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InVEST

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Natural Capital Project

InVEST is a suite of free, open-source software models used to map and value the goods and services from nature that sustain and fulfill human life.  If properly managed, ecosystems yield a flow of services that are vital to humanity, including the production of goods (e.g., food), life-support processes (e.g., water purification), and life-fulfil ...

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109915
DOI: 10.1029/2019WR026011
DOI: 10.1029/2019WR024957

Last Update: 2020

Data analysis Ecosystem function Ecosystem services

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InVEST is a suite of free, open-source software models used to map and value the goods and services from nature that sustain and fulfill human life.  If properly managed, ecosystems yield a flow of services that are vital to humanity, including the production of goods (e.g., food), life-support processes (e.g., water purification), and life-fulfilling conditions (e.g., beauty, opportunities for recreation), and the conservation of options (e.g., genetic diversity for future use). Despite its importance, this natural capital is poorly understood, scarcely monitored, and, in many cases, undergoing rapid degradation and depletion. InVEST models are spatially-explicit, using maps as information sources and producing maps as outputs. InVEST returns results in either biophysical terms (e.g., tons of carbon sequestered) or economic terms (e.g., net present value of that sequestered carbon). The spatial resolution of analyses is also flexible, allowing users to address questions at local, regional, or global scales. InVEST models are based on production functions that define how changes in an ecosystem’s structure and function are likely to affect the flows and values of ecosystem services across a land- or a seascape. InVEST enables decision makers to assess quantified tradeoffs associated with alternative management choices and to identify areas where investment in natural capital can enhance human development and conservation.  The toolset currently includes eighteen distinct ecosystem service models designed for terrestrial, freshwater, marine, and coastal ecosystems, as well as a number of “helper tools” to assist with locating and processing input data and with understanding and visualizing outputs. MODULES: Carbon storage and sequestration, coastal blue carbon, coastal vulnerability, crop pollination, fisheries, habitat quality, habitat risk assessment, managed timber production, marine fish aquaculture, marine quality water, nearshore waves and erosion, offshore wind energy, recreation, reservoir hydropower production (water yield), scenic quality, sediment retention, water purification, wave energy.

Contact person: Mary Ruckelshaus
Contact e-mail: mary.ruckelshaus@stanford.edu
Contact institute: Stanford University
License: free, open-source software
Technical Status: Finish and with constant technical support
URL(s): http://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/InVEST.html
http://releases.naturalcapitalproject.org/invest-userguide/latest/
https://invest.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
profile-image Feb 2020
Christian Langer

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