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Report2015

Ekosystemtjänster från svenska hav : Status och påverkansfaktorer

Bryhn, Andreas; Lindegarth, Mats; Bergström, Lena; Bergström, Ulf

Abstract

Humans benefit greatly, and in many ways, from marine ecosystems. Marine ecosystems produce oxygen, atmospheric water and food, and they give inspiration, recreational opportunities and much more, often for free. Referring to the benefits for people from marine ecosystems as ecosystem services is a way to make them visible to society. Ecosystem services provide a complementary perspective to the natural scientific aspects, and are used in management, policymaking and the public debate regarding the sea. Valuing ecosystem services can initiate abatement of environmental problems in cases when these have a societal cost which is not reflected in market values. Ecosystem services as a concept has become increasingly influential in the marine environmental policy. Ecosystem services are for instance included in the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive and a number of other international directives and agreements. This report aims to classify the status of marine ecosystem services in Sweden, as well as to evaluate their main anthropogenic pressures. The status classification is made with regard to the three different marine sub-regions of the Swedish economic zone: the Kattegat and Skagerrak, the Baltic Proper, and the Gulf of Bothnia. The three status classes applied are good, moderate and poor. Several of the ecosystem services are classified using indicators or environmental quality norms, and this approach is likely to be central in future assessments of ecosystem services. Other ecosystem services are status classified based on recent literature within the respective fields. Anthropogenic pressures due to human activities such as nutrient overenrichment, climate change, marine litter and extensive fishing, which exert pressure on the environment, are evaluated based on their assessed overall impact on the ecosystem services according to current available knowledge. The overall impacts on the ecosystem services are assessed as small or unlikely negative, moderate negative or large negative. Significant knowledge gaps are highlighted wherever found appropriate. Ecosystem services classified as having bad status (Table i) are maintenance of foodwebs and provision of food (in all Swedish marine sub-regions), maintenance of habitats (in the Kattegat and Skagerrak as well as in the Baltic Proper), and provision of raw material (fodder fish in the Kattegat and Skagerrak). Several ecosystem services were assessed as having good status, e.g. energy provision, provision of genetic resources and cultural inspiration. A number of ecosystem services are, in addition, classified as having moderate status, e.g. natural heritage, recreation, and maintenance of biodiversity. In general, the Gulf of Bothnia has a somewhat better status regarding ecosystem services than the other marine sub-regions, which concurs with a lower level of anthropogenic impact on the marine environment. Comparing the Skagerrak and Kattegat to the Baltic Proper, the ecosystem service provision of raw material differs, with poor status in the Kattegat and Skagerrak and moderate status in the Baltic Proper. Apart from that, their overall patterns regarding status are similar. Among the anthropogenic pressures, nutrient overenrichment has a large negative net impact on maintenance of primary production and habitats. The increasing carbon content in the sea associated with climate change has a large negative net impact on biogeochemical cycles. Extensive fishing has a large negative net impact on maintenance of foodwebs and on provision of food.

Published in

Havs- och vattenmyndighetens rapport
2015, number: 2015:12ISBN: 978-91-87025-83-9
Publisher: Havs- och vattenmyndigheten