Geosystem services: a hidden link in ecosystem management.

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This paper explores the representation of goods and services from the subsurface, as defined by the concept of geosystem services, in contemporary ecosystems literature. A framework is defined consistent with and complementary to the categorisation defined under CICES. Following the Campbell Collaboration protocol, a systematic literature review is conducted on the representation of subsurface-related goods and services in ecosystem services research. The review shows that, in the period between 2000 and 2016, for every publication on subsurface services 140 articles on ecosystem services have been published. The results further indicate that valuation and governance studies on geosystem services are scarce. This gap stems from the exclusion of a number of abiotic goods and services from the classification as well as a lack of attention from the current scientific community to this topic. Studies to date have been performed in a limited number of English-speaking countries by researchers with backgrounds in ecology, biology, earth sciences and mining engineering. The underrepresentation of geosystem services in the scientific literature negatively impacts integrated decision making in spatial planning, environmental policy making and long term ecosystem management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-69
Number of pages12
JournalEcosystem Services
Volume26 A
Early online date15 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Geosystem services
  • Sustainability
  • environmental economics
  • subsurface
  • urbanisation

VU Research Profile

  • Science for Sustainability


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