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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme


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The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
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Ecosystem Service Assessment of TIDE Estuaries

3a. From “ES longlist” to key ecosystem services

Initially, a “longlist” of services was identified based on literature and estuarine expert involvement (table 12 ). The “TIDE longlist”, comprises 46 services, of which 15 provisioning, 25 regulating and 5 cultural services. The category “supporting service” (benefit: insurance of all services; see 2.1) was defined as total amount of abiotic and biotic diversity at all levels (gene-landscape), regardless of rarity or vulnerability. All services were briefly defined and main benefits mentioned (see table 1) Evidently, not all of these services have the same societal relevance. Some services are supplied in larger quantities than others. Also, differences between historical times, present and future supply will occur, and supply variations among and within estuaries prevail. When drafting this list, the explicit goal was to obtain a list containing al services mentioned in literature or by experts. Consequently, this list contains some redundancies, as well as mixtures between intermediate and final services.

CATEGORY NR SERVICES BENEFITS Short description
PROVISIONING SERVICES 1.1 Food: Plants Food presence and use of edible plants, including agricultural production for direct food consumption
1.2 Food: Animals Food presence and use of edible animals, including livestock growth and fodder production
1.3 Water for household use drinking water provision and use of water for household use meeting the quality standards for drinking water
1.4 Water for industrial use improved industrial production provision and use of water for e.g. cooling water, rinsing water, water for chemical reactions
1.5 Water for agricultural use improved agricultural production provision and use of water for e.g. irrigation water, freezing prevention for fruit trees, drinking water for cattle,..
1.6 Water for energy use renewable energy production provision and use of water for tidal or dam water turbines
1.7 Water for navigation Shipping presence and use of water for shipping purposes
1.8 Raw materials: Renewable soil materials: sand building material provision and use of sand from dynamic environments which are renewed within a few generations (100 y)
1.9 Raw materials: Renewable soil materials: clay building material provision and use of clay from dynamic environments which are renewed within a few generations (100 y)
1.10 Raw materials: Platform building platform for housing, roads, infrastructure,… presence and use of stable and safe environments for building of infrastructure: housing, roads,..
1.11 Raw materials: Plants building material, fibre, fuel presence and use of forests, energy and fibre crops
1.12 Raw materials: Animals building material, fibre, fuel presence and use of animals for fur, leather, gelatine,…
1.13 Genetic resources various improved provisioning services presence and use of typical varieties and cultivars of species, adapted to a specific environment
1.14 Medicinal resources human health presence  and use of plants/organisms used in herbal medicine, medicinal tea,...
1.15 Ornamental resources Wellbeing presence and use of organisms for decorative purposes
REGULATING SERVICES 2.1 Air quality regulation: Removing harmful particles human health adsorption of fine dust and pollutants on leaf surfaces of forests,…
2.2 Air quality regulation: Air-water exchange human health influence of evaporation and evapotranspiration, condensation on air quality
2.3 Air quality regulation: Biogeochemical reactions due to activity of organisms human health respiration and photosynthesis, exudation of chemicals by degradation reactions,…
2.4 Climate regulation: Carbon sequestration and burial human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services buffering carbon stock in living vegetation, burial of organic matter in soils
2.5 Climate regulation: Water thermodynamic regulation human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services cooling effect of vegetation, uptake of solar energy for photosynthesis and evapotranspiration,
2.6 Climate regulation: Heat exchange regulation human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services effect of direct reflection, storage, transport, radiation of solar heat by various soil and water bodies
2.7 Regulation  extreme events or disturbance: Flood water storage human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services storage of storm or extreme spring tides in natural or flood control habitats
2.8 Regulation  extreme events or disturbance: Peak discharge buffering human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services storage of peak discharge floods in natural or flood control habitats
2.9 Regulation  extreme events or disturbance: Water current reduction human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services reduction of water current by physical features or vegetation
2.10 Regulation  extreme events or disturbance: Wave reduction human health, avoided costs caused by extreme events or disturbance, ensured provisioning services reduction of wave height by physical features or vegetation
2.11 Regulation  extreme events or disturbance: Sound buffering human health reduction of noise disturbance by presence of natural buffers
2.12 Water quantity regulation: drainage of river water ensured platform, food, water other provisioning services drainage of the catchment by the river
2.13 Water quantity regulation: prevention of saline intrusion various ensured provisioning services countering of saline tidal wave by fresh water discharge
2.14 Water quantity regulation: dissipation of tidal and river energy various ensured provisioning services, avoided maintenance costs buffering of average flood and discharge variations in the river bed
2.15 Water quantity regulation: landscape maintenance various ensured services formation and maintenance of typical landscapes and hydrology
2.16 Water quantity regulation: transportation Shipping discharge and tidal input for shipping, including water use for canals and docks
2.17 Water quality regulation: transport of pollutants and excess nutrients improved water quality, various ensured services  transport of pollutants from source, dilution
2.18 Water quality regulation: reduction of excess  loads coming from the catchment improved water quality, various ensured services  binding of N, P in sediments and pelagic food web
2.19 Erosion and sedimentation regulation by water bodies avoided damage or maintenance costs, various ensured provisioning services sediment trapping and gully erosion by variable water currents and topography
2.20 Erosion and sedimentation regulation by biological mediation avoided damage or maintenance costs, various ensured provisioning services sediment trapping and erosion prevention by vegetation, effects of bioturbation
2.21 Biological regulation of soil processes and soil formation various ensured provisioning services soil microbial activities important for agriculture or water quality regulation processes, bioturbation
2.22 Prevention of establishment of harmful invasive species various ensured provisioning services presence of resilient natural populations able to withstand invasion
2.23 Reduced spread of diseases various ensured provisioning services, human health presence of resilient and equilibrated natural populations avoiding excessive population growth of disease-carrying vector species, importance for human health or agriculture
2.24 Pollination various ensured provisioning services presence of pollinators and importance for agricultural production
2.25 Pest control various ensured provisioning services presence of predators for problematic pest species impacting agricultural production
HABITAT SERVICES 3.1 "Biodiversity" insurance of all services total amount of abiotic and biotic diversity at all levels (gene-landscape), regardless of rarity or vulnerability
CULTURAL & AMENITY SERVICES 4.1 Aesthetic information Wellbeing appreciation of beauty of organisms, landscapes,…
4.2 Opportunities for recreation & tourism Wellbeing opportunities and exploitation for recreation & tourism
4.3 Inspiration for culture, art and design Wellbeing appreciation of organisms, landscapes,… as inspiration for culture, art and design
4.4 Spiritual experience Wellbeing appreciation of organisms, landscapes,… on a spiritual level
4.5 Information for cognitive development Wellbeing use of organisms, landscapes for (self-) educational purposes

Table 1: Longlist of estuarine ecosystem services for the four TIDE estuaries. Category (TEEB 2010), benefits and short definition is added.


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