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Kathleen Wolf, , kwolf@uw.edu (Presenter)
Stephen Grado, Mississippi State University, sgrado@CFR.MsState.Edu

 

Both public and private sector discussions about ecosystem services include classifications, typologies, and economic valuations. For instance, the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment’s four-part classification included supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services. As this development of theory and practice proceeds it is important to recognize the variability of services across the landscape gradient from wildland to urban. Variability is partially dependent on the socio-cultural context of different places along the gradient. For instance forest-generated services differ in kind and extent between larger, pristine forest tracts of more rural areas and the smaller patch forests, or even individual trees, within cities. As economic markets emerge to enable services exchange and trading, full consideration of all potential services is important. This paper will first provide a concise overview of ecosystem services classification. It will then proceed to itemize ecosystem service types and extent along the wildland to urban interface. The presentation will largely emphasize cultural services that are provided by metro nature and urban forestry in high density built environments. Nearly 40 years of psychosocial research demonstrates that urban landscapes provide extensive human health and well-being benefits. This paper seeks to expand how we think about the role of nature in cities by addressing ecosystem services in two ways. First, a science review project demonstrates the broad array of social and health oriented services that are provided to people in cities (info at www.greenhealth.washington.edu). In addition, preliminary findings from economic valuation approaches of human health and well-being services will be reported.