The spatial organization of ecosystem services in river‐floodplains
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The spatial organization of ecosystem services in river‐floodplains

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    River‐floodplains are hotspots for many ecosystem services (ES ), and thus, understanding how these services are spatially organized along river systems is essential. General principles from river‐floodplain ecology may provide guidance for understanding these spatial patterns, yet such concepts have rarely been incorporated into spatial assessments of ES . Using a lens of riverine concepts, we contrasted how floodplain ES capacity and diversity (orchard production, forage production, carbon storage, paddle route quality, fish capacity) vary with longitudinal river‐floodplain position. High spatial resolution aerial photography (2006) facilitated detection of floodplain features contributing to the production of ES . We also determined how river reach types are linked to production of ES . We found that ES capacity varied considerably with longitudinal position and reach type. Agricultural capacity was concentrated in lower reaches, high‐quality paddle routes in middle‐lower reaches, and fish capacity and carbon storage in upper reaches. Furthermore, the highest diversity of ES was concentrated in the lowland floodplain reaches. Our results suggest river‐floodplain concepts can improve spatial assessments of ES , increase our understanding of the relationships among biological features and ES , and thus help us better manage some of the key ES trade‐offs.
  • Source:
    Ecosphere 8(3): e01728
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    CC BY
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