WP2. The links between woodland conversion & degradation and wellbeing

This WP will quantify ecosystem structure, function, services and wellbeing along three gradients. The aim is to understand the empirical relationships between these, and to determine which factors mediate the use of ES. This will allow us to quantify the aspects of the ecosystem that most strongly influence wellbeing along the gradients. The gradients have been selected to include areas where smallholder agricultural expansion and woodland degradation are occurring (Ribeiro et al. 2008a; Cumbane 2010; Joshi and Ryan 2012), but where commercial agriculture is not yet present. Based on a standardised protocol developed through WP1 and detailed in Tables 1-3, we will collect data describing the state of the social-ecological system in a sample of 30 villages along each gradient (stratified by land use intensity from larger scale maps, then randomly sampled based on village names). Through qualitative data collection we will also characterise the current trends and issues particularly pertinent for the poorest, allowing us to focus the quantitative analysis.
Research questions
Q2.1 How do changes to ecosystem structure along land use intensification gradients affect the key supporting services on village land (NPP, nutrient cycling and diversity)?
Q2.2 What factors determine household use of, and dependence on, provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services?
Q2.3 As woodland resources decline along the gradient, how do households adapt to the reduced provision of some services? What constrains these adaptive responses?
Q2.4 How does changing ecosystem service availability affect the wellbeing of different groups of people, particularly in terms of poverty status and gender?