Co-production of nature's contributions to people: What evidence is out there?

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Nature's contributions to people (NCP) rarely originate from nature alone. Often, only by joining natural capital with forms of anthropogenic capital, NCP emerge benefitting people. Understanding how NCP are co-produced by natural and anthropogenic capitals is needed to inform decision-making on sustainable land-use practices. Through a systematic review of the literature, we compile existing empirical evidence on NCP co-production and how this evidence was arrived at. We identified 237 observations from 25 publications on anthropogenic capital indicators co-producing NCP. The reviewed studies were conducted mainly in cropland and forest ecosystems and at the landscape level. Our results show that most evidence for co-production exists for material NCP, with physical capital and/or human capital as main input. Interestingly, non-material NCP relied mostly on human or social capital only, while material and regulating NCP involved multiple types of anthropogenic capital. Our findings provide guidance for future research on how to explicitly incorporate NCP co-production to analytically assess the relationships between anthropogenic capitals and NCP provision. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPeople and Nature
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1119-1134
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2023

Bibliographical note

This work is funded by DFG Priority Program 1374 “Biodiversity Exploratories” (433163377). It is also supported by iDiv funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG‐FZT 118, 202548816). Open access funding enabled and organized by ProjektDEAL.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. People and Nature published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society.