Researchers from Duke University have been working with NOAA and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System to find streamlined ways to incorporate ecosystem services into coastal decision-making. Recently, their work resulted in a generalized Ecosystem Services Conceptual Model (ESCM) for salt marsh ecosystems, which displays how salt marsh restoration interventions result in ecosystem services impacts and provides a template that anyone doing salt marsh restoration can use.
This factsheet describes a 2018 Catalyst project that expands on the ESCM modeling approach by improving the existing salt marsh model and developing new models for other estuarine habitats. The project team, comprised of researchers from Duke University and the Rookery Bay and North Carolina reserves, is developing site-specific ecosystem conceptual models at a salt marsh and oyster reef site at the North Carolina Reserve, and at a mangrove site at the Rookery Bay Reserve. These site-specific models will be used to improve and/or develop generalized ecosystem services models for each habitat type. This factsheet describes the project approach, anticipated benefits, targeted end users, and anticipated products.