Conceptualizing ecosystem services using social-ecological networks


Social-ecological networks (SENs) represent the complex relationships between ecological and social systems and are a useful tool for analyzing and managing ecosystem services. However, mainstreaming the application of SENs in ecosystem service research has been hindered by a lack of clarity about how to match research questions to ecosystem service conceptualizations in SEN (i.e., as nodes, links, attributes, or emergent properties). Building from different disciplines, we propose a typology to represent ecosystem service in SENs and identify opportunities and challenges of using SENs in ecosystem service research. Our typology provides guidance for this growing field to improve research design and increase the breadth of questions that can be addressed with SEN to understand human?nature interdependencies in a changing world.

Trends in Ecology & Evolution