Critical zone services: Expanding context, constraints, and currency beyond ecosystem services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Processes within the critical zone—spanning groundwater to the top of the vegetation canopy—have important societal relevance and operate over broad spatial and temporal scales that often are not included in existing frameworks for ecosystem services evaluation. Here we expand the scope of ecosystem services by specifying how critical zone processes extend context both spatially and temporally determine constraints that limit provision of services, and offer a potentially powerful currency for evaluation. Context: A critical zone perspective extends the context of ecosystem services by expressly addressing how the physical structure of the terrestrial Earth surface (e.g., parent material, topography and orography) provides a broader spatial and temporal template determining the coevolution of physical and biological systems that result in societal benefits. Constraints: The rates at which many ecosystem services are provided are fundamentally constrained by rate-limited critical zone processes, a phenomenon that we describe as a conceptual "supply chain" that accounts for rate-limiting soil formation, hydrologic partitioning, and stream-flow generation. Currency: One of the major challenges in assessing ecosystem services is the evaluation of their importance by linking ecological processes to societal benefits through market and nonmarket valuation. We propose that critical zone processes be integrated into an evaluation currency useful for valuation, by quantifying the energy flux available to do thermodynamic work on the critical zone. In short, characterization of critical zone processes expands the scope of ecosystem services by providing context, constraints, and currency that enable more effective management needed to respond to impacts of changing climate and disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVadose Zone Journal
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

currency
ecosystem service
ecosystem services
valuation
orography
coevolution
soil formation
stream flow
supply chain
parent material
energy flux
thermodynamics
topography
streamflow
services
groundwater
partitioning
climate change
markets
disturbance

Keywords

  • EEMT
  • Effective energy and mass transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

Cite this

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title = "Critical zone services: Expanding context, constraints, and currency beyond ecosystem services",
abstract = "Processes within the critical zone—spanning groundwater to the top of the vegetation canopy—have important societal relevance and operate over broad spatial and temporal scales that often are not included in existing frameworks for ecosystem services evaluation. Here we expand the scope of ecosystem services by specifying how critical zone processes extend context both spatially and temporally determine constraints that limit provision of services, and offer a potentially powerful currency for evaluation. Context: A critical zone perspective extends the context of ecosystem services by expressly addressing how the physical structure of the terrestrial Earth surface (e.g., parent material, topography and orography) provides a broader spatial and temporal template determining the coevolution of physical and biological systems that result in societal benefits. Constraints: The rates at which many ecosystem services are provided are fundamentally constrained by rate-limited critical zone processes, a phenomenon that we describe as a conceptual {"}supply chain{"} that accounts for rate-limiting soil formation, hydrologic partitioning, and stream-flow generation. Currency: One of the major challenges in assessing ecosystem services is the evaluation of their importance by linking ecological processes to societal benefits through market and nonmarket valuation. We propose that critical zone processes be integrated into an evaluation currency useful for valuation, by quantifying the energy flux available to do thermodynamic work on the critical zone. In short, characterization of critical zone processes expands the scope of ecosystem services by providing context, constraints, and currency that enable more effective management needed to respond to impacts of changing climate and disturbances.",
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author = "Field, {Jason P.} and Breshears, {David D} and Law, {Darin J.} and Villegas, {Juan C.} and Laura L{\'o}pez-Hoffman and Paul Brooks and Jon Chorover and Barron-Gafford, {Greg A} and Gallery, {Rachel Elizabeth} and Litvak, {Marcy E.} and Lybrand, {Rebecca A.} and Jennifer McIntosh and Thomas Meixner and Guo-Yue Niu and Shirley Papuga and Jon Pelletier and Craig Rasmussen and Troch, {Peter A}",
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AU - Field, Jason P.

AU - Breshears, David D

AU - Law, Darin J.

AU - Villegas, Juan C.

AU - López-Hoffman, Laura

AU - Brooks, Paul

AU - Chorover, Jon

AU - Barron-Gafford, Greg A

AU - Gallery, Rachel Elizabeth

AU - Litvak, Marcy E.

AU - Lybrand, Rebecca A.

AU - McIntosh, Jennifer

AU - Meixner, Thomas

AU - Niu, Guo-Yue

AU - Papuga, Shirley

AU - Pelletier, Jon

AU - Rasmussen, Craig

AU - Troch, Peter A

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N2 - Processes within the critical zone—spanning groundwater to the top of the vegetation canopy—have important societal relevance and operate over broad spatial and temporal scales that often are not included in existing frameworks for ecosystem services evaluation. Here we expand the scope of ecosystem services by specifying how critical zone processes extend context both spatially and temporally determine constraints that limit provision of services, and offer a potentially powerful currency for evaluation. Context: A critical zone perspective extends the context of ecosystem services by expressly addressing how the physical structure of the terrestrial Earth surface (e.g., parent material, topography and orography) provides a broader spatial and temporal template determining the coevolution of physical and biological systems that result in societal benefits. Constraints: The rates at which many ecosystem services are provided are fundamentally constrained by rate-limited critical zone processes, a phenomenon that we describe as a conceptual "supply chain" that accounts for rate-limiting soil formation, hydrologic partitioning, and stream-flow generation. Currency: One of the major challenges in assessing ecosystem services is the evaluation of their importance by linking ecological processes to societal benefits through market and nonmarket valuation. We propose that critical zone processes be integrated into an evaluation currency useful for valuation, by quantifying the energy flux available to do thermodynamic work on the critical zone. In short, characterization of critical zone processes expands the scope of ecosystem services by providing context, constraints, and currency that enable more effective management needed to respond to impacts of changing climate and disturbances.

AB - Processes within the critical zone—spanning groundwater to the top of the vegetation canopy—have important societal relevance and operate over broad spatial and temporal scales that often are not included in existing frameworks for ecosystem services evaluation. Here we expand the scope of ecosystem services by specifying how critical zone processes extend context both spatially and temporally determine constraints that limit provision of services, and offer a potentially powerful currency for evaluation. Context: A critical zone perspective extends the context of ecosystem services by expressly addressing how the physical structure of the terrestrial Earth surface (e.g., parent material, topography and orography) provides a broader spatial and temporal template determining the coevolution of physical and biological systems that result in societal benefits. Constraints: The rates at which many ecosystem services are provided are fundamentally constrained by rate-limited critical zone processes, a phenomenon that we describe as a conceptual "supply chain" that accounts for rate-limiting soil formation, hydrologic partitioning, and stream-flow generation. Currency: One of the major challenges in assessing ecosystem services is the evaluation of their importance by linking ecological processes to societal benefits through market and nonmarket valuation. We propose that critical zone processes be integrated into an evaluation currency useful for valuation, by quantifying the energy flux available to do thermodynamic work on the critical zone. In short, characterization of critical zone processes expands the scope of ecosystem services by providing context, constraints, and currency that enable more effective management needed to respond to impacts of changing climate and disturbances.

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