On the Ground
We consider the trade-offs among “good” ecosystem services and “bad” ecosystem disservices attributable to past and current ranchland management and how such trade-offs depend on analysis at the scale of the ranch, the region, or the Earth.
We focus on trade-offs in ecosystem services at one working ranch—Buck Island Ranch, location of the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, lying in the headwaters of Florida's Everglades—and managed for 25 years as a full-scale cow–calf operation by Archbold Biological Station, one of the world's preeminent ecological research centers.
The synthesis of how this ranch functions as an ecosystem (species, habitats, nutrient dynamics, hydrology, etc.) is set in the context of financial realities and economic viability.
We develop a conceptual model to visualize trade-offs among ecosystem services and disservices, and provide insight into what it takes to be sustainable ecologically and economically.