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Environ Manage. 2005 Mar;35(3):343-51.

Associating ecosystem service losses with indicators of toxicity in habitat equivalency analysis.

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Stratus Consulting Inc., 1881 Ninth Street, Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80302, USA.


Habitat equivalency analysis (HEA) was developed as a tool to scale mitigation or restoration when habitat is contaminated by hazardous substances or has been otherwise harmed by anthropogenic activities. Applying HEA involves balancing reductions in habitat quality against gains from restoration actions, and quantifying changes in habitat quality in terms of ecological services. We propose a framework for developing ecological service definitions and measures that incorporate knowledge about the impacts of chemical contaminants on biota. We describe a general model for integrating multiple lines of evidence about the toxicity of hazardous substances to allow mapping of toxicological inputs to ecological service losses. We provide an example of how this framework might be used in a HEA that quantifies ecological services provided by estuarine sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

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