Background/Question/Methods The demand the human population is placing on the environment has triggered accelerated rates of biodiversity change and created trade-offs among the ecosystem services we depend upon. Our capacity to make decisions that address these challenges relies on comprehensive information about the ecological and social dimensions of change, which can be obtained through monitoring initiatives. Despite the surge in national and international investments on monitoring, current initiatives generally fail to consider the co-dependence among ecosystems and human uses, hampering our ability to detect and assess trends under changing or novel environmental and social conditions. Here, we conceptualize a framework to guide monitoring initiatives to explicitly consider social-ecological dynamics occurring across multiple spatial and temporal scales, and to provide decision-support for the long-term sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Results/Conclusions We propose a multi-layer network approach to characterize the multi-scale, -node, and -interaction structure of social-ecological systems relative to the ecosystem service(s) of concern, providing a comprehensive blueprint for monitoring. We discuss the importance of identifying the scale mismatches in the monitoring design, as well as determining the internal and external drivers of change that may impact biodiversity and ecosystem services across a range of landscapes with varying levels of human modification. We illustrate our network framework using a conceptual case-study of sustainable ecosystem service provisioning for maple syrup production. We conclude by presenting future avenues for selecting the appropriate Essential Ecosystem Service Variables, as proposed by GEO BON, and analytical tools needed to operationalize our network framework for the adaptive and integrated monitoring of biodiversity and ecosystem services.