Spencer A Wood

Spencer A Wood
University of Washington Seattle | UW · School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

About

67
Publications
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6,390
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Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
There is a nearly 10,000-year history of human presence in the western Gulf of Alaska, but little understanding of how human foragers integrated into and impacted ecosystems through their roles as hunter-gatherers. We present two highly resolved intertidal and nearshore food webs for the Sanak Archipelago in the eastern Aleutian Islands and use the...
Article
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Background: At a time of increasing disconnectedness from nature, scientific interest in the potential health benefits of nature contact has grown. Research in recent decades has yielded substantial evidence, but large gaps remain in our understanding. Objectives: We propose a research agenda on nature contact and health, identifying principal d...
Article
Biogeography has traditionally focused on the spatial distribution and abundance of species. Both are driven by the way species interact with one another, but only recently community ecologists realized the need to document their spatial and temporal variation. Here, we call for an integrated approach, adopting the view that community structure is...
Article
Urban nature has the potential to improve air and water quality, mitigate flooding, enhance physical and mental health, and promote social and cultural well-being. However, the value of urban ecosystem services remains highly uncertain, especially across the diverse social, ecological and technological contexts represented in cities around the worl...
Article
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Outdoor and nature-based recreation provides countless social benefits, yet public land managers often lack information on the spatial and temporal extent of recreation activities. Social media is a promising source of data to fill information gaps because the amount of recreational use is positively correlated with social media activity. However,...
Article
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Environmental management increasingly relies on information about ecosystem services for decision-making. Compared with regulating and provisioning services, cultural ecosystem services (CES) are particularly challenging to characterize and measure at management-relevant spatial scales, which has hindered their consideration in practice. Social med...
Article
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Larger geographical areas contain more species—an observation raised to a law in ecology. Less explored is whether biodiversity changes are accompanied by a modification of interaction networks. We use data from 32 spatial interaction networks from different ecosystems to analyse how network structure changes with area. We find that basic community...
Article
Social–ecological networks (SENs) represent the complex relationships between ecological and social systems and are a useful tool for analyzing and managing ecosystem services. However, mainstreaming the application of SENs in ecosystem service research has been hindered by a lack of clarity about how to match research questions to ecosystem servic...
Article
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Collecting well-resolved empirical trophic networks requires significant time, money and expertise, yet we are still lacking knowledge on how sampling effort and bias impact the estimation of network structure. Filling this gap is a critical first step towards creating accurate representations of ecological networks and for teasing apart the impact...
Article
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Nature underpins human well-being in critical ways, especially in health. Nature provides pollination of nutritious crops, purification of drinking water, protection from floods, and climate security, among other well-studied health benefits. A crucial, yet challenging, research frontier is clarifying how nature promotes physical activity for its m...
Article
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The ornamental aquarium pet trade is a leading pathway for the introduction of aquatic invasive species. In addition to purchasing live organisms in stores, hobbyists are engaging more with alternative informal online marketplaces that enable peer-to-peer selling of aquarium organisms via auctions. Although growing in popularity, little is known re...
Article
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While environmental reconstruction has been a staple in the study of past societies, underused tools from ecology, such as food webs, can enable a more thorough understanding of the human place within ecosystems. Drawing on two recent studies, this article describes the types of questions that can be addressed using this approach. The authors demon...
Article
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Sustainable tourism involves increasingly attracting visitors while preserving the natural capital of a destination for future generations. To foster tourism while protecting sensitive environments, coastal managers, tourism operators, and other decision-makers benefit from information about where tourists go and which aspects of the natural and bu...
Article
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Social media are being increasingly used to inform visitor use management in parks and protected areas. We review the state of the scientific literature to understand the ways social media has been, and can be, used to measure visitation, spatial patterns of use, and visitors' experiences in parks and protected areas. Geotagged social media are a g...
Article
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Prevention of aquatic invasive species is a fundamental management challenge. With hundreds of millions of people participating in fishing trips each year, understanding angler movements that transmit invasive species can provide critical insight into the most effective locations and scales at which to apply preventative measures. Recent evidence s...
Preprint
Outdoor recreation is an economically important industry and valuable ecosystem service, yet managers lack high quality data on the spatial and temporal extent and nature of recreation activities. Social media is a promising source of data to fill information gaps because the amount of recreational use is positively correlated with social media act...
Article
Full-text available
The productivity of marine ecosystems and the services they provide to humans are largely dependent on complex interactions between prey and predators. These are embedded in a diverse network of trophic interactions, resulting in a cascade of events following perturbations such as species extinction. The sheer scale of oceans, however, precludes th...
