Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
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Ecosystem Service Assessment of TIDE Estuaries

4a. Which are the key ecosystem services?

Within the project consortium, 20 ecosystem services which scored on average higher than ‘less important’, were selected as “focal” (Granek et al 2010) ecosystem services for further research within TIDE (see Table 2). There were only few ‘unknown’ scorings, and these mainly occurred along the Humber for some cultural services.

Important Ecosystem Services in TIDE estuaries Category
Food: Animals Provisioning
Water for industrial use Provisioning
Water for navigation Provisioning
Climate regulation: Carbon sequestration and burial Regulating
Regulation extreme events or disturbance: Flood water storage Regulating
Regulation extreme events or disturbance: Water current reduction Regulating
Regulation extreme events or disturbance: Wave reduction Regulating
Water quantity regulation: drainage of river water Regulating
Water quantity regulation: dissipation of tidal and river energy Regulating
Water quantity regulation: landscape maintenance Regulating
Water quantity regulation: transportation Regulating
Water quality regulation: transport of pollutants and excess nutrients Regulating
Water quality regulation: reduction of excess loads coming from the catchment Regulating
Erosion and sedimentation regulation by water bodies Regulating
Erosion and sedimentation regulation by biological mediation Regulating
"Biodiversity" Supporting
Aesthetic information Cultural
Opportunities for recreation & tourism Cultural
Inspiration for culture, art and design Cultural
Information for cognitive development Cultural

Table 2: selection of important ecosystem services for consideration in TIDE estuaries, and the service categories they belong to.

The results show that supporting, cultural and regulating services’ importance is well recognized, and regional working groups recognize the dependence of the estuarine use on supporting services.

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