Coastal ecosystem services values in the face of global change: projections for the European coast by 2050

14:00 Wednesday 29 May


Room S10


Luiz Norberto Lacerda Magalhães Filho (Portugal) 1,2; Peter Cornelis Roebeling (Portugal) 1,2; Lucas Terres De Lima (Portugal) 1,2; Brechtje Pieterse (Netherlands) 3; Luis Costa (Germany) 4

1 - University of Aveiro; 2 - Center for Environmental and Marine Studies; 3 - University of Wageningen; 4 - Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Coastal ecosystems are diverse, ecologically important and supply a wide range of services to humankind. Highly productive and valuable, they are of critical value to global and national economies – in particular in coastal areas where 60% of the world population resides. Many uncertainties exist about the future of coastal ecosystem services and their values in the face of global change – namely climate change and sea-level rise (SLR) as well as population growth and urbanization.

This study aims to assess the impacts of global change on coastal ecosystem services and values in Europe by 2050. To this end, a GIS-based coastal vulnerability analysis (for testing alternative SLR scenarios; using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs [InVEST] model) is combined with local ecosystem services values (using value functions derived through meta-analysis; based on The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity [TEEB] database) and land use change analysis (using the Land Change Modeler [LCM]), such that the impact of global change is assessed and coastal ecosystem services values are assessed and mapped for IPCC climate change scenarios.

A case study is provided for the European coast, comparing the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios 4.5 and 8.5 by 2050. ES value functions are derived for provisioning, regulation and habitat, and cultural services, including explanatory variables such as gross national income, population density and protection status as well as dummies for biome and continent. Results show an increase in coastal vulnerability by 2050 due to continued sea-level rise (in particular for RCP 8.5) as well as an increase in urbanized areas (mainly around already urbanized areas) and a decrease in agricultural areas (due to the rural exodus process). Largest ecosystem services values are obtained from regulating and habitat services and, to a minor extent, cultural services – in particular near urban areas. Largest ecosystem services values losses are due to increased vulnerability of estuaries and coastal wetlands (habitat and regulating services) and around urban areas (cultural services), and by the transformation of agricultural areas into urban areas (provisioning services). Thus, hotspots of highest coastal vulnerability and ecosystem services values are identified, contributing to the definition of land use planning and adaptation strategies.