Assessment of Coastal Ecosystem Services for Conservation Strategies in South Korea

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August 13, 2015 - Author: Min Gon Chung, Hojeong Kang, Sung-Uk Choi

Journal or Book Title: PLoS ONE

Keywords: ecosystem services; habitat, South Korea

Volume/Issue: 10(7)

Page Number(s): 1/23

Year Published: 2015

Despite the fact that scientific and political consideration for ecosystem services has dramatically increased over the past decade, few studies have focused on marine and coastal ecosystem services for conservation strategies. We used an ecosystem services approach to assess spatial distributions of habitat risks and four ecosystem services (coastal protection, carbon storage, recreation, and aesthetic quality), and explored the tradeoffs among them in coastal areas of South Korea. Additionally, we analyzed how the social and ecological characteristics in coastal areas interact with conservation and development policies by using this approach. We found strong negative associations between the habitat risks and ecosystem services (aquaculture, carbon storage, recreation, and aesthetic quality) across the coastal counties. Our results showed that the intensity of the habitat risks and the provision of ecosystem services were significantly different between reclamation-dominated and conservation-dominated counties, except for coastal vulnerability. A generalized linear model suggested that reclamation projects were dependent on economic efficiency, whereas demographic pressures and habitat conditions influenced the designation of protected areas at a county level. The ecosystem services approach provided guidelines to achieve both sustainable development and environment conservation. By using the approach, we can select the priority areas for developments while we can minimize the degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. As cultural ecosystem services are evenly distributed throughout coastal areas of South Korea, decision makers may employ them to improve the conditions of coastal wetlands outside of protected areas.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133856

Type of Publication: Journal Article

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Tags: center for systems integration and sustainability, ecosystem services, habitat, south korea

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