The implications of spatial and temporal scale on the supply, distribution and value of ecosystem services in Guyana

Lisa Ingwall

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

691 Downloads (Pure)


Engagement with the complexities of scale when using the ecosystem services (ES) concept in natural resource management has been increasingly regarded by many scholars as a necessity for a successful outcome, and thus in need of greater attention. This thesis explores and reveals some of these scale complexities using a case study approach of the North Rupununi in Guyana. Working with the local indigenous Makushi group, the thesis focuses on how spatial and temporal scale affects the supply, distribution and value of ES to the local communities and stakeholders at the national and international scale.
A mixed method approach (including focus groups, in-depth/informal interviews, participatory mapping, hydro-ecological surveys and water quality sampling) was employed to allow for both qualitative and quantitative data to be collected and analysed. The approach revealed both the constraints of the ES concept when applied with indigenous communities and the additional understanding a more qualitative approach can contribute. The findings reveal the spatial and temporal patterns of the supply and demand of crucial ES (fish and freshwater) for the communities in the North Rupununi. Key connectivity sites in the landscape were also identified, with the link between the Amazon and Essequibo watersheds being the most important. This key site is mapped for the first time. Investigation into temporal scales revealed how the fishing pattern changes with the season both in terms of location, but also related to fish quantity and quality to some extent. Long-term trends for both the water and fish were exposed, and a decline in the fish populations could be confirmed, particularly for the popular fish species. These research findings have provided new insights into the spatial and temporal complexity of key ES for Guyana, which will be crucial to secure their healthy state and continued supply for the future
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Mistry, Jay, Supervisor
  • Willis, Katie, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Jun 2014
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

Cite this