Quantifying impacts of human pressures on ecosystem services: Effects of widespread non-indigenous species in the Baltic Sea

Henn Ojaveer*, Heli Einberg, Maiju Lehtiniemi, Okko Outinen, Anastasija Zaiko, Anders Jelmert, Jonne Kotta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Ecosystem services (ES) are the benefits natural ecosystems provide to society, such as food provisioning, water supply, climate regulation and recreational benefits. Biological invasions are a major driver of global change, and several non-indigenous species (NIS) may alter key ecological feedbacks with ultimate consequences to ES, livelihoods and human wellbeing. Nonetheless, the effects of NIS on ES supply remain largely unquantified. Here we present the first quantitative case study assessing the impacts of widespread NIS on ES in the Baltic Sea, by developing and employing a robust and repeatable data-driven approach. All NIS with a sufficient knowledge base pose large and highly significant effects on ES, resulting on average 55 % change in the intensity of ES. Most impacts affected regulation services, concerning both abiotic and biotic realms, with little evidence on cultural and provisioning services. The methodology can be easily employed beyond the current study realm e.g. to better understand the roles of human pressures on ES in any ecosystem. Importantly, the study also identified major biases not only in the availability of taxonomic and sub-regional evidence, but also in the different study types employed to create the evidence base.
Original languageEnglish
Article number159975
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume858
Issue numberPart 2
Number of pages10
ISSN0048-9697
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Biotic and abiotic realm
  • CICES
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Effect size
  • Meta-analysis

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