Browsing by Subject "SUSTAINABILITY"

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  • D'Amato, D.; Wan, M.; Li, Ning; Rekola, M.; Toppinen, A. (2018)
    A line of research is emerging investigating the private sector impacts and dependencies on critical biodiversity and ecosystem services, and related business risks and opportunities. While the ecosystem services narrative is being forwarded globally as a key paradigm for promoting business sustainability, there is scarce knowledge of how these issues are considered at managerial level. This study thus investigates managerial views of corporate sustainability after the ecosystem services concept. We analyse interviews conducted with 20 managers from domestic and international forestry companies operating with a plantation-based business model in China. Content analysis was employed to analyse the data, with a focus on four key areas: (1) interviewee familiarity with the ecosystem services concept; (2) their views of corporate dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services; (3) related business risks and opportunities; and (4) viability of existing instruments and practices that can be employed in detecting and addressing business impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services. Through an inductive approach to the empirical findings, we refined a framework that holds operational value for developing company response strategies to ecosystem services impact/dependence assessment, ensuring that all issues are addressed comprehensively, and that related risks and opportunities are properly acknowledged.
  • Koppelmäki, Kari; Helenius, Juha; Schulte, Rogier (2021)
    Although a circular economy promotes economic and environmental benefits, knowledge gaps remain surrounding the application of these concepts to food systems. A better understanding of the connection between different flows of biomass and energy at different spatial scales is needed to facilitate effective transitions towards circular bioeconomies. This study provides a framework for assessing the circularity of food systems, which we exemplify by identifying key steps towards circularity for three contrasting farming regions in Finland. For each of the regions, we quantified the flows of biomass, nutrients and energy. We found large differences in circularity, depending on the chosen indicator. Most biomass and nutrient flows were related to livestock production, which implies that it plays a key role in circular food systems. Current livestock production was found to be connected to national and global food systems through the international feed trade. This trade generates imbalanced nutrient flows between regions and countries, resulting in excess accumulations of nutrients in regions with net imports. In terms of circularity in energy systems, we found that substantial amounts of energy could be produced from manure and plant-based biomasses without causing food-fuel competition in land use. We also observed that, the inclusion of human excreta would further improve recycling but this was significant only in the region with a high population density. Thus, in this study, we propose a concept of nested circularity in which nutrient, biomass and energy cycles are connected and closed across multiple spatial scales.
  • Ranacher, Lea; Lähtinen, Katja; Järvinen, Erno; Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina (2017)
    This paper investigates public perceptions related to forest ecosystem services (ES), which have been identified as one of the key topics in forest sector communication. ES represents a prime example of an issue that merits more in-depth analysis. In this study, we (I) evaluate the views of the general public on the importance of forests contributing to different ES; (II) determine the public's need for information on the impact of forest sector businesses on ecosystems; and (Ill) assess how responsibly the public believes that forest sector companies act in relation to their impacts on ecosystems. A structured questionnaire using a 5-point Likert-scale was made available as an online survey targeting respondents from four European countries (Austria, Germany, Finland and Slovenia) in each national language and English. Between May and September 2015, 219 responses were received and analyzed using descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, t-test, and ANOVA. Respondents showed high levels of agreement for items accounting for regulating and supporting ES. Information needs on forest sector business impacts were found to be high, whereas there was much greater division about the level of perceived forest sector responsibility. Regarding the public perception of forest ES, three dimensions were identified: "primary ES", "consumable ES", and "social cohesion related ES". Some relationships between the respondents' socio-demographic characteristics and the three dimensions of ES were uncovered: for example, "Consumable ES" are more important for female respondents and those who do not derive income from the forest sector. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Stern, T.; Ranacher, L.; Mair, C.; Berghäll, S.; Lähtinen, K.; Forsblom, M.; Toppinen, A. (2018)
    New innovations are called for to renew the European forest sector into bioeconomy. However, little research exists on how the industry innovativeness is publicly perceived. Using data collected with an online questionnaire in four European countries, we investigate perceptions related to forest sector innovations on 13 current and new bioeconomy-related products and services. Altogether, 218 valid responses were received in 2015, and the data were analysed using descriptive statistics, performance-importance analysis, and Gartner's innovation hype cycle. Based on our results, the respondents were in the strongest agreement that the forest sector has since the year 2000 has produced innovations related to wood building systems, construction materials, and wood composites. In the next 15 years, they foresaw a decline in innovations related to biofuels and paper products. The European forest sector also has future potential in wood construction, which is likely related to international policy targets related to carbon mitigation and capture. The observed variation in perceptions among the respondents on forest sector innovativeness calls for strengthening industry R&D, as well as by improving societal awareness of ongoing innovation projects by developing better communication.
