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Impacts to ecosystem services from aquatic acidification: using FEGS-CS to understand the impacts of air pollution
O'Dea, C., S. Anderson, T. Sullivan, D. Landers, AND F. Casey. Impacts to ecosystem services from aquatic acidification: using FEGS-CS to understand the impacts of air pollution. Ecosphere. ESA Journals, 8(5):e01807, (2017).
This manuscript introduces a novel way to implement a Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System as the foundation for identifying heretofore difficult and unknown linkages between humans and components of the environment that may lead to human well-being. The manuscript focuses on the airborne contaminant of acidity and those secondary impacts to aquatic environments that people appreciate, need or value. This application develops and demonstrates a final approach to identify the potential beneficiaries and possible metrics and indicators so that quantification can commence. This article contributes to SHC 2.61
Increases in anthropogenic emissions of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) have resulted in increases in the associated atmospheric deposition of acidic compounds. In sensitive watersheds, this deposition has initiated a cascade of negative environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems, resulting in a degradation or loss of valuable ecosystem goods and services. Here we report the activities of an expert workgroup to synthesize information on acidic deposition-induced aquatic acidification from the published literature and to link critical load exceedances with ecosystem services and beneficiaries, using the STEPS Framework (STressor – Ecological Production function – Final Ecosystem Services) and the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System (FEGS-CS). Experts identified and documented the sensitive aquatic ecosystem ecological endpoints that humans value, and the environmental pathways through which these endpoints may experience degradation in response to acidification. Beneficiary groups were then identified for each sensitive ecological endpoint to clarify relationships between humans and the effects of aquatic acidification, and to lay the foundation for future research and analysis to value these Final Ecosystem Goods and Services.