Ecosystem Services: A Systematic Review of Provisioning and Cultural Ecosystem Services in Estuaries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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It is widely argued that humans deteriorate and vandalize ecosystems, yet little is known about the advantages they receive from the same. The study employs the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approach to identify studies on the value of ecosystems, with a focus on estuaries between the years 2000 to 2021. The review included a total of 61 studies, which highlighted: (a) the importance of estuarine ecosystem services; (b) the stress placed on estuaries as a result of human activity; and (c) the importance of ecosystem services to human well-being. These studies aid in our understanding of the provisioning and cultural services that ecosystems provide to humans, as well as how the ecosystem services assist individuals in diversifying their livelihoods. Our systematic review revealed that: (a) estuaries provide benefits to humans and are used for survival, (b) cultural ecosystem services are important and valuable; however, (c) as a result of human activities and climate change, ecosystem services face numerous threats such as pollution, overexploitation of resources, and poor water quality, among others. Future research should focus on how estuary users perceive the ecosystem services that estuaries provide, and there should be more publications and studies on the benefits that estuaries provide. The systematic review highlighted that most studies are outdated, there are few to no new studies on ecosystem services and estuaries, and those that are available do not directly address the importance of estuaries. provisioning ecosystem services; estuaries; cultural ecosystem services; fishing
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