Research Topic

The Role of the Human Dimension in Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation

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About this Research Topic

Human always have benefited from marine ecosystems, either obviously in the form of food resources, or more subtly in the form of cultural and recreational opportunities. Extensive work has been done around the ecosystem services (ES) research worldwide during the last decade.

However, the analysis ...

Human always have benefited from marine ecosystems, either obviously in the form of food resources, or more subtly in the form of cultural and recreational opportunities. Extensive work has been done around the ecosystem services (ES) research worldwide during the last decade.

However, the analysis of social patterns of ES across the seascape remains largely unknown. Ecological availability of ES does not guarantee equal access to the benefits from these services for people across the seascape. Access to the benefits of a given services often depends also on other factors such as customs, technology, capital, markets, or knowledge. These spatial patterns of ES’ uses are also influenced by socio-cultural factors such as preferences, income, profession, working location, residence, etc.

In addition, considerable management efforts are undertaken by governments to reverse abrupt and large changes of ES after crossing tipping points. Yet such efforts are often ineffective or unaffordable since they are applied after rather than before, resulting in mitigation actions, usually with higher economic and social costs for administrations, industries and the society. Crossing tipping points usually leads to large transformations of social-ecological ecosystems and the ES they provided. Until very recently, most of the research done on ES was focused on the transformations of ecosystems and their ecological functions. However, it is difficult to address today’s great challenges in global marine change and sustainability without a better understanding of desirable social transformation that can be initiated, promoted or redirected.

This Research Topic provides a platform for sharing research on the role of social sciences in marine and coastal ecosystems. By using different frameworks, approaches, methods and tools, we welcome contributions to address (but not limited to) the following themes:
-Exploring the role of socio-cultural factors in the co-production processes of ES
-Understanding the role of social sciences in the multidimensional valuation of ES
-Identifying key socio-cultural drivers that determine the demand and supply of ES and their environment consequences
-Sharing empirical evidence of how economic, financial and market factors facilitate abrupt socio-cultural transformations
-Knowing governance practices and adaptive strategies that stakeholders can develop to avoid tipping points and/or promote positive social transformations to inspire novel pathways of resilient ES.


Keywords: Human dimension, social sciences, marine ecosystem services


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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