  • Juhola, Sirkku Kaarina (2018)
    In recent years, new planning tools have emerged to aid planners to achieve multiple goals to sustainability. The Green Factor tool has been adopted by some cities to increase the share and effectiveness of green areas. This short communication asks how useful the Green Factor tool is and how it fits with the existing planning procedures regarding green areas through a qualitative case study in the city of Helsinki. The results show that while the tool functions well, improvements could be made in relation to monitoring, for example. Also, an ambitious target set in the tool could encourage or force developers to aim higher with the planning of green areas and construction, but existing regulations challenge its use.
  • Gagnon, Joseph Calvin; Barber, Brian R.; Soyturk, Ilker (2020)
    The current study provides foundational research on the extent to which Florida Title 1 middle schools (schools including grades 7 and/or 8) have policies and practices that align with core components of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). Principals from 197 (42.73%) of all FL Title 1 schools that included at least grades seven and/or eight responded to a survey that focused on the existence and characteristics of: (1) a continuum of evidence-based interventions; (2) leadership team implementation and coordination; (3) content expertise and fluency; (4) process integrity; (5) continuous progress monitoring; and (6) crisis intervention. Results based on an analytic sample of 36.69% of schools indicate that, while schools predominantly identify using a PBIS framework to guide behavioral policies and practices, important features are lacking that would indicate a comprehensive, coordinated implementation approach. The use of multi-tiered programs and supports, planning for continuous improvement and training, and assessment of fidelity and ecological validity of selected practices in high-poverty schools are issues requiring a greater understanding and implementation support. Additional results, as well as recommendations for research and practice are provided.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Bartkowski, Bartosz; Droste, Nils (2020)
    The bioeconomy is currently being globally promoted as a sustainability avenue involving several societal actors. While the bioeconomy is broadly about the substitution of fossil resources with bio-based ones, three main (competing or complementary) bioeconomy visions are emerging in scientific literature: resource, biotechnology, and agroecology. The implementation of one or more of these visions into strategies implies changes to land use and thus ecosystem services delivery, with notable trade-offs. This review aims to explore the interdisciplinary space at the interface of these two concepts. We reviewed scientific publications explicitly referring to bioeconomy and ecosystem services in their title, abstract, or keywords, with 45 documents identified as relevant. The literature appeared to be emerging and fragmented but eight themes were discernible (in order of decreasing occurrence frequency in the literature): a. technical and economic feasibility of biomass extraction and use; b. potential and challenges of the bioeconomy; c. frameworks and tools; d. sustainability of bio-based processes, products, and services; e. environmental sustainability of the bioeconomy; f. governance of the bioeconomy; g. biosecurity; h. bioremediation. Approximately half of the documents aligned to a resource vision of the bioeconomy, with emphasis on biomass production. Agroecology and biotechnology visions were less frequently found, but multiple visions generally tended to occur in each document. The discussion highlights gaps in the current research on the topic and argues for communication between the ecosystem services and bioeconomy communities to forward both research areas in the context of sustainability science.
  • Ranacher, Lea; Wallin, Ida; Valsta, Lauri; Kleinschmit, Daniela (2020)
    How perceptions of the forest-based bioeconomy differ across country contexts and social groups is important as it opens possibilities for the development of more inclusive, locally and socially relevant bioeconomy policies and strategies. Therefore, this special section explores the social dimensions of the forest-based bioeconomy by focusing on discourses and perceptions of different actor groups in Europe. We introduce six articles that range from review and discursive approaches to consumer studies. The section adds to the existing literature by focusing not only on political decision makers, stakeholders, and experts but also on the public, media and students. Patterns in the presented discourses and perceptions can be identified but more is needed to validate these and respond to the question of representativeness.
