FrESCOES Earth Surface Ontology

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					 FrESCOES: Framework Earth
Surface Characteristics Ontology
     for Ecosystem Services
    Austin Troy, Ken Bagstad, Shuang
        Liu, and Matthew Wilson

    Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology
          and the Environment
   Ontology (or classification)
      For ecosystem services
     For earth surface characteristics

     In order to share common understanding of the

      structure of information
   Looking to the future
                   ES ontology history

   Up until recently, ES are intuitively categorized by
    “ecosystem functions”
   1st list in 1970, 9 services including pest control, insect
    pollination, fisheries, climate regulation, soil retention, flood
    control, soil formation, cycling of matter, and composition of
    the atmosphere (Mooney and Ehrlich 1997)
   1997, Daily’s book 13 services
          Costanza et al. 17 services
   Recently Millennium Assessment 21 services: four
ES framework in MA

          Separated supporting service
       An operational ontology should
   Build bridges between our current knowledge
    and ecosystem services
   Take into consideration of the transdisiplinary
    nature of ecosystem service research
   Facilitate benefit transfer and predictive
    modeling of ecosystem services
              Lack of common language:
              Earth surface characteristics

“Traditional” LU/LC:
   Anderson (1976) Land Use Classification System
   Hierarchical systems (e.g., urban >> urban residential >> urban low
    density residential)
   Poorly suited for ecosystem service valuation
   Similar problems in FAO LCCS, other USGS/USEPA classification

Past global valuation studies:
• Costanza et al. 1997 – 11 cover types, nested for coastal, forests, wetlands
• Boumans et al. 2002 – 11 cover types
             Limitations of value transfer
Problems with past global/regional studies relying on value transfer
  Forest  forest  forest
                       Variation in studies
                                 #         #
Land cover        Service        studies   datapoints Mean ($) SD ($)
Beach             Aesthetic      4         4         14,847    18,067
Estuary           Aesthetic      4         9         303       448
Forest            Refugia        5         8         923       1,211
Forest            Aesthetic      9         14        130       204
Fresh wetland     Water supply   5         6         1,161     1,183
Fresh wetland     Aesthetic      5         8         1,571     1,600
Open water        Water supply   5         5         409       235
Open water        Aesthetic      9         14        356       310
Riparian buffer   Water supply   8         9         1,921     3,704
Riparian buffer   Aesthetic      7         8         1,370     2,150
Salt wetland      Aesthetic      4         4         230       274
                       # of Articles



                                                                                                            Growth of ESV studies

                                                        Ecosystem services articles, ISI Web of Knowledge

                                     Base classes
Table 1. Base classes                     Definition
   1.    Agriculture                      Row crops, orchards, or vineyards, accounting for 75% + of
                                          cover, not including hay or pasture
   2.    Forest                           T ree cover greater than 6m tall on average with canopy
                                          accounting for greater than 25% of cover
   3.    Gr assland and herbaceous        Areas dominated by herbaceous vegetation, including planted
                                          hay crops and pasture, accounting for 75%+ of cover
   4.    Woody perennial/shrubland        Low woody veg etation less than 6 m eter tall with canopy
                                          accounting for 25%+ of cover except in cases where cover of
                                          other life forms is less than 25% but shrub cover is greater
   5.    Permanent open water             Areas of near-continuous standing or flowing water where the
                                          duration for which water is standing or flowing is sufficient to
                                          establish an ordinary high water mark and where emergent
                                          vegetation accounts for less than 25% of the cover.
   6.    Ice and glaciers                 Areas characterized by year-round surface cover of ice/snow
   7.    Exposed substrate                Sand, dunes, ba re rock, bare s oil, etc. with less than 25%
                                          vegetative cover
   8.    Impervious and impacted          Areas characterized by greater than 80% impervious surface or
                                          by non-impervious but heavily impacted uses, such as gravel
                                          pits or open pit mines

