Interregional flows of multiple ecosystem services through global trade in wild species

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Ecosystem services flow interregionally between sending and receiving regions and their consumption can have impacts on ecosystems in distant regions. Global trade of wild species comprises a multitude of ecosystem services. We identify ecosystem service flows provided by traded species and delineate main sending and receiving regions through species range maps, based on bilateral trade entries in the database of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) from 2014 to 2018. We found that 65% of species represent the service class ‘Science’ (1378 species), 14% ‘Decoration and Pets’ (293), 9% ‘Entertainment’ (188), 4.7% ‘Conservation’ (96), 4.6% ‘Education’ (95) and 2.7% ‘Medicine’ (54). Sending regions are predominantly located in the ‘global South’ and receiving regions in the ‘global North’. Of the traded species 12.3% are threatened and 83.9% may become so without regulation. Of the main sending regions 24.1% are protected. Results show that main sending and main receiving regions differ depending on the ecosystem service. By linking actual trade data from CITES with different types of services, traded service-providing species can be directly assigned to service classes. Through the novel approach of identifying sending regions based on species-specific range maps, the study enables spatial analyses down to a 100x100km scale within countries and regions globally for more targeted conservation actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101316
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2021
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Conservation, Endangered species, Interregional flows, Service-providing units, Telecoupling, Trade
  • Ecosystems Research