Mapping Ecosystem Services: An Integrated Biophysical and Economic Evaluation

Hayha T (2014). Mapping Ecosystem Services: An Integrated Biophysical and Economic Evaluation. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-14-007

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Abstract

Forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services, from timber and non-wood products (provisioning services) to carbon sequestration, hydrogeological protection (regulating services), and recreation and aesthetic experiences (cultural services). Nonmarketed forest ecosystem services tend to be undervalued due to the lack of a market price and a clear understanding of their vital support to socio-economic systems. Ecosystem services are interlinked, and therefore the optimization of one typology of services can affect negatively other services. Consequently, forest management choices include trade-offs. This study focused on the supply and spatial distribution of ecosystem services in a forest area in the Italian Alps. The ecosystem services were evaluated both in biophysical and economic units. Spatial data on land cover and forest biomass growth and harvest rates together with data from field interviews were used. GIS was used to spatially analyze and visualize the distribution and provision of ecosystem services. The total supply and economic value of the forest ecosystem services was calculated and mapped. Provisioning services accounted for one third of the total economic value while regulating services resulted in almost 60% of the total. These were concentrated in areas of high risk of avalanches and landslides. The outcomes of this study highlight the need for integrating biophysical and economic evaluation, especially to assess and value regulating ecosystem services to better recognize both their importance and spatial distribution. Mapping ecosystem services serves as an important tool to identify priority areas and to better communicate and visualize information on ecosystem services.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 11:26
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11259

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