Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES)
ARIES was designed to make land use policy and environmental decisions easier and more effective by helping users map and quantify environmental assets and the factors that influence their value. ARIES allows users to model and quantify the impacts of landscape feature changes on the provision of ecosystem services, thereby allowing the evaluation and comparison of alternative scenarios for climate change, land use, or land cover scenarios and policies for addressing them. Modeling the flow of ecosystem services from their source to use locations allows critical pathways (and their intersections) to be identified that are necessary for one or more services to travel across time and space. This information can be used to establish sensible and sustainable policies for governing land development, habitat protection, and ecosystem restoration efforts. ARIES can be used in any geographical area to explicitly map the linkages between ecosystems that provide services and particular groups of human beneficiaries. Additionally, the ARIES platform fills a void in current methodologies for quantifying ecosystem services through its use of semantic modeling and the inclusion of Bayesian and artificial intelligence techniques.
- How it works:
ARIES is a web accessible analytical tool that uses a range of approaches, such as probabilistic Bayesian models, machine learning, and pattern recognition to assess the provision, use, and flow of ecosystem services on a user-identified landscape. These approaches allow users to evaluate and compare alternative policy and land-use scenarios in terms of their impact on the provision of crucial ecosystem services. ARIES is intended to be generally applicable to a variety of ecosystem services in any region in the world, yet comprehensive in its modeling approach, and designed so that users can create interfaces around specific workflows without knowledge of all the engine components. Moreover, its use of sophisticated statistical models provides a framework for tracking uncertainty and leveraging multi-scaled information in a fully transparent way.
ARIES has been used for projects involving carbon sequestration, flood and sediment regulation, water provision, aesthetics, recreation, subsistence fisheries, and coastal protection.