Conceptualizing ecosystem services using social–ecological networks

María R. Felipe-Lucia, Angela M. Guerrero, Steven M. Alexander, Jaime Ashander, Jacopo A. Baggio, Michele L. Barnes, Örjan Bodin, Aletta Bonn, Marie Josée Fortin, Rachel S. Friedman, Jessica A. Gephart, Kate J. Helmstedt, Aislyn A. Keyes, Kailin Kroetz, François Massol, Michael J.O. Pocock, Jesse Sayles, Ross M. Thompson, Spencer A. Wood, Laura E. Dee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Social–ecological networks (SENs) represent the complex relationships between ecological and social systems and are a useful tool for analyzing and managing ecosystem services. However, mainstreaming the application of SENs in ecosystem service research has been hindered by a lack of clarity about how to match research questions to ecosystem service conceptualizations in SEN (i.e., as nodes, links, attributes, or emergent properties). Building from different disciplines, we propose a typology to represent ecosystem service in SENs and identify opportunities and challenges of using SENs in ecosystem service research. Our typology provides guidance for this growing field to improve research design and increase the breadth of questions that can be addressed with SEN to understand human–nature interdependencies in a changing world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • complex systems
  • coupled human and natural systems
  • multilayer networks
  • multiplex network
  • nature contributions to people
  • social–ecological interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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