Ioannis Athanasiadis bio photo

Ioannis Athanasiadis

Associate Professor
Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
Wageningen University

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The misconception of ecosystem disservices: How a catchy term may yield the wrong messages for science and society

F. Villa, K. J. Bagstad, B. Voigt, G. W. Johnson, I. N. Athanasiadis, S. Balbi

Abstract

The long-running narrative of ecosystem services and disservices'' describes how nature yields both benefits and harms to society. These harms include crop pests, floods, landslides, wildfires, and zoonotic disease transmission, among others. While we agree with the argument that calculation of these harms is commonplace and corresponding quantification of benefits is needed, we feel the use of the concept ofecosystem disservices’’ hampers, rather than helps, the development of an integrative and constructive dialogue about conservation and the complex interrelationships between humans and nature.

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F. Villa, K. J. Bagstad, B. Voigt, G. W. Johnson, I. N. Athanasiadis, S. Balbi, The misconception of ecosystem disservices: How a catchy term may yield the wrong messages for science and society, Ecosystem Services, 10:52-53, 2014, doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.09.003.


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