Incorporating geodiversity in ecosystem service decisions


Holistic conservation of ecosystem services (ES), requires a greater understanding of how the interactions of biotic and abiotic aspects of nature provide them. Currently, geodiversity, the diversity of geology, geomorphology, sediments and soils and hydrology, as well as the services that they provide in isolation of interactions with biotic nature - geosystem services (GS) - are overlooked in ES literature and frameworks.

Here, we provide a series of three nested frameworks which together help to provide clarity for both the theoretical role of geodiversity in service production as well as the basis for real-world management strategies.

First, we present the “Geodiversity Flower”, a framework that can be operationalised to provide clarity in terminology to decision-makers. Second, we present the “Geo-Eco Services Framework”, which establishes the difference between ES and GS. The final framework presented is the “Geo-Eco Services Cascade Model”, which builds upon the widely used ES cascade model by demonstrating how geodiversity interacts with biotic nature to simultaneously provide ES and GS. Providing a holistic model that integrates both biotic and abiotic nature alongside ES and GS allows for a greater understanding of the roles of abiotic and biotic nature to services and their associated benefits and values to people.

Ecosystems & People