A global system for monitoring ecosystem service change

Heather Tallis, Harold Mooney, Sandy Andelman, Patricia Balvanera, Wolfgang Cramer, Daniel Karp, Stephen Polasky, Belinda Reyers, Taylor Ricketts, Steve Running, Kirsten Thonicke, Britta Tietjen, Ariane Walz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Earth's life-support systems are in flux, yet no centralized system to monitor and report these changes exists. Recognizing this, 77 nations agreed to establish the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). The GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) integrates existing data streams into one platform in order to provide a more complete picture of Earth's biological and social systems. We present a conceptual framework envisioned by the GEO BON Ecosystem Services Working Group, designed to integrate national statistics, numerical models, remote sensing, and in situ measurements to regularly track changes in ecosystem services across the globe. This information will serve diverse applications, including stimulating new research and providing the basis for assessments. Although many ecosystem services are not currently measured, others are ripe for reporting. We propose a framework that will continue to grow and inspire more complete observation and assessments of our planet's life-support systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-986
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Biodiversity
  • Global change
  • Sustainability
  • Trade-offs


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