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Quantifying Biodiversity for Building Resilience for Food Security in Urban Landscapes: Getting Down to Business

Åsa Jansson and Stephen Polasky. Ecology and Society 15(3): 20.


A steady stream of ecosystem services is essential for human welfare and survival, and it has been convincingly shown that these flows are being eroded. Compelling theoretical knowledge about essential connections between ecosystem service generation, biodiversity, and resilience in socialecological systems already exists; however, we still, to a great extent, lack spatially explicit quantitative assessments for translating this theoretical knowledge into practice. We propose an approach for measuring the change in flow and resilience of a regulating ecosystem service on a landscape scale over time when the landscape is exposed to both land use change due to urban expansion, and change in a large-scale economic driver. Our results quantitatively show that there can be a substantial decrease in resilience due to negative effects on response diversity without detecting any major decrease in ecosystem service generation over time, thus generating a sense of false security and sustainability.

Keywords: ecosystem services, food security, functional diversity, pollination, resilience, response diversity; urban ecology

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