Governance to manage the complexity of nature’s contributions to people co-production

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Nature's contributions to people (NCP) support people's quality of life and are generated by an interplay of both natural and anthropogenic capitals, known as NCP co-production, which also includes ecosystem services. A governance system of formal and informal institutions on different yet interlinked spatial, administrative, and temporal scales influences the management of these capitals underpinning the co-production of NCP. While the field of NCP governance is well established, the role of governance on natural and anthropogenic capitals in NCP co-production is under-researched, which might undermine its integration into decision-making. Here, we analyse how governance of anthropogenic capitals influencing NCP co-production has been researched in the scientific literature. We conducted two systematic literature reviews of publications on ecosystem service governance and ecosystem service and NCP co-production. We distinguish different modes of governance directed at NCP co-production following the classification described by Primmer et al. (2015)—hierarchical, scientific-technical, (adaptive)-collaborative governance and the governing of strategic behaviour. These governance modes resemble the pluralism in ecosystem services governance as they involve various actors and governance approaches. We tie these governance modes to the anthropogenic capitals (human, social, physical, or financial) involved in NCP co-production at the respective administrative, spatial, and temporal scales. Our results show that the literature refers to a variety of combinations of governance modes and anthropogenic capitals involved in NCP co-production. Anthropogenic capitals are mostly studied in multiple governance modes, with material NCP being the most commonly NCP investigated. Our results highlight a major research gap in the NCP co-production literature, which currently neglects the role of governance when assessing the interplay of anthropogenic and natural capitals.
ZeitschriftAdvances in Ecological Research
Seiten (von - bis)293-321
Anzahl der Seiten29
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.01.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

This work has been partially funded by the German Research Foundation DFG Priority Program 1374 “Biodiversity Exploratories” (DFG Ref.No.43316337). RI would like to thank Annika Rieke Schmidt for her support and design of Box 3. JK and MFL gratefully acknowledge the support of iDiv funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG–FZT 118, 202548816). KJW acknowledges the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), [funding reference number NSERC NETGP 523374-18]. La recherche de KJW a été financée par le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG), [numéro de référence NSERC NETGP 523374-18].”, The authors reported no potential conflict of interest.


  • Ökosystemforschung - Institutions, Anthropogenic assets, Human assets, Coproduction, Nature's benefits to people