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Peering into the fire – An exploration of volcanic ecosystem services

Volcanic ecosystem services (ES) is a subject that has been overlooked by the vast ecosystem services literature, where the spotlight has been focused on the many ecosystem disservices (ED) of volcanic hazards. This study conducts a literature review using the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA) framework, identifying the main ES common to volcanic environments. The Common International Classification for Ecosystem Services typology is utilised to provide a classification of volcanic ES. A diverse array of 18 ES are identified, categorised as follows: provisioning (8), regulation and maintenance (2), and cultural (8). Resilience is a key property underpinning the ecological processes, functions and productivity of Andosols, which are often some of the most fertile soils on the planet. However, careful management of Andosols, volcano-themed national parks and geothermal energy resources remains necessary to ensure that the flow of related ES is sustainable. Through sustainable soil and geothermal energy resource management, volcanic ES can make a long-term contribution to the tackling of climate change, including the partial offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions released via volcanic degassing during eruptions. Sustainable tourism management can ensure the protection, conservation and economic development of volcanic sites of high geo-heritage value, including national parks and geoparks, where the distinct aesthetics of such environments underpin the recreational and tourist experience.

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