Identifying effective approaches for monitoring national natural capital for policy use

Out now!

Norton, L. R., Smart, S. M., Maskell, L. C., Henrys, P. A., Wood, C. M., Keith, A. M., Emmett, B. A., Cosby, B. J., Thomas, A., Scholefield, P. A., Greene, S., Morton, R. D. and Rowland, C. S. (2018) 'Identifying effective approaches for monitoring national natural capital for policy use', Ecosystem Services, 30, Part A, 98-106.

'In order to effectively manage natural resources at national scales, national decision makers require data on the natural capital which supports the delivery of Ecosystem Services (ES). Key data sources used for the provision of national natural capital metrics include Satellite Remote Sensing (SRS), which provides information on land cover at an increasing range of resolutions, and field survey, which can provide very high resolution data on ecosystem components, but is constrained in its potential coverage by resource requirements.
Here we combine spatially representative field data from a historic national survey of Great Britain (Countryside Survey (CS)) with concurrent low resolution SRS data land cover map within modelling frameworks to produce national natural capital metrics.
We present three examples of natural capital metrics; top soil carbon, headwater stream quality and nectar species plant richness which show how highly resolved, but spatially representative field data can be used to significantly enhance the potential of low resolution SRS land cover data for providing national spatial data on natural capital metrics which have been linked to Ecosystem Services (ES). We discuss the role of such metrics in evaluations of ecosystem service provision and areas of further development to improve their utility for stakeholders'.