LTER Ecosystem Services
“Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning, regulating, and cultural services that directly affect people and the supporting services needed to maintain other services.” See Definition of Ecosystem Services for details.
The workshop addressed the integration of ecosystem services provided by the respective LTER sites. This is a very important activity not only across sites but for individual sites as well. Ecosystem services are the ‘currency’ that is used to gauge how important an ecosystem is to humans. Funding for our science will increasingly depend on the importance or value of the ecosystem services provided by the ecosystems that we study. Rephrased, the funding agencies may not really care about the ecosystems per se; they may only care about the ecosystem services provided by the system and what we are proposing to do to that will help manage these services more effectively.
Thus, it behooves us not only to document these services but to study these as well. At the workshop it was mentioned that LTER sites may have to explicitly consider ecosystem services and their study for future submissions (3 years from now for us). Thus, I suggest that we establish now linkages to social scientists in the region with whom we can collaborate on this.
The following materials from the work shop and pertaining to the workshop are available: