Report

TESSA valuation of effects on ecosystem services from the ecological restoration of river Billstaån

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Author list: Tellström, Susanne

Publisher: Mittuniversitetet

Publication year: 2016


Abstract

In the Swedish river Billstaån an ecological restoration project is planned. To assess the expected outcomes of the project in terms of ecological and socio-economic effects ecosystem service assessment is pursued. As ecosystem services describe benefits acquired from nature for human well-being such an endeavour can help increase understanding for the full impact of the restoration process for the local community as well as illuminate possibilities for rural development.This study assessed ecosystem services by applying parts of Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA), testing the usability of the framework for the Billstaån case. TESSA provided a structured framework to assess several services currently provided by Billstaån and estimate some of the expected effects on them from the planned restoration measures quantitatively. Ecosystem services connected to nature-based recreation and global climate regulation could be converted into monetary values, while the water related services assessed could not be converted. Due to the limited amount of services covered by TESSA, and this assessment, the monetary valuation do not express a total value of services from Billstaån. The monetary valuation established indicate that increased values connected to the restoration measures mainly will be generated in services connected to recreation and tourism. The restoration effects on ecosystem services were also captured in qualitative description of an alternate state of Billstaån, including fauna passages to restore migration routes in the river, a current dam having been reverted to streaming water and reintroduction of freshwater pearl mussels to the river ecosystem. In the alternate state a larger brown trout population is expected in the river and more visitors are attracted to the area for recreational fishing as well as interests founded by the restoration efforts.TESSA was found usable to assess some of the ecosystem services connected to Billstaån. The assessment procedure was relatively fast and rewarding. The extensive guidelines and quality of the methodologies makes TESSA very interesting for pursuing knowledge of impact on ecosystem services from various changes to landscape and land-use, which should be both helpful and provide valuable material in many cases. For the Billstaån case TESSA provide a methodological basis that could be directly transferred into monitoring work, after the restoration has been finished, to trace development of the ecosystem services covered in the toolkit.TESSA included no tools to assess if the services covered in the framework are the most relevant for the investigated site and the number of services covered by the toolkit was limited. This indicates that working with TESSA as a stand-alone tool can make it hard to determine if the assessed services are the services most relevant for the investigated site, its beneficiaries and the prospected development. Such material is suggested to be included in the future updates of TESSA, by e.g. steps for attaining a qualitative overview of services at a site, along with methodological cover of more regulating ecosystem services, cultural values, and how to value service input to industrial systems.


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