Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Can Nature-Based Solutions Deliver a Win-Win for Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation?

Version 1 : Received: 20 October 2021 / Approved: 23 October 2021 / Online: 23 October 2021 (14:19:30 CEST)

How to cite: Key, I.; Smith, A.; Turner, B.; Chausson, A.; Girardin, C.; MacGillivray, M.; Seddon, N. Can Nature-Based Solutions Deliver a Win-Win for Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation?. Preprints 2021, 2021100336 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0336.v1). Key, I.; Smith, A.; Turner, B.; Chausson, A.; Girardin, C.; MacGillivray, M.; Seddon, N. Can Nature-Based Solutions Deliver a Win-Win for Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation?. Preprints 2021, 2021100336 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0336.v1).

Abstract

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly recognised for their potential to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. These outcomes are interdependent, and both rely on the capacity of NbS to support and enhance the health of an ecosystem: its biodiversity, the condition of its abiotic and biotic elements, and its capacity to function normally despite environmental change. However, while understanding of ecosystem health outcomes of nature-based interventions for climate change mitigation is growing, the outcomes of those implemented for adaptation remain poorly understood with evidence scattered across multiple disciplines. To address this, we conducted a systematic review of the outcomes of 109 nature-based interventions for climate change adaptation using 33 indicators of ecosystem health across eight broad categories (e.g. diversity, biomass, ecosystem functioning and population dynamics). We showed that 88% of interventions with positive outcomes for climate change adaptation also reported measurable benefits for ecosystem health. We also showed that interventions were associated with a 67% average increase in local species richness. All eight studies that reported benefits in terms of both climate change mitigation and adaptation also supported ecosystem health, leading to a triple win. However, there were also trade-offs, mainly for forest management and creation of novel ecosystems such as monoculture plantations of non-native species. Our review highlights two major limitations of research to date. First, only a limited selection of metrics are used to assess ecosystem health and these rarely include key aspects such as functional diversity and habitat connectivity. Second, taxonomic coverage is poor: 67% of outcomes assessed only plants and 57% did not distinguish between native and non-native species. Future research addressing these issues will allow the design and adaptive management of NbS to support healthy and resilient ecosystems, and thereby enhance their effectiveness for meeting both climate and biodiversity targets.

Keywords

nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; biodiversity; ecosystem-based adaptation

Subject

BIOLOGY, Ecology

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