10 years later: Revisiting priorities for science and society a decade after the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Christian Mulder, Elena M. Bennett, David A. Bohan, Michael Bonkowski, Stephen R. Carpenter, Rachel Chalmers, Wolfgang Cramer, Isabelle Durance, Nico Eisenhauer, Colin Fontaine, Alison J. Haughton, Jean Paul Hettelingh, Jes Hines, Sébastien Ibanez, Erik Jeppesen, Jennifer Adams Krumins, Athen Ma, Giorgio Mancinelli, François Massol, Órla McLaughlinShahid Naeem, Unai Pascual, Josep Peñuelas, Nathalie Pettorelli, Michael J.O. Pocock, Dave Raffaelli, Jes J. Rasmussen, Graciela M. Rusch, Christoph Scherber, Heikki Setälä, William J. Sutherland, Corinne Vacher, Winfried Voigt, J. Arie Vonk, Stephen A. Wood, Guy Woodward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The study of ecological services (ESs) is fast becoming a cornerstone of mainstream ecology, largely because they provide a useful means of linking functioning to societal benefits in complex systems by connecting different organizational levels. In order to identify the main challenges facing current and future ES research, we analyzed the effects of the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA, 2005) on different disciplines. Within a set of topics framed around concepts embedded within the MEA, each co-author identified five key research challenges and, where feasible, suggested possible solutions. Concepts included those related to specific service types (i.e. provisioning, supporting, regulating, cultural, aesthetic services) as well as more synthetic issues spanning the natural and social sciences, which often linked a wide range of disciplines, as was the case for the application of network theory. By merging similar responses, and removing some of the narrower suggestions from our sample pool, we distilled the key challenges into a smaller subset. We review some of the historical context to the MEA and identify some of the broader scientific and philosophical issues that still permeate discourse in this field. Finally, we consider where the greatest advances are most likely to be made in the next decade and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Ecological Research
EditorsDavid A. Bohan, Guy Woodward
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages53
ISBN (Print)9780128038857
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Ecological Research
ISSN (Print)0065-2504


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