Impacts of Agriculturally-driven Regime Shifts on Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Regime shifts are large, abrupt, persistent changes in the structure and function of ecosystems that may have substantial consequences for human well-being. In agricultural ecosystems, examples of regime shifts include soil salinization, lake eutrophication and bush encroachment. Here, a novel, adaptable scoring system was developed using ecosystem services and human well-being as framed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to: 1) quantify the impact of twelve agriculturally-driven regime shifts on ecosystem services and human well-being; and 2) estimate the effect that agriculturally-driven regime shifts have on different user groups. Key results include: 1) Ecosystem services and human well-being indices are impacted negatively by nearly all shifts from less to more anthropogenically impacted regimes; 2) The relative difference in ecosystem service amount between alternate regimes is much larger for regime shifts with more negative impacts than those with positive impacts; and 3) All user groups were impacted negatively by nearly all regime shifts, with industrial farmers being impacted least negatively and subsistence farmers being impacted most negatively. These findings can facilitate a better-informed assessment of the potential risks, benefits and costs associated with taking action to avert or precipitate agriculturally-driven regime shifts.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 46 p.
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-77443OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-77443DiVA: diva2:532765
UppsokLife Earth Science
Biggs, Oonsie, PhDPeterson, Garry, Professor
Gordon, Line, PhD