Ecosystem services are the benefits we get from nature. These include a wide range of benefits such as food, energy, clean air and water, regulation of risks (floods, droughts, erosion) and recreation or spiritual benefits. The Managing Ecosystem Services Evidence Review (MESER) tool updates the Ecosystem Services Transfer Toolkit spreadsheet. The tool is a literature review of the effect of land management actions on the provision of ecosystem services.
MESER is in the form of an interactive web portal with an accompanying User Guide. The tool can be searched and queried to find evidence of the effects of specific land management actions on ecosystem services provided by upland, freshwater, urban, lowland agriculture, coastal and marine habitats. It also assesses how transferable the effect of a land management action on ecosystem services may be, if done in a different place. MESER allows users to download PDFs which provide an overview of the evidence from the scientific literature on the effect of a particular management intervention on the ecosystem services provided by a specific habitat.
The factsheets, created in 2014 during the original review, provide easy access to the evidence. Each fact sheet summarises the evidence for changes in ecosystem service provision from a land management action in a broad habitat type, for example, increasing urban trees and woodlands. An introductory sheet explains how the fact sheets have been compiled and how to interpret the graphics. Both the toolkit and the fact sheets indicate the magnitude of an effect on an ecosystem service and the strength of the supporting evidence. References are provided for all the evidence and, where available, abstracts from the peer-reviewed papers are included in the toolkit.
The findings published here may be used by Natural England staff and anyone else involved in making land management decisions, to enable them to manage for ecosystem services, or understand the consequences of their management actions on ecosystem services. This tool is a literature review of how management interventions affect the provision of ecosystem services, and does not constitute Natural England advice or guidance on interventions, or any endorsement of these. The tool presents relevant, available evidence at the time of creation. Where there are gaps in the evidence, this does not necessarily mean that there would be no effect on an intervention on an ecosystem service, just that there was no published evidence identified on the association at the time of development.