Ecosystem Services Modeler in TerrSet

The Ecosystem Services Modeler (ESM) in TerrSet is a spatial decision support system for assessing the value of natural capital for sustainable development. The Ecosystem Services Modeler provides 15 ecosystem service models that are based closely on the InVEST toolset developed by the Natural Capital Project – a partnership between the Wood’s Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

TerrSet provides a powerful platform for deriving the data for use in these models. For example, if one is interested in looking at the future impacts on land cover change on water yield, you can derive future land use scenarios using Land Change Modeler in TerrSet and input into the ESM’s Water Yield model. Likewise, future scenarios of precipitation for deriving water yield can be derived from the Climate Change Adaptation Modeler in TerrSet.

Ecosystem Services Modeler
The Ecosystem Services Modeler (ESM) is closely based on the InVEST tools developed by the Natural Capital Project. Fifteen ecosystem service models have been implemented. In this illustration, ESM is used to evaluate water yield and water scarcity in the year 2100 for the state of Massachusetts. The predicted land cover input was generated by Land Change Modeler in TerrSet and the predicted precipitation was generated by the Climate Change Adaptation Modeler in TerrSet. The outputs from water yield are used to calculate hydropower potential at the subwatershed level in the year 2100.

Key Features of the Ecosystem Services Modeler

  • Water Yield: measures the average annual runoff at the watershed, subwatershed or the pixel level
  • Hydropower: estimates the potential energy production from a reservoir and its value
  • Water Purification: calculates nutrient retention and the avoided cost of water treatment
  • Sediment Retention: estimates sediment retention in a watershed and the avoided cost of sediment removal
  • Carbon Storage and Sequestration: estimates the amount of carbon currently stored or sequestered in the landscape and its value
  • Timber Harvest: models total biomass and net present value of harvested roundwood timber
  • Habitat Quality and Rarity: estimates the extent and degradation of species habitat in response to threats and land cover change
  • Crop Pollination: evaluates the abundance and economic value of pollinators for agriculture
  • Habitat Risk Assessment: models habitat distribution and human activity impacts for habitat risk
  • Offshore Wind Energy: evaluates potential wind energy sites and their economic value
  • Aesthetic Quality: models the impact visibility of new development
  • Overlapping Use: calculates the frequency and importance of human activity within a management zone
  • Coastal Vulnerability: evaluates the exposure of coastal communities to storm-induced erosion and inundation
  • Marine Aquaculture: estimates either the productivity and economic value of pre-existing aquaculture systems or identifies the best potential site for new aquaculture projects
  • Wave Energy: identifies hotspots of potential wave energy for siting wave energy conversion facilities