Stephen Watson

Stephen Watson
Plymouth Marine Laboratory | PML · Sea and Society

PhD

About

16
Publications
3,569
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135
Citations

Publications

Publications (16)
Article
Full-text available
In the marine environment, the ecosystem service of Waste Remediation (WR) enables humans to utilise the natural functioning of ecosystems to process and detoxify a large number of waste products and therefore avoid harmful effects on human wellbeing and the environment. Despite its importance, to date the service has been poorly defined in ecosyst...
Article
The structure and resilience of benthic communities in coastal and estuarine ecosystems can be strongly affected by human mediated disturbances, such as nutrient enrichment, often leading to changes in a food webs function. In this study, we used the Ecopath model (EwE) to examine two case studies where deliberate management actions aimed at reduci...
Article
Full-text available
Context Studies evaluating biodiversity loss and altered ecosystem services have tended to examine changes over the last few decades, despite the fact that land use change and its negative impacts have been occurring over a much longer period. Examining past land use change, particularly over the long-term and multiple time periods, is essential fo...
Article
Using a natural capital framework to inform improvements to water quality and mitigation of climate change requires robust and spatially explicit ecosystem service data. Yet, for coastal habitats this approach is often constrained by a) sufficient and relevant habitat extent data and b) significant variability in baseline assessments used to quanti...
Article
Full-text available
Current approaches to measure ecosystem services (ES) within natural capital (NC) and nature-based solutions (NbS) assessments are generally coarse, often using a single figure for ecosystem services (e.g., nutrient remediation or blue carbon sequestration) applied to the local or national habitat stock, which fails to take account of local ecosyst...
Article
Background Many marine man-made structures (MMS), such as oil and gas platforms or offshore wind turbines, are nearing their ‘end-of-life’ and require decommissioning. Limited understanding of MMS decommissioning effects currently restricts the consideration of alternative management possibilities, often leaving complete removal as the only option...
Article
Full-text available
Context Agricultural intensification is being widely pursued as a policy option to improve food security and human development. Yet, there is a need to understand the impact of agricultural intensification on the provision of multiple ecosystem services, and to evaluate the possible occurrence of tipping points. Objectives To quantify and assess t...
Article
Full-text available
Given the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture, there is an urgent need to reduce the impact of food production on biodiversity. Ecological restoration of farmland could potentially contribute to this goal. While the positive impacts of ecological restoration on biodiversity are well established, less evidence is available regard...
Article
Full-text available
ContextHistorical maps of land use/land cover (LULC) enable detection of landscape changes, and help to assess drivers and potential future trajectories. However, historical maps are often limited in their spatial and temporal coverage. There is a need to develop and test methods to improve re-construction of historical landscape change.Objectives...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The overarching aim of this report is to investigate and assess the natural capital value of the Solent Marine Sites (SEMS) in terms of the function of coastal habitats and key species controlling water quality (particularly relating to nitrogen [N] and phosphorous [P] inputs). More specifically the project provides evidence to help value several e...
Article
Full-text available
This is the final of the Valuing Nature Demystifying Series, which provides a simple explanation of the concept of the 'tipping point' for policy-makers and practitioners involved in safeguarding and restoring nature and who may be well-placed to address tipping points, but may not necessarily be well versed in the science behind it. Tipping point...
Technical Report
Full-text available
How does environmental degradation affect economic development and employment? This report presents the results of research that addressed this question. The research was conducted by the project Tipping Points in Lowland Agricultural Landscapes (TPAL), which forms part of the Valuing Nature Programme. The research focused on the county of Dorset,...
Article
Despite a wealth of methods currently proposed by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) to assess macro-benthic integrity, determining good ecological status (GES) and assessing ecosystem recovery following anthropogenic degradation is still one of the biggest challenges in marine ecology research. In this study, our aim was to test a number...
Article
Concern about abrupt and potentially irreversible ecosystem thresholds and tipping points is increasing, as they may have significant implications for natural capital and human wellbeing. Although well established in theory, there are few empirical studies that provide evidence for these phenomena in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, despite their...
Article
Full-text available
Although it is widely assumed that business activity is dependent on flows of ecosystem services (ES), little evidence is available with which to evaluate this contention. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a questionnaire survey of business dependencies on twenty-six different ES in the English county of Dorset, where the environment supp...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The overall aim is to inform decision-makers and stakeholders about the relative benefits and detriments of different strategies for decommissioning structures in the North Sea for the environment and people. Through novel integration and analyses of existing data from a wide range of sources, using structured, systematic and meta-analytic approaches, the effects of man-made structures on ecosystems and services will be quantified. Outcomes will be fed into state of the art ecosystem models to forecast ecosystem states and estimates of goods and services, with associated trade-offs across spatial and temporal scales, derived from different decommissioning strategies.
Project
To map and evaluate the extent and value of natural capital in the Solent European Marine Site (EMS) in relation to ecosystem functions that provide water quality services.
Project
In coastal ecosystems the major threats to biodiversity are numerous, with climate stressors being well documented as a significant threat. This project aims to assess the impact of multiple anthropogenic stressors on biodiversity and coastal ecosystem service delivery, and in turn how these impacts affect the provision of ecosystem benefits and thus human well-being. The effect of single and multiple stressors on macrofaunal assemblages (and their associated food webs) were examined across two UK biogeographic provinces the Tamar and Eden estuaries in the UK, with the objective of this work to test and visualise outcomes of various modelling tools and indicators that could be used for advising planning and management of multiple actions and pressures on the marine environment. The service of waste remediation also provides a variety of benefits but there has minimal research undertaken on the valuation of this service. Therefore disentangling the complexity of this service will be a key and novel part of the project.