Grasslands produce far more than beef and milk. They provide ecosystem services that benefit people and the environment. This new 3-page document discusses how integrating forage legumes into grasslands enhances their capacity to provide ecosystem services, such as C sequestration, habitat for wildlife and pollinators, water catchment and purification, and nutrient cycling. Written by Jose Dubeux, Jr., Lynn Sollenberger, Mark Mauldin, and Liza Garcia, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, October 2018.
Working forests are private forests managed not just for timber production but also for a host of valuable ecosystem services like providing for recreation, maintaining habitat for wildlife, and maintaining a healthy watershed. Timber production is an essential ecosystem good or service that supports a number of important industries and provides jobs in Florida. This 6-page fact sheet summarizes the results of several studies to help forest landowners and other stakeholders understand how multiple-use management affects both timber production and other ecosystem services.
Landowners who conduct land management activities that protect environmental benefits may be eligible for several types of financial assistance from the government, but not all incentive strategies are the same. This 4-page fact sheet written by Melissa M. Kreye, Elizabeth Pienaar, and Raoul K. Boughton and published by the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation compares traditional cost-share programs offered to landowners through federal agencies and a new type of market-based incentive program called payments for ecosystem services (PES). The information inside can help private landowners understand the advantages and limitations of both approaches and guide decision-makers in designing effective future conservation incentive programs.
Decision-makers in Florida have shown increased interest in using the Ecosystem Services (ES) approach to reward ecosystem conservation efforts on private lands. For example, payments for ecosystem services (PES) strategies have been effective in motivating landowners to conserve ecosystems on their land. Some landowners may find a better understanding of the ES approach to be useful when deciding to participate in a PES program. This 5-page fact sheet written by Melissa M. Kreye, Elizabeth Pienaar, Raoul K. Boughton, and Lindsey Wiggins and published by Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation will provide landowners, Extension agents, government and agency leaders, and other stakeholders with a better understanding of how ES are classified, the different ways ES can be valued, how quantifying ES values can help support conservation efforts on private lands in Florida, and a few of the challenges inherent in using the ES approach.
As society confronts the consequences of global warming, deteriorating water quality, and impoverished biodiversity, there is a growing urgency to develop and expand water buffers' multifunctional ecosystem services. However, limited information is available on other potential co-benefits associated with the use of buffers, particularly VFSs. This 5-page fact sheet provides information on buffers' multiple ecosystem benefits, such as niche products production, carbon sequestration, and flood risk mitigation, as well as recommendations on future research needs necessary to enhance multiple ecosystem services and benefits of buffers. Written by Lei Wu, Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, November 2015.
This study examined the economic contributions, consumer surplus, and ecosystem services provided by recreational use of fifteen major springs sites in north central Florida. The estimated annual economic contributions of springs-related recreational spending in north-central Florida for FY 2012/13 are summarized. Among the findings, there was $84.2 million in total visitor spending for springs recreation, and 1,160 full- and part-time jobs. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Tatiana Borisova, Alan W. Hodges, and Thomas J. Stevens, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, April 2015.
Throughout Florida’s history, humans have altered the coastlines, leading to large-scale degradation of coastal ecosystems. This has led to the loss of associated ecosystem services, including products such as food and timber and processes like coastal protection and disease control. Unfortunately, ecosystem restoration efforts have not always been a priority for coastal management. This 10-page literature review surveys the available ecosystem-service valuation literature for five of Florida’s coastal natural communities–oyster reefs, beach dunes, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes–to facilitate the quantification of ecosystem services to provide a better measure of the full impact of restoration efforts. Written by Susanna Blair, Carrie Adams, Tom Ankersen, Maia McGuire, and David Kaplan, and published by the UF Department of Sea Grant, November 2014. (UF/IFAS photo by Tyler Jones)
Florida residents and visitors place a high value on aquatic natural resources. This 8-page fact sheet reviews nine studies that demonstrate that Florida’s springs have a very large economic value, both for recreation and resource conservation. In these studies, economists measure the value of ecosystem services in dollar terms to assist management decisions concerning natural resources. Willingness to pay studies show that people who benefit from Florida springs place a high value on them. Economic contribution studies show that Florida springs play a significant role in local and state economic health and job creation. Written by Sara Wynn, Tatiana Borisova, and Alan Hodges, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, November 2014. (UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.)