services are the advantages humankind derived from the working of the natural
ecosystem. These services are
categorized in the form of provisional, regulatory and cultural services.
Humans are considering these services as granted and using without any care.
The role of these services in the social and economic development of society is
clear now so the ecosystem needs much more attention and monitoring these
services is the main part of environmental governance. These services are
linked with biodiversity and habitat quality. Different threat’s including overexploitation, land’s
transformation, pollution, climate change, an invasion of alien species and
hydrological alteration influence the ecosystem and its biodiversity. Some
methods, models and software’s are developed to asses habitat quality and
valuing ecosystem services but still needs more research and improvement. Valuation
of ecosystem services is necessary to achieve sustainable management.
Pakistan has not been paid much attention to quantify and valuing these
services so in this review paper, I asses the ecosystem services in Pakistan
context and highlighting those that have importance for Pakistan.
Ecosystem services are the advantages which humans are
getting from ecosystem (erholm
et al., 2012). Forest Ecosystem services are divided in to four categories (1)
Supporting services (2) provisional services (3) regulatory services (4)
cultural services (MEA, 2005). Provisional, Supporting or regulatory and
cultural services include fresh water provision, food and medicine, fuel
provision, fodder provision, maintenance of healthy ecosystem, carbon
sequestration or carbon di oxide absorption, oxygen generation, water quality
regulation, soil erosion prevention, nutrient cycling, air purification, noise
mitigation, ecotourism, spiritual services and aesthetic services and
contribution to physical and mental health are considered to be of special
importance in every context (Baggethun and Barton,2013).
In recent years, the
importance of biodiversity to global economies, human welfare and survival has
been well documented and widely recognized (Butchart et al., 2010; Duffy, 2009;
TEEB, 2009).In Pakistan biodiversity is declining and biodiversity have strong
relation with ecosystem services. Ecosystem services represent the benefits
derived by human population. These benefits are obtained from ecosystem
Groot et al., 2002; MA, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005)
including pollination, climate regulation, seed dispersal and carbon
sequestration which are influenced by the loss of biodiversity (MEA,
2005).Different threat’s including overexploitation, land’s transformation,
pollution, climate change, an invasion of alien species and hydrological
alteration influence the ecosystem and its biodiversity(Turpie, 2017).
Data of 50 years for land cover maps was used
to analyze changes occurred in land use. Results showed the shift from
deforestation to reforestation. Hence, no improvement was observed in that
period (Balthazar et al., 2015). Over the last 15 years there has been
considerable advancement in the development of ecosystem services and their
valuation(Toledo,2017).Protected areas play an important role in the
conservation of an ecosystem and biodiversity.(Juffe-Bignoli
et al. 2014; Mascia
et al. 2014;Palomo
et al. 2014).Some Conservationists have argued for the
effective management and designation of protected areas and other critical
sites for biodiversity conservation. They also focused on such areas for conservation as these provides
significant benefits which could be attributed in monetary value (Balm
et al. 2014).Natural ecosystems are mostly degraded
through anthropogenic activities. This degradation is caused by changes in an
ecosystem which directly have influence on the inherent properties of an
ecosystem leading to a change in welfare of human communities that are gaining
et al., 2013; Van Oudenhoven et al., 2012).
Forest also provides a service of runoff
prevention by absorbing water in soil aggregates. Soil erosion is the
destruction of soil aggregates and transportation of sediments which lead to
have major consequences (Anasiru et al., 2013).Human induced activities are
resulting devastating changes in topsoil. A study has shown the minimum amount
of soil loss from the land use of permanent vegetation. Moreover, no difference
in soil retention service was observed on forest, shrub and grassland (Guo, et
al., 2015). In 2013, a research analyzed the economic value of soil runoff on
cultivated dry lands in Indonesia. Majors study focus was on loss of soil
fertility. Soil loss was estimated by the cost of fertilizer involving urea,
KCL and sp-36 (Anasiru et al., 2013).
plays an important role in regulating climate of earth by maintaining the
balance of greenhouse gases such as by adding or removing CO2 from atmosphere..
Managing landscapes for carbon storage and sequestration requires information
about how much and where carbon is stored. Trees are autotrophic in nature which means they do not compete with animals
for food and make their own food by photosynthesis. Forests are the very large
arsenal of carbon on earth, and have been covering one out of three parts of
the land area which have been accumulating up to 80% of continental aboveground
carbon and 40% of soil’s belowground carbon (Baskent & Keles, 2009; Ellison
et al., 2011).
ecosystems are being destroyed by anthropogenic activities at an alarming rate.
The main reasons for this degradation are an increase in demand for ecosystem
service’s including food, fuel, fodder, timber and fresh water. It is important
to valuate forests ecologically and economically so that priority for
conservation would be given and will help in decision making. Although some
models and methods have formed for the valuation of ecosystem services but
there are still improvement is required.
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