This paper was originally published in Ecosystem Services


Highlights:

  • Blue forests provide ecosystem services that contribute to community well-being.
  • A literature review of recent blue forest valuation studies was conducted.
  • Research on blue forest ecosystem service valuation could be drastically improved.
  • Research should focus on broadening the services that are valued and methods used.
  • Many regions of the world have been overlooked in the valuation literature.

“Coastal ecosystems provide a number of life-sustaining services, from which benefits to humans can be derived. They are often inhabited by aquatic vegetation, such as mangroves, sea grasses and salt marshes. Given their wide geographic distribution and coverage, there is need to prioritize conservation efforts. An understanding of the human importance of these ecosystems can help with that prioritization.

Here, we summarize a literature review of ecosystem service valuation studies. We discuss (1) the degree to which current valuation information is sufficient to prioritize blue carbon habitat conservation and restoration, (2) the relevancy of available studies, and (3) what is missing from the literature that would be needed to effectively prioritize conservation. Given the recent focus on blue carbon ecosystems in the international conservation, there are a number of areas where research on blue forest ecosystem assessment and valuation could be improved, from enhancing available methodologies to increasing valuation of rarely studied ecosystem services and wider geographic coverage of valuation studies. This review highlights these gaps and calls for a focus on broadening the ecosystem services that are valued, the methods used, and increasing valuation in underrepresented regions…”

Read on and access the full paper at: Ecosystem Services.