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An Exploratory Literature Review of the Ecosystem Services of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Hannah J. Baysinger

Ecosystem services in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) include provisioning services, regulating services, habitat services, and cultural services. The purpose of this project was to identify current research, knowledge, and trends about ecosystem services in the USVI by conducting a literature review. Island ecosystem services are vulnerable to natural disasters like hurricanes, tropical storms, and coastal erosion. These hinder an islands ability to environmentally, socially, and economically develop. The quality of ecosystem services on islands act as a form of resilience against natural disasters.





In response, we asked, what are commonly studied ecosystem services in the USVI, and how are they studied? What literature is available on these ecosystem services, and how does that research vary over time and geographic area? Searches were conducted using scholarly databases (e.g., Web of Science, Scopus, EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar) using specific key terms (e.g., “ecosystem services” and “USVI”). Articles were evaluated by year of article publication, objectives of the articles, area of research focuses, methods, and geographic region where the article was published. Using information from the literature we identified potential gaps in the science, and propose a framework to address these challenges. Of the 575 articles found, 95 articles were relevant to the objectives and met criteria for inclusion in our analysis. The majority of articles, 78%, focused on ecosystem services in the context of species and habitat conservation and anthropogenic influences. Results identified a significant gap between current marine and terrestrial research trends. Future terrestrial research on these islands is needed to better understand their role in aiding island population resilience against increasing threats of natural disasters.

An exploratory literature review














An exploratory literature review














Presenting an exploratory literature









Duration: 04/30/2019

Principal Investigator(s): Emily K. Zimmerman