  • Eriksson, Max; van Riper, Carena J.; Leitschuh, Ben; Bentley Brymer, Amanda; Rawluk, Andrea; Raymond, Christopher M.; Kenter, Jasper O. (2019)
    The role of social learning in deliberative processes is an emerging area of research in sustainability science. Functioning as a link between the individual and the collective, social learning has been envisioned as a process that can empower and give voice to a diverse set of stakeholder viewpoints, contribute to more adaptive and resilient management decisions and foster broader societal transformations. However, despite its widespread use in the context of participatory management of natural resources, the empirical properties of social learning remain understudied. This paper evaluates the role of social interaction and social capital in achieving transformative learning in discussions about social values. We employ a longitudinal design involving three consecutive surveys of 25 participants of an expert workshop focused on social values, as well as approximately 12 hours of transcribed audio and video recordings of participant interactions. Our mixed methods approach demonstrates the potential of using changes in social networks and definitions of social values that emerge from qualitative coding as indicators of social learning. We find that individuals with a weaker conceptual understanding of social values are more likely to change their definitions of the concept after deliberation. Though slight, these changes display a shift towards definitions more firmly held by other group members.
  • Piras, Simone; Wesz Jr., Valdemar João; Ghinoi, Stefano (2021)
    In the last decades, Brazil has become one of the largest soybean producers and exporters in the world. Although dedicated policies have been implemented since the 1960s, the recent rapid transition towards an agricultural system largely based on soy has had a strong impact on the country’s socio-economic structure—not only in terms of land and labour markets but also on its diverse ecosystems. According to the extant literature, soy has had a beneficial impact on local human development, measured by the human development index (HDI) of the municipalities. However, there is a lack of empirical studies assessing the impact of soy expansion on the single dimensions of the HDI (longevity, education, and income) to disentangle the indirect effects of socio-environmental change while controlling for other local dynamics. To fill this gap, we applied econometric methods to a novel dataset combining municipal-level data on soy production with socio-economic and environmental data for the period 1991–2010. Our findings confirm the positive relation between soy expansion and the HDI at local level, but this relation differs between different HDI dimensions. The marginal benefits of soy expansion are increasing for the income dimension but decreasing for education and longevity. On the other hand, changes in soy productivity (a proxy for agricultural intensification) have a more complex impact on the HDI and its dimensions, but in general its marginal benefits are decreasing over time. Further research could expand the time series once more up-to-date information becomes available.
  • Cortes Arevalo, Vivian Juliette; Verbrugge, Laura; Sools, Anneke; Brugnach, Marcela; Wolterink, Rik; van Denderen, Pepijn; Candel, Jasper; Hulscher, Suzanne (2020)
    A growing number of scientifc publications is available to promote sustainable river management. However, these publications target researchers rather than water management professionals who are responsible for the implementation of management practices. To bridge this science-to-practice gap, we conceptualize and propose a series of steps to prepare efective storylines targeted at a practitioner audience. We developed this approach within a research program that supports integrated and collaborative river management. We prepared three storylines, each based on one scientifc publication. The storylines combined text and interactive visuals using the ESRI StoryMaps tool to make them available online. Via focus groups with 44 participants from research and practice, we evaluated the perceived usefulness of and engagement with the content and design. We collected feedback from participants using a survey as well as via audio and screen recordings. Our fndings show that we should narrow down the audience of the storylines by tailoring them to the needs of project managers rather than specialized advisors. Therefore, the content should ofer more than a visual summary of the research by showing examples of the management application. A more engaging sequence with a clear protagonist is further required to better relate to the problem and the potential application. Although visuals and interactive elements were considered attractive, a multi-disciplinary editorial team is necessary to better complement the visuals’ design to the text. The level of detail of participants’ feedback shows that involving project managers to co-create storylines can be an important step for improvement.
  • Cortes Capano, Gonzalo; Toivonen, Tuuli; Soutullo, Alvaro; Di Minin, Enrico (2019)
    Private land conservation (PLC) is an important means for achieving global conservation targets. We reviewed peer-reviewed literature focussing on PLC to summarize past scientific evidence and to identify research trends and gaps to direct future research. We carried out an in-depth review of 284 scientific articles and analysed where, when and in what context PLC has been studied. Specifically, we (i) assessed where and when PLC studies took place and which topics they covered; (ii) identified the most addressed conservation actions and policy instruments, and (iii) investigated whether stakeholders' engagement during research processes was reported or not. We found that (i) there has been an increase in the number of scientific PLC publications over time; (ii) 78%of the articles in scientific journals focussed on four countries only (United States of America, Australia, South Africa and Canada); (iii) literature content focussed mostly on easements, programs and landowners and showed both geographical and temporal differences; (iv) land/water protection, law and policy and livelihood, economic and other incentives were the most addressed conservation actions; (v) property rights, particularly conservation easements, were the most addressed policy instrument; and (vi) half of the articles did not report the engagement of any stakeholder sector and cross-sector stakeholders' engagement was often missing. Overall, our results highlight the need for future studies on PLC to cover currently underrepresented regions; to assess the effec-tiveness of more conservation actions and policy instruments; and to test how engaging different stakeholders can potentially promote legitimate and equitable PLC policies across contexts.
  • Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina; Röhr, Raul Edvard Axel; Pätäri, Satu; Lähtinen, Katja Päivikki; Toivonen, Ritva Marketta (2018)
    The rise of wooden multistory construction (WMC) in the Nordic countries has turned out to be the most evident construction-related new business opportunity in the emerging bioeconomy. Based on earlier literature, the future growth prospects for the rise of WMC are rooted in the concerns regarding environmental issues, as witnessed in a plethora of studies focusing on carbon footprinting. But do new (performance-based) regulations ‘favor’ WMC or do they give a more ‘just’ comparison of alternative building concepts? Therefore, more information is needed on the role of growing environmental awareness and preferences for wood as a renewable and recyclable material in the markets. Our paper presents results from a two-round Delphi study focusing on the relative strength and perceived interplay between likelihood and the desirability of environmental concerns in driving WMC in Finland and Sweden. Using qualitative analysis of expert interviews in the first Delphi round, the issues related to sustainable development appear to have growing importance in the marketplace. However, the panelists perceive that the emphasis on sustainability is mainly driven by the changing regulation reflecting societal needs, and only few experts saw it as echoing directly from changing individual consumer needs. In the second Delphi round, implemented with an online survey, the likelihood and desirability of sustainability as a megatrend in housing was perceived to gain further impetus toward 2030, both in the form of consumer demand for sustainable living and wood construction as a modern way of living. However, future research is needed to get a better understanding on the strength and scope of these drivers.
  • Vainio, Annukka; Tienhaara, Annika; Haltia, Emmi; Hyvonen, Terho; Pyysiäinen, Jarkko; Pouta, Eija (2021)
    Farmers’ and citizens’ perceptions of the legitimacy of the current action-oriented and the proposed result- oriented agri-environmental schemes (AES) are poorly known. To help fill this gap, this study analysed such perceptions in the context of Finnish citizens and farmers. Hypotheses on legitimacy, ecosystem service per-ceptions and environmental values were developed and empirically tested with nationwide surveys of Finnish citizens (n =1,744) and farmers (n =1,215) using t-test and multiple linear regression. The results demonstrated that Finnish citizens perceive the proposed result-oriented AES as more legitimate, whereas Finnish farmers attribute greater legitimacy to the current action-oriented AES. Among both groups, a preference for action- oriented AES, and reluctance to change them, was associated with the perception that Finnish agriculture has been successful in producing ecosystem services. Among both groups, environmental preferences were associated with the legitimation of both AES. The conclusion is that in order for a change in AES to be legitimate, that change should be perceived as necessary, justified and based on the values considered important by farmers and citizens.