Article
Aim How do factors such as space, time, climate and other ecological drivers influence food web structure and dynamics? Collections of well‐studied food webs and replicate food webs from the same system that span biogeographical and ecological gradients now enable detailed, quantitative investigation of such questions and help integrate food web ec...
Article
The aim of this study was to compare estuarine food web network structure in the past, present and future, in a climate warming context, while also taking the trophic role of humans into account. Three versions of the Tagus Estuary (Portugal) food web were compiled representing its past (1970s), present (2000s) and future (2100s) trophic organizati...
Article
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Recreation and tourism are important ways that people interact with and derive benefits from natural environments. Understanding how and where nature provides recreational opportunities and benefits is necessary for management decisions that impact the environment. This study develops and tests an approach for mapping tourism patterns, and assessin...
Article
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Marine spatial planning (MSP) processes seek to better manage ocean spaces by balancing ecological, social and economic objectives using public and participatory processes. To meet this challenge, MSP approaches and tools have evolved globally, from local to national scales. At two International Marine Conservation Congresses (2016 and 2018), MSP p...
Article
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Globally, most wildlife lives outside of protected areas, creating potential conflicts between the needs of wildlife and the needs of humans. East African savannas epitomize this challenge, providing habitat for wildlife such as giraffes and elephants as well as for people and their livestock. Conflicts over land use are common, leading to the assu...
Article
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Experiences with nature through visits to protected areas provide important cultural ecosystem services that have the potential to strengthen pro-environmental attitudes and behavior. Understanding accessibility to protected areas and likely preferences for enjoying the benefits of nature visits are key factors in identifying ways to reduce inequal...
Technical Report
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What is IPBES? IPBES—the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services—was established in 2012 to serve a role linking the science and knowledge about nature and nature’s benefits to people with policy and decision-making. IPBES has many expert groups, including one that focusses on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity of Ecosy...
Article
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Understanding why some parks are used more regularly or intensely than others can inform ways in which urban parkland is developed and managed to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding urban population. Although geolocated social media (GSM) indicators have been used to examine park visitation rates, studies applying this approach are generally limi...
Article
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A growing number of nations aim to design coastal plans to reduce conflicts in space and safeguard ecosystems that provide important benefits to people and economies. Critics of coastal and ocean planning point to a complicated process with many actors, objectives, and uncertain outcomes. This paper explores one such decision-making process in Beli...
Article
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Decision makers need information on the use of, and demand for, public recreation and transportation facilities. Innovations in monitoring technologies and diffusion of social media enable new approaches to estimation of demand. We assess the feasibility of using geo-tagged photographs uploaded to the image-sharing website Flickr and tweets from Tw...
Article
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Global coral reef related tourism is one of the most significant examples of nature-based tourism from a single ecosystem. Coral reefs attract foreign and domestic visitors and generate revenues, including foreign exchange earnings, in over 100 countries and territories. Understanding the full value of coral reefs to tourism, and the spatial distri...
Article
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Because wildlife and livestock compete for grazing resources, biodiversity conservation and livestock ranching typically have been portrayed as conflicting uses of African savannas. Here, we offer an alternative perspective by describing a savanna ecosystem in central Kenya where wildlife and livestock exhibit a suite of potential positive interact...
Article
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Conserved lands provide multiple ecosystem services, including opportunities for nature-based recreation. Managing this service requires understanding the landscape attributes underpinning its provision, and how changes in land management affect its contribution to human wellbeing over time. However, evidence from both spatially explicit and tempor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biogeography has traditionally focused on the spatial distribution and abundance of species. Both are driven by the way species interact with one another, but also by the way these interactions vary across time and space. Here, we call for an integrated approach, adopting the view that community structure is best represented as a network of ecologi...
Article
Full-text available
Businesses may be missing opportunities to account for ecosystem services in their decisions because they do not have methods to quantify and value ecosystem services. We developed a method to quantify and value coastal protection and other ecosystem services in the context of a cost-benefit analysis of hurricane risk mitigation options for a busin...
Article
Full-text available
The study of ecological networks is severely limited by 1) the difficulty to access data, 2) the lack of a standardized way to link meta-data with interactions, and 3) the disparity of formats in which ecological networks themselves are stored and represented. To overcome these limitations, we have designed a data specifi cation for ecological netw...
Article
The increased availability of both open ecological data, and software to interact with it, allows the fast collection and integration of information at all spatial and taxonomic scales. This offers the opportunity to address macroecological questions in a cost-effective way. In this contribution, we illustrate this approach by forecasting the struc...
