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

Åsa Jansson
Steven Polasky, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota


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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 social-ecological 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.

Key words

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

Copyright © 2010 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087