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Title: An ecosystem service approach to quantifying the role of freshwater biodiversity in supporting food security
Author: Brooks, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 8325
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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There is increasing emphasis to consider ecosystem services in natural resource policy and management, which has the potential to provide win-wins for species and habitat conservation and human use of resources. Inland freshwater fisheries provide over 33% of the world’s small scale fish catch and employ over 60 million people. However inland waters are the most threatened ecosystem in the world, which in turn threatens thelivelihoods and sustenance of millions globally. This thesis assesses the role of freshwater species in providing food as an ecosystem service, particularly to poor and vulnerable groups, and how the needs of fisheries align and contrast with threatened species inhabiting the waterways. In Chapter 2 the value of fisheries was assessed alongside other ecosystem services provided by inland water systems, where it was shown that monetary and nonmonetary valuations suggest very different priorities across a suite of services. Disaggregation of beneficiaries also showed a mismatch in prioritisation between different stakeholders, and in particular that fishermen and women, who rely most directly on the water resources, value resources incompatibly from a standard monetary valuation. In Chapter 3 I examined the effect of biodiversity on fishery yields and variability to determine if there is a potential for a win-win for conservation and ecosystem service delivery, and showed that increased species richness provides a significant positive contribution. The study of inland water systems and fisheries is hampered by a lack of data and in order to map the benefits from fisheries a model was created for Chapter 4 to spatially predict the relative importance of inland waterways to fishery yields. Example output from this model was used in Chapter 5 to explore how fisheries and freshwater species hotspots overlap spatially, and how this information can be used to determine potential areas of synergy where improved management could ensure benefits to humans while protecting wetland species, but equally to examine where there is potential conflict. With an increased understanding of freshwater ecosystems and their link to the resources they provide, there is potential for inland waters to be managed to benefit both people relying on food provision and the species living within.
Supervisor: Eigenbrod, Felix Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available