  • Camargo, Marisa; Nhantumbo, Isilda (International institute for environment and development, 2016)
  • Fazey, Ioan; Schapke, Niko; Caniglia, Guido; Hodgson, Anthony; Kendrick, Ian; Lyon, Christopher; Page, Glenn; Patterson, James; Riedy, Chris; Strasser, Tim; Verveen, Stephan; Adams, David; Goldstein, Bruce; Klaes, Matthias; Leicester, Graham; Linyard, Alison; McCurdy, Adrienne; Ryan, Paul; Sharpe, Bill; Silvestri, Giorgia; Abdurrahim, Ali Yansyah; Abson, David; Adetunji, Olufemi Samson; Aldunce, Paulina; Alvarez-Pereira, Carlos; Amparo, Jennifer Marie; Amundsen, Helene; Anderson, Lakin; Andersson, Lotta; Asquith, Michael; Augenstein, Karoline; Barrie, Jack; Bent, David; Bentz, Julia; Bergsten, Arvid; Berzonsky, Carol; Bina, Olivia; Blackstock, Kirsty; Boehnert, Joanna; Bradbury, Hilary; Brand, Christine; Bohme, Jessica; Bojer, Marianne Mille; Carmen, Esther; Charli-Joseph, Lakshmi; Choudhury, Sarah; Chunhachoti-ananta, Supot; Cockburn, Jessica; Colvin, John; Connon, Irena L. C.; Cornforth, Rosalind; Cox, Robin S.; Cradock-Henry, Nicholas; Cramer, Laura; Cremaschi, Almendra; Dannevig, Halvor; Day, Catherine T.; Hutchison, Cathel de Lima; de Vrieze, Anke; Desai, Vikas; Dolley, Jonathan; Duckett, Dominic; Durrant, Rachael Amy; Egermann, Markus; Elsner (Adams), Emily; Fremantle, Chris; Fullwood-Thomas, Jessica; Galafassi, Diego; Gobby, Jen; Golland, Ami; Gonzalez-Padron, Shiara Kirana; Gram-Hanssen, Irmelin; Grandin, Jakob; Grenni, Sara; Gunnell, Jade Lauren; Gusmao, Felipe; Hamann, Maike; Harding, Brian; Harper, Gavin; Hesselgren, Mia; Hestad, Dina; Heykoop, Cheryl Anne; Holmen, Johan; Holstead, Kirsty; Hoolohan, Claire; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Horlings, Lummina Geertruida; Howden, Stuart Mark; Howell, Rachel Angharad; Huque, Sarah Insia; Canedo, Mirna Liz Inturias; Iro, Chidinma Yvonne; Ives, Christopher D.; John, Beatrice; Joshi, Rajiv; Juarez-Bourke, Sadhbh; Juma, Dauglas Wafula; Karlsen, Bea Cecilie; Kliem, Lea; Klaey, Andreas; Kuenkel, Petra; Kunze, Iris; Lam, David Patrick Michael; Lang, Daniel J.; Larkin, Alice; Light, Ann; Luederitz, Christopher; Luthe, Tobias; Maguire, Cathy; Mahecha-Groot, Ana-Maria; Malcolm, Jackie; Marshall, Fiona; Maru, Yiheyis; McLachlan, Carly; Mmbando, Peter; Mohapatra, Subhakanta; Moore, Michele-Lee; Moriggi, Angela; Morley-Fletcher, Mark; Moser, Susanne; Mueller, Konstanze Marion; Mukute, Mutizwa; Muhlemeier, Susan; Naess, Lars Otto; Nieto-Romero, Marta; Novo, Paula; O'Brien, Karen; O'Connell, Deborah Anne; O'Donnell, Kathleen; Olsson, Per; Pearson, Kelli Rose; Pereira, Laura; Petridis, Panos; Peukert, Daniela; Phear, Nicky; Pisters, Siri Renee; Polsky, Matt; Pound, Diana; Preiser, Rika; Rahman, Md. Sajidur; Reed, Mark S.; Revell, Philip; Rodriguez, Iokine; Rogers, Briony Cathryn; Rohr, Jascha; Rosenberg, Milda Nordbo; Ross, Helen; Russell, Shona; Ryan, Melanie; Saha, Probal; Schleicher, Katharina; Schneider, Flurina; Scoville-Simonds, Morgan; Searle, Beverley; Sebhatu, Samuel Petros; Sesana, Elena; Silverman, Howard; Singh, Chandni; Sterling, Eleanor; Stewart, Sarah-Jane; Tabara, J. David; Taylor, Douglas; Thornton, Philip; Tribaldos, Theresa Margarete; Tschakert, Petra; Uribe-Calvo, Natalia; Waddell, Steve; Waddock, Sandra; van der Merwe, Liza; van Mierlo, Barbara; van Zwanenberg, Patrick; Velarde, Sandra Judith; Washbourne, Carla-Leanne; Waylen, Kerry; Weiser, Annika; Wight, Ian; Williams, Stephen; Woods, Mel; Wolstenholme, Ruth; Wright, Ness; Wunder, Stefanie; Wyllie, Alastair; Young, Hannah R. (2020)
    Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we used a novel futures-oriented and participatory approach that asked what future envisioned knowledge systems might need to look like and how we might get there. Findings suggest that envisioned future systems will need to be much more collaborative, open, diverse, egalitarian, and able to work with values and systemic issues. They will also need to go beyond producing knowledge about our world to generating wisdom about how to act within it. To get to envisioned systems we will need to rapidly scale methodological innovations, connect innovators, and creatively accelerate learning about working with intractable challenges. We will also need to create new funding schemes, a global knowledge commons, and challenge deeply held assumptions. To genuinely be a creative force in supporting longevity of human and non-human life on our planet, the shift in knowledge systems will probably need to be at the scale of the enlightenment and speed of the scientific and technological revolution accompanying the second World War. This will require bold and strategic action from governments, scientists, civic society and sustained transformational intent.
