Regional ecological assessments evaluate sustainability as an interaction among ecosystem services and stressors across changing landscapes. Using ecological assessments to inform ecosystem management activities relies on assessing functional linkages between ecosystem processes and ecosystem services, because ecosystem processes are the primary targets of ecosystem management. We undertook a review of regional ecological assessments in the Appalachian region of the United States to examine how forest-based ecosystem services, forest ecosystem processes, and their linkages are quantified. To provide context, we first give an overview of common ecological assessment frameworks, including risk, vulnerability, resilience, and indicator-based approaches.
Lars Y. Pomara and Danny C. Lee