Ecosystem Service Supply and Vulnerability to Global Change in Europe

by Devon Sarkissian on March 11, 2018 - 4:23pm

In ‘Ecosystem Service Supply and Vulnerability to Global Change in Europe’, readers see just how much global change in Europe can put ecosystems for human well-being in danger.  It is shown that large changes in climate and land use affect the ecosystem.  There can be benefits from this, such as an increase in forest area and productivity and also create more land for more agriculture as well as bioenergy production.  However, such large changes in climate and land use mostly affects the ecosystem and environment in a negative way.  Ecosystem services decrease causing vulnerability.  It is mostly seen that soil fertility declines, water availability declines, and risk of forest fires increases.  In this article, studies were done all around Europe to see just how much global changes affect ecosystem services.  Researchers looked at temperature changes, land-use changes, changes in provision of water, plant and animal species, overall wood production from European forest, vegetation, etc.  In all, researchers came to the conclusion that areas with the most global change were more in risk.  For example, the Mediterranean appeared to be the most vulnerable to global change and is subjected to effects such as “water shortages, increased risk of forest fires, northward shifts in the distribution of typical tree species, and losses of agricultural potential.  Mountain regions also seemed vulnerable because of a rise in the elevation of snow cover and altered river runoff regimes” (Schroter et al., 2005).  It is clear that global change is quite serious and should be paid more attention to by everyone in the world.

Reading ‘Ecosystem Service Supply and Vulnerability to Global Change in Europe’, I was very intrigued by just how much can go wrong by large global changes.  I was unaware of the danger the Mediterranean has been experiencing by such negative impacts on their ecosystem.  I truly hope that there is a way of saving our planet in order to keep everyone, as well as the environment itself, safe.


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