News & AnalysisEcology

Appraising U.K. Ecosystems, Report Envisions Greener Horizon

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Science  03 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6034, pp. 1139
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6034.1139

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A group of 500 scientists has just released the first-ever assessment of the status of ecosystems in the United Kingdom, evaluating their ability to provide food, sustain biodiversity, and perform many other services. The overall conclusion: Some 30% of these ecosystem functions are currently declining. The report suggests that the government could do a better job managing these ecosystems—and reap more benefits for society—if it took into account the economic value of a broader array of natural benefits, such as recreation and carbon sequestration.