The provision of ecosystem services at the local scale along a rural-urban gradient : a case study of a typical UK metropolitan city

Radford, KG 2012, The provision of ecosystem services at the local scale along a rural-urban gradient : a case study of a typical UK metropolitan city , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The process of urbanisation has resulted in the degradation of the ecosystem services provided by the natural environment within cities. Conserving and enhancing these ecosystem services improves the sustainability of cities, and the health and wellbeing of those living and working in urban areas. Although many methods exist to quantify ecosystem services, these are based on placing economic value on an environmental commodity; a technique which has been highly criticised. Previous studies on ecosystem services have generally focused at landscape and global scales, failing to appreciate the provision at local scales. The research reported in this thesis focuses on the provision of nine ecosystem services of importance to urban environments (aesthetic, recreation, spiritual, climate change adaptation and mitigation, air quality control, water flow regulation, biodiversity, pollination, and noise buffering services), and has created a new analytical tool to quantify them in non-economic terms at the local scale. The tool was applied to 69 sites of 0.25km2 along a rural-urban gradient within the Greater Manchester conurbation. The results revealed that not all the ecosystem services studied were positively correlated with the amount of impermeable land cover as predicted from a consideration of previous studies. In addition, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was carried out to establish which ecosystem services could exist together at high quality within any given site, and which would need to be traded off. PCA revealed two scenarios, accounting for 48% and ^ 23% of events within sites of 0.25km . The outputs of this study could have applications within the planning process, allowing practitioners to focus on enhancing services which can exist synergistically within a given site, thereby increasing the effectiveness of ecosystem service provision within urban areas and benefiting the health and wellbeing of urban inhabitants.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: CW Gates
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 12:00
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 14:16

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