Goals:      1. Based on “top down” characteristics
            2. Exhaustive, mutually exclusive, parsimonious
            3. Definitions modified from National Land Cover Database (NLCD)
T able 2. Sample modifier list for coastal ecosystems
Ecological                                     Type s       Values                            Definition
    1.    Coral reef                          OW            Y/N                               Presence/absence of a coral reef
    2.    Seagrass                            OW            Y/N                               Presence/absence of seagrass
    3.    Aquatic bed                         OW            Y/N                               Presence/absence of kelp/algal beds
    4.    Salinity                            All           Salt, brackish, fresh             Salinity of surface water or wetlands
    5.    Wetland                             A,F,G,WP,ES   Y/N                               Periodic inundation suffic ient to establish wetland vegetation and soils
    6.    Algal bloom presence                OW            Y/N                               Presence of algal blooms
    7.    Pollution levels                    All           L,M,H                             Levels of air, surface (e.g., debris), surfa ce or groundwater pollution
    8.    Level 1 mosaic                      All           L,M,H                             Presence of multiple cover classes at the landscape scale; landscape scale
                                                                                              cover class heterogeneity
    9.    Structural complexity               All           L,M,H                             Diversity of growth forms and strata for terrestrial or aquatic vegetation or
                                                                                              coral reefs
    10. Reef global geographic region         OW            East Atlantic, West Atlantic,     Coral reef geographic region
                                                            East Pacific, Indo-West Pacific
    11. Coral bleaching                       OW            None, partial, extensive          Severity of coral reef bleaching
    12. Species diversity                     All           L,M,H                             Landscape-scale species diversity relative to other occurrences of the same
                                                                                              cover class
    13. Ecosystem area                        All           L,M,H                             Relative area of the ecosystem providing services
    14. Mangrove                              F,WP          Y/N                               Presence of coastal forests or shrublands dominated by mangrove species
    15. Climate zone                          All           Temperate, boreal, tropical,      Climate zone as determined by seasonality and magnitude of temperatures and
                                                            sub-tropical, Mediterranean       precipitation
    16. Invasive species dominance            All           L,M,H                             Relative abundance of invasive species within the ecosystem
    17.   Marquee status/uniqueness           All           None, low, high recognition       Recognition of the site as significant at the regional, national, or global level
    18.   Urban-rural gradient                All           Urban, suburban, exurban, rural   Settlement pattern of the user population
    19.   Access status                       All           Full, partial, none               Ease of ac cess to human user populations
    20.   Capital at risk                     All           L,M,H                             Quantity/value of built, human, and social capital at risk due to disturbance
                                                                                              (e.g., flooding)
    21. User population income                All           L,M,H                             Relative income level of the user population, which can be for local residents
                                                                                              (e.g., water supply) or non-local (e.g., recreation)
    22. Population density                    All           L,M,H                             Density of human pop ulations within or adjacent to the ecosystem at th e
                                                                                              landscape scale
    23. Charismatic species                   All           Y/N                               Presence of species deemed charismatic by local or global human populations
    24. Usage for nutrient removal            F,G,WP,OW     None, low, high                   Use of an ecosystem for removal of nutrients, typically fr om water in wetland
                                                                                              or aquatic systems
    25. Availability of substitutes           All           L,M,H                             Relative number of substitute sites capable of providing a similar flo w of
                                                                                              ecosystem services
             Proposed solution: Base classes & modifiers
     Predicted differences in C sequestration, C storage, N cycling,                     Predicted
     recreation, aesthetics, watershed services, biodiversityLevel 3 modifier            existence value
                                           Level 2 modifier Spotted owl habitat
1.     Agriculture
2.     Forest                                                    Non-spotted owl habitat
3.     Grassland/herbaceous                  Early/mid-successional
4.     Woody perennial/shrubland
5.     Permanent open water                                               Predicted differences in
                                             Subsistence economy
6.     Ice and glaciers                                                   value for fuelwood, medicinal
7.     Exposed substrate                                                  plants, food, other NTFPs, etc.
8.     Impervious/impacted
                                              Non-subsistence economy
                       Our vision

Provide a Realistic basis for
   value transfer
Provide more realistic
   framework for surface cover
   in modeling efforts
Identify research gaps
Contribution and consensus-
   building from the ESV
   research community
                            Future work
   For our collaborators:
       Collaborative effort using SourceForge
            Identify important modifiers for your geographic area of
       Use ontology for modeling
       Use in future primary valuation studies - will facilitate
        future value transfer and meta analysis
   UVM group
       Move ESC ontology from Excel to Web Ontology
       Develop standard language for other model parameters
Class Hierarchy