Urban areas do provide ecosystem services

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May 01, 2018
Dexter H Locke, Timon McPhearson


Locatelli et al. (2017) characterized how land‐use trajectories affect ecosystem services (ES) in mountain landscapes. Despite acknowledging that “urban ecosystems may provide important provisioning services and a variety of cultural services” (Locatelli et al. 2017), their model described urban areas as “Worst‐case scenarios (decrease of all services)”, with a near‐complete absence of provisioning, regulating, and cultural services relative to services in more natural (less developed) areas. Because Locatelli et al. largely focused on the capacity of areas to produce ES, we believe that the authors largely underestimated the flow and demand of ES in urban areas. In response, we wish to clarify that cities are not ecologically void, that urban ES research is rapidly expanding (Haase et al. 2014; Kremer et al. 2016; Ziter 2016), and that there are far more beneficiaries of ES in urban areas due to their greater population densities.

Read the full article in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

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