This article originated from a Conference for Sustainability IGERTs (C4SI3) held 26–29 September 2013 and a subsequent workshop held 19–22 July 2015 in Portland, Oregon, United States, both of which were funded by the National Science Foundation, IGERT grant no. 0966376: Sustaining Ecosystem Services to Support Rapidly Urbanizing Areas. CJvR, ACL, LAF, and DT received support at Texas A&M from IGERT: Applied Biodiversity Science (DGE-0654377).
Ecosystem-services scholarship has largely focused on monetary valuation and the material contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. Increasingly, research is calling for a deeper understanding of how less tangible, nonmaterial values shape management and stakeholder decisions. We propose a framework that characterizes a suite of sociocultural phenomena rooted in key social science disciplines that are currently underrepresented in the ecosystem-services literature. The results from three example studies are presented to demonstrate how the tenets of this conceptual model can be applied in practice. We consider the findings from these studies in light of three priorities for future research: (1) complexities in individual and social functioning, (2) the salience and specificity of the perceived benefits of nature, and (3) distinctions among value concepts. We also pose a series of questions to stimulate reflection on how ecosystem-services research can adopt more pluralistic viewpoints that accommodate different forms of knowledge and its acquisition.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.
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Carena J. van Riper, Adam C. Landon, Sarah Kidd, Patrick Bitterman, Lee A. Fitzgerald, Elise F. Granek, Sonia Ibarra, David Iwaniec, Christopher M. Raymond, David Toledo; Incorporating Sociocultural Phenomena into Ecosystem-Service Valuation: The Importance of Critical Pluralism. BioScience 2017; 67 (3): 233-244.