Ecosystem Services

Reducing fire risk and restoring value to fallow agricultural lands October 23, 2023 This blog was conceived via conversations among UHERO faculty and fellows from diverse backgrounds from environmental economics, ecosystem services, economic diversification, and fire and ecosystems. It is meant to stimulate conversation, research, and action towards pathways to address the critical problem of fire risk from unmanaged grasslands and opportunities to support more generative landscapes. We… Read More
Toward more equitable ecosystem investment programs—Adaptation and equity are central to the design and functioning of successful water funds August 22, 2023 Abstract: Projects designed to incentivize ecosystem management for societal benefits are becoming increasingly popular and are often touted as win–win solutions for social and environmental challenges. Yet, there are important concerns about the equity and justice implications of these programs, and there is strong evidence that a lack of attention to justice can exacerbate or… Read More
Linking climate, forests, and limu: Examining the influence of environmental change on groundwater dependent ecosystems in Kona July 26, 2023 By Leah Bremer, Brytne Okuhata, Jade Delevaux, Angela Richards Doná, Celia Smith, Veronica Gibson, Henrietta Dulai, Aly El Kadi, Kosta Stamoulis, Kimberly Burnett, Christopher Wada Summary: Climate change and increased groundwater pumping are likely to increase the habitat suitability of an invasive seaweed and decrease the abundance of a native and culturally important limu species… Read More
Effects of Multiple Drivers of Environmental Change on Native and Invasive Macroalgae in Nearshore Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems July 26, 2023 New UHERO Environment and collaborator publication in Water Resources Research demonstrates the connections between forest management, groundwater pumping, climate change and nearshore groundwater dependent ecosystems in Kona, Hawaiʻi. Abstract: Groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) are increasingly recognized as critical components of sustainable groundwater management, but are threatened by multiple drivers of environmental change. Despite this importance,… Read More
Puʻulani: Biocultural restoration of agroforestry in Heʻeia, Oʻahu March 13, 2023 By Leah Bremer, Zoe Hastings, Maile Wong, and Tamara Ticktin Puʻulani (heavenly ridge) sits above the loʻi kalo (taro patches) that Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, a community-based organization in Heʻeia, Oʻahu, has been actively restoring since 2010. Just five years ago, in 2018, 100% of the trees at Puʻulani were non-native species. Since then, a partnership between… Read More
Investing in nature-based solutions: Cost profiles of collective-action watershed investment programs January 5, 2023 Abstract: Worldwide, an increasing number of watershed management programs invest in nature-based solutions (NbS) to water security challenges. Yet, NbS for water security currently are deployed at well below their hypothesized cost-effective global potential, with uncertainty about costs identified as one key constraint on increased investment. Data on administrative and transaction costs of watershed investment… Read More
An environmental justice perspective on ecosystem services December 19, 2022 UHERO Environment is part of an international collaboration focused on addressing environmental justice in ecosystem services research and practice. Their new publication in Ambio, "An environmental justice perspective on ecosystem services," explores challenges and opportunities in incorporating multiple dimensions of justice into ecosystem services.  Abstract: Mainstreaming of ecosystem service approaches has been proposed as one… Read More
Non-native fallows hold high potential for restoration through agroforestry in a Pacific Island ecosystem November 3, 2022 Abstract: Agricultural land abandonment affects millions of hectares of cultivated lands globally. While ending cultivation can lead to spontaneous reforestation and ecological benefits, the resulting landscapes often have lower social and agricultural benefits than the native forests and agricultural systems they replace, especially when non-native species dominate successional pathways. This is the case in many… Read More
Social and Cultural values of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in Kona September 19, 2022 By Veronica Gibson, Leah Bremer, Kimberly Burnett, Nicole Keakaonaaliʻi Lui, and Celia Smith “I think about the anchialine pools and the significance of the anchialine pools and how, if you have anchialine pools in your ahupuaʻa, especially in a place like North Kona, Kekaha Wai ʻOle,… you’re considered very wealthy” ~ anchialine pool resource manager… Read More
Opening ceremony at our first Pu‘ulani community planting work day at Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi in January 2019 Restoring Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity through Cost-Effective and Resilient Agroforestry Systems May 12, 2022 Since September 2018, our project team, composed of University of Hawai‘i faculty and students, Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi staff, and other partners have worked together to: 1) design, implement, and monitor 10 agroforestry demonstration plots and buffer areas in He‘eia, O‘ahu (objective 1); 2) publish peer-review and practitioner-oriented material on agroforestry, functional traits, and ecosystem services (objective… Read More
Putting Suppliers on the Map: Centering upstream voices in water funds outreach December 30, 2021 UHERO's Leah Bremer, in collaboration with a team of international researchers, showcases interactive ways to highlight the perspectives of upstream participants in Payments for Watershed Services programs in Colombia in a special issue on water education and outreach. See also interactive Suppliers on the Map website for more information. Access Publication Read More
Identifying wastewater management tradeoffs: costs, nearshore water quality, and implications for marine coastal ecosystems in Kona, Hawai‘i September 8, 2021 Untreated and minimally treated wastewater discharged into the environment have the potential to adversely affect groundwater dependent ecosystems and nearshore marine health. Addressing this issue requires a systems approach that links land use and wastewater management decisions to potential impacts on the nearshore marine environment via changes in water quality and quantity. To that end,… Read More
Panorama Blog: Identifying wastewater management tradeoffs: costs, nearshore water quality, and implications for marine coastal ecosystems in Kona, Hawai’i September 8, 2021 By Christopher A. Wada, Kimberly M. Burnett , Brytne K. Okuhata, Jade M. S. Delevaux, Henrietta Dulai, Aly I. El-Kadi, Veronica Gibson, Celia Smith, Leah L. Bremer An interdisciplinary team from UHERO, the Water Resources Research Center, Dept. of Earth Sciences, and the Dept. of Botany recently published new scientific results in the journal PLOS… Read More
Producing valuable information from hydrologic models of nature‐based solutions for water August 19, 2021 UHERO's Leah Bremer and a group of international collaborators shed light on ways that ecosystem service modeling can better support real-world decision making through attention to the type of decision maker and to the salience, legitimacy, and credibility of information generated. Access Publication   Read More
wetland Groundwater management for people and ecosystems under a changing climate: Insights from the Puʻuloa aquifer July 26, 2021 By Leah Bremer, Ahmed Elshall, Christopher Wada, Laura Brewington, Jade Delevaux, Aly El-Kadi, Clifford Voss, and Kimberly Burnett Summary:New research from the University of Hawaiʻi ʻIke Wai project indicates that current legal limits on withdrawals from the Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor) aquifer, the primary water source for Oʻahu, are not sufficient to protect this important resource.… Read More