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Research advances in ecosystem services in drylands under global environmental changes

Lu, Nan, Wang, Mengyu, Ning, Bolun, Yu, Dandan, Fu, Bojie
Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2018 v.33 pp. 92-98
arid lands, decision making, developing countries, ecosystem services, ecosystems, empirical research, livelihood, social welfare, sustainable development
The ecosystem services (ES) provided by drylands are critical to human wellbeing (HWB). Maintaining ES sustainability and improving people's livelihood in drylands are crucial to global sustainable development as 90% of the dryland population belongs to the developing countries. Global environmental changes have greatly altered ecosystem structure and process of dryland ecosystems and have led to significant changes in ES provision, supply–demand relationship and trade-offs at multiple scales. We reviewed research advances and identified knowledge gaps on dryland studies in line with the ‘structure–function–service–wellbeing’ cascade framework. Focus was put on ES and their contributions to HWB. ES concept and methodology are highly useful in understanding natural-social linkages of drylands and informing decision making. More empirical studies are needed to apply the ES methods and make regional comparisons.