  • Kendal, Dave; Raymond, Christopher M. (2019)
    Despite rich theorisation on the structure and content of people’s values and great interest in the concept of value change, there is currently little coordinated understanding of how people’s values might shift over time. This paper draws upon different value traditions in a multi-level framework that articulates possible pathways of value change within individuals and groups and within a social–ecological context. Individual- and group-level values may change in response to events over an individual’s life course or changes in the social–ecological context that people are living in. Group-level values may also change as the composition of individuals within a social group change. These pathways are likely to act differently on values conceived as guiding principles (transcendental values) and values that people assign to people, places, or things around them (contextual values). We present a research agenda to develop a better understanding of these pathways: assessing the associations between value change and demographic change in a highly mobile world; developing a theoretical and empirical basis for understanding value shifts associated with social–ecological and land-use change; clearer identification of the groups of people that are subject to proposed mechanisms explaining value shifts; and bridging psychological framing of values to other more embodied understandings that may be better placed to explain value shift in the context of social–ecological change.
  • Nygren, Anja (2021)
    Water-related disasters have become more unpredictable amidst human-induced climatic and hydroecological changes, with profound effects on people inhabiting fragile river basins. In this article, I analyse drastic waterscape transformations and people's differentiated exposure to water-related vulnerabilities in the Grijalva River lower basin, southeastern Mexico, focusing on how state authority is reinforced through waterscape alterations and how altered waterscapes shape state-making and scalar politics. Examining interlinkages between 1) state-making and governance; 2) resource-making and politics of scale; and 3) hazard-making and the dynamics of socionature, the article contributes to scholarly and development practice discussions on environmental vulnerability. I argue that the goals of consolidating state power and promoting development through massive waterscape changes and resource extractions have provoked hazards that are difficult to control, resulting in differentiated distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Drawing on archival research, documentary analysis, thematic interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork, the study illustrates the overlapping and cumulative effects of state-making, politics of scale, and the dynamics of socionature on socially differentiated vulnerability. Although the forms of governance shift over time, statecraft as a mode of consolidating state authority and controlling lower basin environments and residents persists. The government prevents social mobilisation through political persuasion and pressure, and disciplines residents to adapt to altered waterscapes, while allowing few changes in prevalent power structures. Simultaneously, the study demonstrates that water cannot be controlled by political rules and requisites, while local residents reinterpret dominant ways of governing through claim-making, negotiation, everyday resistance, and situational improvisation, albeit within unequal power relations. The study enhances understanding of water-related vulnerabilities resulting from recurrent, yet temporally remoulded agendas of state-making combined with socially differentiating politics of scaling and the dynamics of socionature, which altogether reformulate human-nonhuman interactions and make local smallholders and pen-urban poor increasingly vulnerable to floods. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Droste, Nils; D'Amato, Dalia; Goddard, Jessica J. (2018)
    We analyze how the content of ecosystem service research has evolved since the early 1990s. Conducting a computational bibliometric content analysis we process a corpus of 14,118 peer-reviewed scientific article abstracts on ecosystem services (ES) from Web of Science records. To provide a comprehensive content analysis of ES research literature, we employ a latent Dirichlet allocation algorithm. For three different time periods (1990-2000, 2001-2010, 2011-2016), we derive nine main ES topics arising from content analysis and elaborate on how they are related over time. The results show that natural science-based ES research analyzes oceanic, freshwater, agricultural, forest, and soil ecosystems. Pollination and land cover emerge as traceable standalone topics around 2001. Social science ES literature demonstrates a reflexive and critical lens on the role of ES research and includes critiques of market-oriented perspectives. The area where social and natural science converge most is about land use systems such as agriculture. Overall, we provide evidence of the strong natural science foundation, the highly interdisciplinary nature of ES research, and a shift in social ES research towards integrated assessments and governance approaches. Furthermore, we discuss potential reasons for observable topic developments.