Governing the co-production of nature's contributions to people: the road ahead

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


Nature's contributions to people (NCP) support human well-being in multiple ways and are provided through an interplay of natural and anthropogenic capitals. This process is also known as NCP co-production. NCP and the capitals that co-produce them are subject to formal and informal institutions in governance settings across spatial, temporal, and administrative scales. Recent research has shown how scientific literature has studied the governance of anthropogenic capitals in the co-production of NCP. Here we build on this research by exploring challenges and highlighting research gaps and challenges. These include conceptual gaps, such as defining what makes NCP co-production sustainable and differentiating social capital from governance. Second, gaps regarding research practices such as increasing inclusivity of stakeholders. Third, thematic gaps include the understanding of power in polycentric governance of co-produced NCP and the identification of leverage points in a transformation towards sustainable forms of NCP co-production. By identifying these gaps, we explore how future research could deepen the understanding of the interplay between natural and anthropogenic capitals in NCP co-production and thus contribute to more sustainable management practices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Ecological Research : Roadmaps: Part B
EditorsDavid A. Bohan, Alex J. Dumbrell
Number of pages15
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)978-0-443-19298-2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work has been (partly) funded by the DFG Priority Programme 1374 “Biodiversity- Exploratories” (DFG-Refno. 43316337). Field work permits were issued by the responsible state environmental offices of Baden-Württemberg, Thüringen, and Brandenburg. MFL's contract is part of the RYC2021-032828-I grant, financed by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR. RI, MFL, and BML would like to thank the managers of the three Exploratories, Franca Marian, Max Müller, Robert Künast, and all former managers for their work in maintaining the plot and project infrastructure; Victoria Grießmeier for giving support through the central office, Andreas Ostrowski for managing the central database, and Markus Fischer, Eduard Linsenmair, Dominik Hessenmöller, Daniel Prati, Ingo Schöning, François Buscot, Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Wolfgang W. Weisser and the late Elisabeth Kalko for their role in setting up the Biodiversity Exploratories project. We thank the administration of the Hainich national park, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Swabian Alb and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin as well as all landowners for the excellent collaboration. RI would like to thank Annika Rieke Schmidt for her support in designingFig. 1. The authors reported no potential conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

    Research areas

  • Anthropogenic assets, Coproduction, Ecosystem services, Human assets, Institutions, Nature's benefits to people
  • Biology