Ecosystem Services: In the Coastal Zone of the Nordic Countries
People are dependent on the ocean and coasts and their resources for their survival and well-being. Coastal ecosystems of the Nordic countries, such as kelp forests, blue mussel beds, eelgrass meadows and shallow bays and inlets, provide a number of supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services to both the local communities as well as the wider population who benefit from them.
These are high biodiversity ecosystems with numerous species of flora and fauna. They act as important nursery habitats for several species of fish, shellfish and plants, including commercial species. They are also an important part in a number of system processes including water purification, coastal erosion protection and carbon fixation, to mention a few. Further, the coastal zone is important as a recreational area for swimming and fishing and there is a large potential for new applications such as biofuel production and increased production of alginate. As a result, there are many interests and benefits related to these areas.
Four key ecosystems have been selected to be examined in this report. These are kelp forests, eelgrass meadows, blue mussel beds and shallow bays and inlets. For kelp forest and mussels, the economic potential of cultivation is also considered.
The study has focused on examining these coastal values through selected examples, and recommend possible applications for the management of the Nordic coastal areas and their resources. The study also identifies key knowledge gaps and suggests where further work should be emphasized.
Type: Staff Publications
Year of publication: 2017
Publisher: Nordic Council of Ministers
Place of publication: Copenhagen, Denmark