Article
Full-text available
Systems biology promises to revolutionize medicine, yet human wellbeing is also inherently linked to healthy societies and environments (sustainability). The IDEA Consortium is a systems ecology open science initiative to conduct the basic scientific research needed to build use-oriented simulations (avatars) of entire social-ecological systems. Is...
Article
Systems biology promises to revolutionize medicine, yet human wellbeing is also inherently linked to healthy societies and environments (sustainability). The IDEA Consortium is a systems ecology open science initiative to conduct the basic scientific research needed to build use-oriented simulations (avatars) of entire social-ecological systems. Is...
Preprint
Full-text available
The increased availability of both open ecological data, and software to interact with it, allows to rapidly collect and integrate data over large spatial and taxonomic scales. This offers the opportunity to address macroecological questions in a cost-effective way. In this contribution, we illustrate this approach by forecasting the structure of a...
Article
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This study asks whether the spatial scale of sampling alters structural properties of food webs and whether any differences are attributable to changes in species richness and connectance with scale. Understanding how different aspects of sampling effort affect ecological network structure is important for both fundamental ecological knowledge and...
Article
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Characterization of the diets of upper-trophic pelagic predators that consume forage species is a key ingredient in the development of ecosystem-based fishery management plans, conservation of marine predators, and ecological and economic modeling of trophic interactions. Here we present the California Current Predator Diet Database (CCPDD) for the...
Article
How multiple types of non-trophic interactions map onto trophic networks in real communities remains largely unknown. We present the first effort, to our knowledge, describing a comprehensive ecological network that includes all known trophic and diverse non-trophic links among .100 coexisting species for the marine rocky intertidal community of th...
Article
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While there have been rapid advances in assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES), a critical remaining challenge is how to move from scientific knowledge to real-world decision making. We offer 6 lessons from our experiences applying new approaches and tools for quantifying BES in 20 pilot demonstrations: (1) Applying a BES approach...
Article
Full-text available
Recent calls for ocean planning envision informed management of social and ecological systems to sustain delivery of ecosystem services to people. However, until now, no coastal and marine planning process has applied an ecosystem-services framework to understand how human activities affect the flow of benefits, to create scenarios, and to design a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The study of ecological networks is severely limited by (i) the difficulty to access data, (ii) the lack of a standardized way to link meta-data with interactions, and (iii) the disparity of formats in which ecological networks themselves are represented. To overcome these limitations, we conceived a data specification for ecological networks. We i...
Article
Full-text available
More than 41 000 water bodies are listed as impaired by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. Implementation and enforcement of regulations designed to address these impairments can be costly, raising questions about the value of the public benefits derived from improved surface water quality. Here, we assess the recreat...
Article
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An age-old conflict around a seemingly simple question has resurfaced: why do we conserve nature? Contention around this issue has come and gone many times, but in the past several years we believe that it has reappeared as an increasingly acrimonious debate between, in essence, those who argue that nature should be protected for its own sake (intr...
Article
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Integrated coastal and ocean management requires transparent and accessible approaches for understanding the influence of human activities on marine environments. Here we introduce a model for assessing the combined risk to habitats from multiple ocean uses. We apply the model to coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Belize to inform t...
Article
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Scientists have traditionally studied recreation in nature by conducting surveys at entrances to major attractions such as national parks. This method is expensive and provides limited spatial and temporal coverage. A new source of information is available from online social media websites such as flickr. Here, we test whether this source of "big d...
Article
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Extreme weather, sea-level rise and degraded coastal ecosystems are placing people and property at greater risk of damage from coastal hazards. The likelihood and magnitude of losses may be reduced by intact reefs and coastal vegetation, especially when those habitats fringe vulnerable communities and infrastructure. Using five sea-level-rise scena...
Article
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Many hope that ocean waves will be a source for clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy, yet wave energy conversion facilities may affect marine ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms, including competition with other human uses. We developed a decision-support tool to assist siting wave energy facilities, which allows the user to balance t...
Article
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People around the world are looking to marine ecosystems to provide additional benefits to society. As they consider expanding current uses and investing in new ones, new management approaches are needed that will sustain the delivery of the diverse benefits that people want and need. An ecosystem services framework provides metrics for assessing t...
Article
Organisms eating each other are only one of many types of well documented and important interactions among species. Other such types include habitat modification, predator interference and facilitation. However, ecological network research has been typically limited to either pure food webs or to networks of only a few (<3) interaction types. The g...