Natural Capital Project: InVEST - Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs modeling tools

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) offers software tools that quantify, map, and value services provided by nature, including “InVEST” - Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs - which is a suite of software models used to map and value ecosystem services. The toolset currently includes 18 distinct InVEST models suited to terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems - and can be downloaded for free from NatCap's website.

InVEST models are spatially-explicit, using maps as information sources and producing maps as outputs. InVEST returns results in either biophysical terms (e.g., tons of carbon sequestered) or economic terms (e.g., net present value of that sequestered carbon). The spatial resolution of analyses is also flexible, allowing users to address impacts at local, regional, or global scales. 

The InVEST Coastal Vulnerability model, for example, has been run at a one-kilometer resolution for the entire U.S. coastline, and at higher resolution for selected geographies, including the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, and Southeast Florida.

InVEST modeling tools are available for:

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Coastal blue carbon (for carbon sequestered by coastal ecosystems such as wetlands)
  • Coastal vulnerability
  • Crop pollination
  • Fisheries
  • Habitat quality
  • Habitat risk assessment
  • Marine fish aquaculture
  • Marine water quality
  • Nearshore waves and erosion
  • Offshore wind energy
  • Recreation
  • Reservoir hydropower production (water yield)
  • Scenic quality
  • Sediment retention
  • Water purification
  • Wave energy

The outputs from these various models can all be useful in climate adaptation planning. For example, the Habitat Risk Assessment model is described as that it: “evaluates risks posed to coastal and marine habitats in terms of exposure to human activities and the habitat-specific consequence of that exposure for delivery of ecosystem services. The model can be employed to screen habitat risks under current and future scenarios of use, helping inform management strategies to minimize the impairment of habitat quality and function. More broadly, the model enables users to visualize areas on the seascape where the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic pressures may create tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services.”


Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Mapping tool
  • Modeling tool
  • Tool (general)

Go To Resource