated into national and urban development policies and plans. By contrast, there is markedly less research into and recognition of ecosystem disservices — the “ecosystem generated functions, process and attributes that result in perceived or actual negative impacts on human wellbeing” (Shackleton et al. 2016). Disservices may directly or indirectly compromise or reduce human wellbeing, including individual and public health. Disservices need to be addressed for a truly integrated understanding of nature’s contributions to human wellbeing, leading to informed management and sustained benefit flows in time and space.

Building on the influential works on ecosystem disservices generally (Dunn 2010, Shackleton et al. 2016, Blanco et al. 2019), and urban ecosystem services in particular (Lyytimäki et al. 2008, Lyytimäki & Sipilä 2009, Dobbs et al. 2014, Roman et al. 2021), including the review (1993–2013) of urban ecosystem disservices by von Döhren & Haase (2015), this Special Issue seeks to bring together perspectives and empirical studies across heterogeneous urban landscapes around the globe. Specifically, we seek contributions on urban ecosystem disservices that provide a (i) more current understanding from a broad array of geographies, and (ii) integration of concepts and framings (e.g., between disservices and services). Theoretical, conceptual opinion, review and empirical contributions are encouraged from established and early-career researchers from across and between the health, social, economic, natural, and inter- and transdisciplinary sciences. Whilst framing of ecosystem disservices is required of the papers to be published in this Special Issue, we welcome contributions from fields that have historically examined the harms that environmental processes and phenomena have been dealt in certain regions or communities, but that have not traditionally been termed ecosystem disservices (for example, vulnerability, disaster risk reduction, and health sciences). We also welcome submissions focusing on a variety of taxa and greenspaces, including flora and fauna and both public and private lands.

Examples of possible subject areas include but are not limited to those answering the following questions:

  • How does the relative balance of ecosystem services and disservices change along urban–rural gradients or across neighborhoods and towns with differing socioeconomic and cultural characteristics?
  • What are the most common/discussed urban ecosystem disservices within and between different urban settings, and how do common disservices manifest in public and private decision-making about urban greenspaces?
  • How do the local socioeconomic and bioclimatic contexts, and changes in these conditions, shape the nature and intensity of urban ecosystem disservices?
  • What are the community health costs and implications of common urban ecosystem disservices?
  • Who is most vulnerable to urban ecosystem disservices and how does that shape their perceptions and land management decisions?
  • Do debates on urban greening show sufficient cognizance of urban ecosystem disservices?
  • How do management actions in response to ecosystem disservices vary across stakeholder groups?
  • How do urban ecosystem disservices vary as trees and neighborhoods mature?
  • How does experience or fear of selected urban ecosystem disservices shape who interacts with urban nature and for what purposes?

Although this is an open call, interested contributors are encouraged to first share an abstract with the Special Issue Guest Editors, especially if the planned paper is a review, to limit the probability of duplicate or overlapping contributions.

The closing date for first submissions is 15 October 2021. Papers accepted after independent peer review will be published online in the journal as soon as they are approved by the Special Issue Guest Editors.

Foundational References

Blanco, J., Dendoncker, N., Barnaud, C., Sirami, C. 2019. Ecosystem disservices matter: towards their systematic integration within ecosystem service research and policy. Ecosystem Services, 36: 100913.

Dobbs, C. Kendal, D. & Nitschke, C.R. 2014. Multiple ecosystem services and disservices of the urban forest establishing their connections with landscape structure and sociodemographics. Ecological Indicators, 43: 44-55.

Dunn, R.R. 2010. Global mapping of ecosystem disservices: the unspoken reality that nature sometimes kills us. Biotropica, 42: 555-557.

Lyytimäki J, Petersen LK, Normander B, Bezák P. 2008. Nature as a nuisance? Ecosystem services and disservices to urban lifestyle. Environmental Sciences 5:161–172.

Lyytimäki J., Sipilä M. 2009. Hopping on one leg: the challenge of ecosystem disservices for urban green management. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 8: 309-315.

Roman, L.A., Conway, T.M., Eisenman, T.S., Koeser, A.K., Ordóñez Barona, C., Locke, D.H., Jenerette, G.D., Östberg, J. & Vogt, J. 2021. Beyond “trees are good’: disservices, management costs, and tradeoffs in urban forestry. Ambio 50: 615-630.

Shackleton, C.M., Ruwanza, S., Sanni, G.S., Bennett, S., De Lacy, P., Modipa, R., Mtati, N., Sachikonye, M. & Thondhlana, G. 2016 Unpacking Pandora’s box: understanding and categorising ecosystem disservices for environmental management and human wellbeing. Ecosystems, 19: 587-600.

Von Döhren, P. & Haase, D. 2015 Ecosystem disservices research: a review of the state of the art with a focus on cities. Ecological Indicators, 52: 490-497.

Prof. Dr. Charlie Shackleton
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase
Dr. Lara Roman
Dr. Peer von Döhren
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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