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Other publication, 2018

Relationships between human activities and marine ecosystem services

Kraufvelin, Patrik; Bergström, Lena; Bergström, Ulf; Bryhn, Andreas


Human activities have fundamentally altered the structure and function of many marine ecosystems worldwide (Halpern et al. 2008). These activities have diverse and widespread effects on ecosystem services; i.e., the benefits which people get from ecosystems, and which concurrently serve as preconditions of human activities related to the sea (Bryhn et al., 2015). The purpose of this work is to develop approaches for analysing the relationships between the human use of marine waters and ecosystem services, focusing on the Swedish coast as well as the entire Baltic Sea. We also aim at providing an updated assessment of pressures on ecosystem services along the Swedish coastline, building on earlier work (Bryhn et al. 2015). The central goal is to examine how different activities impose impact and are dependent on (to what extent they use) ecosystem services. The linkages are explored using quantitative data where possible and expert judgements when quantitative data are lacking. Basically, the DPSIR (Driver –Pressure –State change –Impact –Response) approach (Fig. 1) is followed. DPSIR is a framework for describing causal relationships in the interaction between the society and the environment. It has been widely discussed and debated but has proven to work well at many different occasions as it can be understood by various people from scientists and politicians to local stakeholder groups (Atkins et al. 2011, Patrício et al. 2016). For the purposes of this work, the first four letters “DPSI” are of most interest. Here, D represents Drivers (focusing on secondary drivers as human activities), P stands for the Pressures from human activities (acting on the ecosystem), S stands for State (as the changes imposed by pressures on ecosystem components)and finally, I stands for Impact on ecosystem services (Atkins et al. 2011). Note that this report uses activities and drivers (D) as synonyms.


marine ecosystems; human use; human activities; Baltic Sea; ecosystem services

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Publisher: Department of Aquatic Resources, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences