Estimating and Forecasting Ecosystem Services within Pine Island Sound, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, North Captiva Island, Cayo Costa Island, Useppa Island, Other Islands of the Sound, and the Nearshore Gulf of Mexico

This study identified the range and quantity of ecosystem services within the Pine Island Sound region. Pine Island Sound is located in Lee County, Florida, lying between Pine Island and the barrier islands of Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, North Captiva Island and Cayo Costa, which separate the Sound from the Gulf of Mexico.

Ecosystem services quantified for this area are provided by marine, estuarine and freshwater wetlands and native upland habitat. The study also determines how the functional types of wetlands and native uplands, their distribution and position in the landscape, and their ecological condition affects ecosystem services.

Ecosystem services values can be used by decision makers when establishing and maintaining conservation lands, siting utilities, making development decisions, putting numbers to the impacts associated with those decisions, and adding data when critical trade-offs are being discussed. These values could also be useful in justifying grant funding and in leveraging future restoration dollars.

This project included:
• establishing the acreage of all the various habitat types;
• identification of the ecosystems services provided by each habitat type;
• definition of the extents of each habitat type;
• identification of the distribution and position of these habitats in the southwest Florida landscape;
• identification of the ecological condition of these habitats;
• and quantification of how these factors alter provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services that these habitats provide in their existing and potentially restored status.

A current map of ecological services value topographies (ECOSERVE) was produced, using combined GIS map and the total estimated ecosystem services value (TEV) for each habitat type. This provides a visual representation of the geographic distribution of the TEV within the study area.

Based on current calculations of TEV for this study area, the 2012 TEV is $7,033,362,634.63.

The Future Land Use Map projects to a future at 2030, and a one foot sea level rise in the study area. Using the ECOSERVE along with this map, it is possible to project what the future anticipated ecosystem services value would be in the resulting landscape. Estimates demonstrate that the sea level rise of 1 foot combined with the future land use changes results in a $3,013,636,066.47 loss of TEV. This constitutes a 42.85% loss of 2012 TEV.

This development of the Arc View-friendly ECOSERVE protocol for statistical and geographical analysis and interpretation can be used to quantify the relative importance of perturbation stressors (e.g., land clearing, hydrologic alteration, development, climate change) that impact habitats and the ecosystem services they provide. ECOSERVE is a GIS tool that can be used to develop regionally relevant ecosystem services measurement and assessment programs and that can be used to assist in implementing efficient and effective decision-making by local and regional regulatory, mitigation, enforcement programs.

Publication Date: 2013

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • James Beever
  • Tim Walker

Related Organizations:

  • Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment

States Affected:


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