Assessment of impacts on ecosystem services provided by geodiversity in highly urbanised areas: A case study of the Taubaté Basin, Brazil

Fernanda Coyado Reverte, Maria da Glória Motta Garcia, JoséBrilha, Alan Uchoa Pellejero

This work presents a method to identify, to evaluate and to quantify the losses of the offer of ecosystem services provided by geodiversity, using as a case study the Taubaté Basin region, a highly urbanized portion of southeastern São Paulo State, Brazil. Our method considers not only the qualitative analysis of the abiotic aspects, but also the historical and cultural context, in which the geodiversity elements are crucial for local economy development. The method is based on: i) Qualitative evaluation and definition of six Essential Geodiversity Variables (EGVs), used as the basis for the identification of 53 ecosystem services distributed into four functions: regulating, supporting, provisioning, and cultural; ii) Definition of land use categories based on two land use maps elaborated in order to compare the transformation occurred in the region between 1986 and 2016; iii) Quantification and evaluation of the impacts on the offer of ecosystem services caused by land use transformations occurred in region in a 30–year gap. The results showed that anthropogenic action is the main factor that alter the availability of local services, with emphasis on the supply of water, soils and mineral resources, and its potentially influence on the quality of life of certain species. We reinforce the view that public policies on land management and planning should consider the ecosystem assessment, as it provides evidence to propose actions to mitigate impacts and for environmental compensation, favoring the sustainable use of resources by society.

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