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Library Landscapes‘ Capacities to Provide Ecosystem Services – a Concept for Land-Cover Based Assessments

Landscapes‘ Capacities to Provide Ecosystem Services – a Concept for Land-Cover Based Assessments

Landscapes‘ Capacities to Provide Ecosystem Services – a Concept for Land-Cover Based Assessments

Resource information

Date of publication
December 2009
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID
DOAJ:6e9a3e462b4b4af5aee3cae00bddcf6e
Pages
21
License of the resource

Landscapes differ in their capacities to provide ecosystem goods and services, which are the benefits humans obtain
from nature. Structures and functions of ecosystems needed to sustain the provision of ecosystem services are altered
by various human activities. In this paper, a concept for the assessment of multiple ecosystem services is proposed
as a basis for discussion and further development of a respective evaluation instrument. Using quantitative and
qualitative assessment data in combination with land cover and land use information originated from remote sensing
and GIS, impacts of human activities can be evaluated. The results reveal typical patterns of different ecosystems‘
capacities to provide ecosystem services. The proposed approach thus delivers useful integrative information for
environmental management and landscape planning, aiming at a sustainable use of services provided by nature. The
research concept and methodological framework presented here for discussion have initially been applied in different
case studies and shall be developed further to provide a useful tool for the quantification and spatial modelling of
multiple ecosystem services in different landscapes. An exemplary application of the approach dealing with food
provision in the Halle-Leipzig region in Germany is presented. It shows typical patterns of ecosystem service distribution
around urban areas. As the approach is new and still rather general, there is great potential for improvement,
especially with regard to a data-based quantification of the numerous hypotheses, which were formulated as base for
the assessment. Moreover, the integration of more detailed landscape information on different scales will be needed
in future in order to take the heterogeneous distribution of landscape properties and values into account. Therefore,
the purpose of this paper is to foster critical discussions on the methodological development presented here.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Benjamin Burkhard
Franziska Kroll
Felix Müller
Wilhelm Windhorst

Geographical focus