chapter  1
Evaluating losses in ecosystem services in nature reserves in Sichuan, China
ByYan Wang, Jixi Gao, Jinsheng Wang, Yuanzhi Wu, Changxin Zou, Meirong Tian, Hao Zheng
Pages 1

Ecosystems provide a range of services, many of which provide important benefits for humans, including the maintenance of conditions conductive to human health, livelihoods, welfare, and inputs to the economy (Costanza & Daly 1992; MEA 2005; TEEB 2010). Nature reserves have rich biological resources and diverse ecosystems and play a significant role in the functions of ecosystem services (ESs). Frequent natural disasters and the scales of human population and economic activity, however, now cause negative feedbacks to the biosphere, which reduces its complexity and diversity and its ability to perform the ecosystem functions that deliver human benefits (Ekins 2011). Ecological life-support systems are declining worldwide (MEA 2005; Ewing et al. 2010; Nielsen 2012). The degradation of ecosystems undermines their functioning and resilience and thus threatens their ability to continuously supply the flow of ESs for present and future generations. Degradation will increase with climate change and our ever-increasing consumption of resources (de Groot et al. 2012).