Module 2: Ecosystem Services of Seaweed Cultivation

Introduction to the module:


Practical information:

This module is divided into two, one-hour lessons. A PDF version of the module is available below.

Lesson 1 – Ecosystem Services and Nature Contributions to People from Seaweed Cultivation.

Lesson 2 – Valuation, Practical Approaches and Challenges Applying Ecosystem Services from Seaweed Cultivation.

Module description:

In addition to seaweed farming generating valuable biomass and contributing to economic activity, growing seaweed and its associated infrastructure also provides valuable socio-environmental benefits. This module demonstrates the ecosystem services valuation methodology and how to incorporate it into policy and decision making.

Expected learning outcomes are:

-Lesson 1 – Understand what marine ecosystem services are and understand how they are produced and can be operationalized.

-Lesson 2 – Apply the different methodologies for the estimation of the value of the different types of ecosystem services and identify the challenges of ecosystem frameworks operationalization.


Lesson 1 – Ecosystem Services and Nature Contributions to People from Seaweed Cultivation

Content: PPT document with 20 slides.

Associated Reading:

Christie, M., & Rayment, M. (2012). An economic assessment of the ecosystem service benefits derived from the SSSI biodiversity conservation policy in England and Wales. Ecosystem Services, 1(1), 70–84. DOI:

Costanza, R., de Groot, R., Braat, L., Kubiszewski, I., Fioramonti, L., Sutton, P., Farber, S., & Grasso, M. (2017). Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go? Ecosystem Services, 28, 1–16. DOI:

de Groot, R., Brander, L., van der Ploeg, S., Costanza, R., Bernard, F., Braat, L., Christie, M., Crossman, N., Ghermandi, A., Hein, L., Hussain, S., Kumar, P., McVittie, A., Portela, R., Rodriguez, L. C., ten Brink, P., & van Beukering, P. (2012). Global estimates of the value of ecosystems and their services in monetary units. Ecosystem Services, 1(1), 50–61. DOI:

Díaz, S., Pascual, U., Stenseke, M., Martín-López, B., Watson, R. T., Molnár, Z., Hill, R., Chan, K. M. A., Baste, I. A., Brauman, K. A., Polasky, S., Church, A., Lonsdale, M., Larigauderie, A., Leadley, P. W., van Oudenhoven, A. P. E., van der Plaat, F., Schröter, M., Lavorel, S., Shirayama, Y. (2018). Assessing nature’s contributions to people. Science, 359(6373), 270–272. DOI:

Farber, S. C., Costanza, R., & Wilson, M. A. (2002). Economic and ecological concepts for valuing ecosystem services. Ecological Economics, 41(3), 375–392. DOI:

Outeiro, L., Ojea, E.,Garcia Rodrigues, J., Himes-Cornell, A., Belgrano, A., Liu, Y., Cabecinha, E., Pita, C., Macho, G., Villasante, S., (2017). The role of non-natural capital in the co-production of marine ecosystem services, International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 13:3, 35-50, DOI: 10.1080/21513732.2017.1415973

Palomo, I., Felipe-Lucia, M.R., Bennett, E.M., Martín-López, B., Pascual, U., (2016)

Disentangling the Pathways and Effects of Ecosystem Service Co-Production, Advances in Ecological Research, (Eds Woodward, G., Bohan, D.A.,) Academic Press, Vol.54, Pgs 254-283

TEEB (2010). The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A Synthesis of the Approach, Conclusions and Recommendations of TEEB. Available in multiple languages online:

Additional resources:

-EU Environment: Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity – Science for Environment Policy video:

-The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES):

-Ecosystem Services Partnership: a worldwide network to enhance the science, policy and practice of ecosystem services for conservation and sustainable development:

-EU Environment: Ecosystem services video:

Lesson 2 – Valuation, Practical Approaches and Challenges Applying Ecosystem Services from Seaweed Cultivation.

Content: PPT document with 36 slides.

Associated Reading:

Cabral, P., Levrel, H., Viard, F., Frangoudes, K., Girard, S., & Scemama, P. (2016). Ecosystem services assessment and compensation costs for installing seaweed farms. Marine Policy, 71, 157–165. DOI:

Grabowski, J. H., Brumbaugh, R. D., Conrad, R. F., Keeler, A. G., Opaluch, J. J., Peterson, C. H., Piehler, M. F., Powers, S. P., & Smyth, A. R. (2012). Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services Provided by Oyster Reefs. BioScience, 62(10), 900–909. DOI:

Kim, Jank K. & Yarish, Charles (2014). Development of a sustainable land-based Gracilaria cultivation system The Korean Society of Phycology, 29(3), 217-225. DOI:

La Barre, S., & Bates, S. S. (Eds.). (2018). Blue biotechnology: production and use of marine molecules. John Wiley & Sons. Access online:,+2018+ecosystem+services&ots=PD1sAsw0EM&sig=KlCM8btuZSAg9mpHfxQj7GGl3Co&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=La%20Barre%20et%20al.%2C%202018%20ecosystem%20services&f=false

van den Burg, S.W.K, van Duijn, A.P., Bartelings, H., van Krimpen, M.M. & Poelman, M. (2016). The economic feasibility of seaweed production in the North Sea. Aquaculture Economics & Management, 20:3, 235-252, DOI:

Alleway, H. K., Gillies, C. L., Bishop, M. J., Gentry, R. R., Theuerkauf, S. J., & Jones, R. (2018). The Ecosystem Services of Marine Aquaculture: Valuing Benefits to People and Nature. BioScience, 69(1), 59–68. DOI:

Custódio, M., Villasante, S., Calado, R., & Lillebø, A. I. (2019). Valuation of Ecosystem Services to promote sustainable aquaculture practices. Reviews in Aquaculture, 12(1), 392–405. DOI:

Duarte, C. M., Wu, J., Xiao, X., Bruhn, A., & Krause-Jensen, D. (2017). Can Seaweed Farming Play a Role in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation? Frontiers in Marine Science, 4, 100. DOI:

Gentry, R. R., Alleway, H. K., Bishop, M. J., Gillies, C. L., Waters, T., & Jones, R. (2019). Exploring the potential for marine aquaculture to contribute to ecosystem services. Reviews in Aquaculture, 12(2), 499–512. DOI:

Grebe, G. S., Byron, C. J., Gelais, A. S., Kotowicz, D. M., & Olson, T. K. (2019). An ecosystem approach to kelp aquaculture in the Americas and Europe. Aquaculture Reports, 15, 100215. DOI:

Hasselström, L., Visch, W., Gröndahl, F., Nylund, G. M., & Pavia, H. (2018). The impact of seaweed cultivation on ecosystem services – a case study from the west coast of Sweden. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 133, 53–64. DOI:

Kim, J. K., Yarish, C., Hwang, E. K., Park, M., & Kim, Y. (2017). Seaweed aquaculture: cultivation technologies, challenges and its ecosystem services. ALGAE, 32(1), 1–13. DOI:

Additional resources:

-The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Training resources:

-Conservation Strategy Fund: Valuation of Ecosystem Services: Intro to Valuation video: 

-GENIALG Final Conference, Seaweed for the Future: Scaling-up the European Sector.

Session 3: Social-environmental Benefits of Seaweed Farming: Ecosystem Services Assessment for Seaweed Farms presented by Sebastián Villasante, CIIMAR, Portugal.



-The Seaweed Platform: 

-Other European research projects evaluating seaweeds and aquaculture:

EnAlgae (France):

KELPPRO (Norway):

AquaVitae (Atlantic): 

Self Assessment Quiz