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Prospects for forest-based ecosystem services in forest-coffee mosaics as forest loss continues in southwestern Ethiopia


When natural ecosystems are degraded owing to land-use changes, humans will increasingly rely on managed landscapes for biodiversity and ecosystem services. In landscapes with ongoing forest-agriculture transitions and agricultural intensification, we need to understand the impact of land-use changes on ecosystem service provisioning and the relative roles of remnant forests and managed landscapes in ecosystem service delivery. Using socio-ecological surveys in southwest Ethiopian agroecosystems, we assessed the impact of land-use changes on forest-based ecosystem services and livelihoods, and the prospects for coffee agroforests to provide complementary forest-based ecosystem services. We found that over 67% of provisioning and <50% of cultural and regulating forest-based services can be provided by semi-forest and garden coffee systems. Most forest-based cultural, regulating and supporting services cannot be substituted in coffee agroforests since these services are largely concentrated in the forest remnants. The extent to which people substitute or complement those losses in coffee agroforests depends on the livelihood strategies and socio-cultural practices of local people, management intensity, and policy and demographic factors that affect agroecosystem intensification. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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