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Assessment of the impacts of air pollution on ecosystem services – gap filling and research recommendations - AQ0827

Current approaches to policy development and appraisal do not provide valuation of the impacts of air pollution on ecosystems. There has been much recent work to develop approaches to define and quantify ecosystem services and to apply an Ecosystems Approach in formulating decisions. Consequently, Defra recently commissioned a study to value the impacts of air pollution on ecosystem services. This developed an indicative methodology for valuing the ecosystem service impacts of marginal changes in air pollution. Ecosystem services are services provided by the natural environment that benefit people.

The objective of this study is twofold:
• firstly, to further enhance Defra’s current valuation of air pollution impacts on ecosystem services
• secondly, to identify and prioritise further research requirements to address evidence gaps, focussing on the impacts of air pollutants on ecosystem services.
This study will:
• identify evidence and methodological gaps for assessing air pollution impacts on ecosystem services.
• undertake work to further develop the recent assessment of impacts on ecosystems services by Jones et al. by addressing the key gaps in the approach for which supporting information is readily available. For example a spatial assessment and any other areas identified by the contractor.
• identify research requirements to address remaining evidence gaps and recommend approaches to fulfilling these requirements.
• establish criteria and apply them to prioritise these research requirements. This should consider what is achievable in the short term and what areas may be important, but for which a longer-term research programme is required.
• collate information on relevant initiatives and studies in respect to assessing impacts of pressures on ecosystem function and service provision and the valuation of stocks and flows from ecosystem services. Use this information to identify where such initiatives will help to address gaps identified in this project and their possible impact on approaches presented in Jones et al.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : AQ0827 Asessment of the impacts of air pollution on Ecosystem Services - Final report   (3744k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £44,735
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Centre For Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)
Air Pollution              
Ecosystem Service              
Fields of Study
Air Quality