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Special Issue "Ecosystem Services in a Bio- and Circular Economy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marianne Thomsen

Head of Research Unit—EcoIndustrial Systems Analysis, Department of Environmental Science, Platform leader at the Aarhus Centre for Circular Bioeconomy, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +45-2229-2627
Interests: urban industrial ecology systems; ecosystem service preserving resource flows; circular economy; environmental systems science
Guest Editor
Dr. Lorie Harmelin

Senior Researcher, Department of Engineering of Biological Systems & Processes (LISBP), Federal University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +33-(0)-641580627
Interests: bioeconomy; life cycle assessment; renewable energy; agro-ecology; biogas; low carbon economy; system integration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue endeavors to put together a comprehensive set of articles of key relevance for the sectoral working group (SWG) on “ecosystem services in a bio- and circular economy” of the Ecosystem Service Partnership. Can a bioeconomy and circular economy be partners in sustainability, as detailed in a recent report by the European Environment Agency [1]? What are the roles of ecosystem services in ensuring the development of sustainable bio- and circular economies and how to reflect these services in holistic assessments such as life cycle assessments (LCAs)? It is well acknowledged that a successful bioeconomy implies tapping into the potential of renewable (yet not unlimited in supply) biological resources; can this be achieved without negatively affecting ecosystem services? How to develop the future bio- and circular economies in such a way that these ecosystem services are not just preserved, but even enhanced? What are the interactions between ecosystem services and a successful and sustainable bioeconomy?

In order to answer these questions, we invite submissions of original research papers from multiple disciplines addressing how to create ecosystem services that preserve circular resource management systems as an inherent feature of future bio-based sustainable production and consumption systems. Review articles providing new insights into these fundamental questions are also welcomed. Sustainable development connects environmental, social and economic research and requires a multi-disciplinary approach in order to assess, explore and engage multiple actors with an important challenge of the first half of the 21st century: supplying food, water, energy and materials to a growing and changing population while avoiding irreversible global temperature increases, environmental degradation and loss of ecosystem services.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Biomimicry design
  • Addressing potential externalities (e.g. the risk cycle of micropollutants) in a circular bioeconomy
  • Transition towards low carbon economies and how it affects ecosystem services
  • The impacts and interactions of the bio- and/or circular economy on ecosystem services
  • Integrating ecosystem services in holistic assessments such as life cycle assessments
  • How to (and should we) develop local bio- and circular economy systems within a globalized economy?
  • Potential trade-offs in the urgent climate change mitigation for ecosystem service preservation
  • Nature-based solutions and/or engineered ecosystem services in bio- and circular economies

The Special Issue will be made available on the Ecosystem Service Partnership webpage to target the international community of scientists, policymakers, practitioners, stakeholders and end-users engaged in enhancing ecosystem services at the local, national, regional and global scale. The first SWP10 meeting will advertise this Special Issue and facilitate debate on theoretical and practical investigations on the subjects covered by this Special Issue. The papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of the rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.


[1]        European Environment Agency. The Circular Economy and the Bioeconomy—Partners in Sustainability; EEA Report No 8/2018, European Environment Agency (EEA): Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018.

Prof. Dr. Marianne Thomsen
Dr. Lorie Harmelin
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1700 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.


  • Ecosystem services preservation
  • Circular resource flows
  • Sustainable development
  • Fossil-free economies
  • Biomimicry
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Carbon capture and reuse
  • Bioeconomy

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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