Valuing Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reef Ecosystem Services (Aloha InVest)

Kirsten Oleson
Posted on: 7/18/2022 -

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CakeX Site Admin


To better support resilient coral reef ecosystems in Hawaiʻi, project researchers propose to provide a dynamic, ecosystem-based decision-support tool for decision makers, non-profits, and community alliances. Regional research and management principles have shifted toward an ecosystem-based approach, but the required decision-support tools remain scarce. The team will develop a pilot decision-support tool for coral reef management that can map, assess, value, and simulate changes in ecosystem service flows under alternative GCC scenarios and adaptation strategies. Ecosystem services are the benefit that humans derive from natural systems, such as coral reefs. The project approach will model how specific GCC impacts (precipitation, temperature, terrestrial evapotranspiration, sea level rise, and coral reef impacts) will affect ecosystem dynamics, and then will translate this into ecosystem goods and services provided to people. The decision support tool will draw on ecological, physical, socio-economic, and ecological-economic models to link changes in watershed conditions with the flow of ecosystem goods and services. Elucidating these linkages can help decision-makers understand the social and economic tradeoffs of their management decisions. The research team will apply the tool to a case study in west Maui communities, translating GCC into human wellbeing terms and making recommendations for adaptation and management.


Adaptation Phase
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy