Rapid Ecosystem Service Assessment Technique (RESAT) : An indicator methodology for assessing ecosystem processes and function, goods and services, and human well-being in agricultural landscapes
Despite the widening debate on ecosystem service (ES) provision and growing spectrum of ecosystem assessment tools, land managers and researchers in the ES community still lack quantitative techniques to collect empirical data that can be used directly to inform decision-making processes at appropriate scales. Robust ecological, socio-economic information is important for planning, accounting, and reporting at local and national levels.
This study aims to review the current suite of methods to obtain quantitative ES assessments and test them in three agro-ecosystems . The design is resource- and scale-specific, applying methods that allow for on-site real-time sampling and analysis, are portable, require limited material, human resources or technical know-how and can withstand field conditions. Eleven ES were selected, broken down into a 50 indicators of physical, biological, chemical processes and local perceptions of goods and services. Well- being is measured using a newly developed composite self-assessed weighted index.
This information may be used to monitor and evaluate the impact of environmental and land management in multi-functional landscapes. It further generates data that can be used map and model the inter-relations between ecosystem processes, goods and services and human well-being.