The role of statistics in the analysis of ecosystem services

Smith, R.I., Dick, J.M. and Scott, E.M. (2011) The role of statistics in the analysis of ecosystem services. Environmetrics, 22(5), pp. 608-617. (doi: 10.1002/env.1107)

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Operationalising the holistic approach implicit in an ecosystem services assessment is a challenge, incorporating social and economic considerations alongside the physical, chemical and biological function of ecosystems. The paper considers the role of statistics within a range of frameworks proposed for the analysis of ecosystem services. The use of different statistical techniques within the component parts of an ecosystem services assessment framework are discussed, including (1) data availability and sampling strategies, (2) statistical data analysis, (3) geography and spatial models, (4) meta-analysis, (5) environmental models, (6) societal models, (7) feedbacks and loop analysis, and (8) graphical models including Bayesian belief networks. Issues of value and the potential for a statistical contribution to multivariate non-monetary valuation are considered. We argue that statistics has an underpinning role by providing tools to link together the component elements along with their uncertainties for a thorough ecosystem services assessment, and should be an integral part of this developing inter-disciplinary research area.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scott, Professor Marian and Smith, Mr Rognvald
Authors: Smith, R.I., Dick, J.M., and Scott, E.M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:Environmetrics
ISSN (Online):1099-095X
Published Online:04 April 2011

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