Past and future impacts of land-use changes on ecosystem services in Austria

Schirpke, U., Tasser, E., Borsky, S., Braun, M., Eitzinger, J., Gaube, V., Getzner, M., Glatzel, S., et al. (2023). Past and future impacts of land-use changes on ecosystem services in Austria. Journal of Environmental Management 345 e118728. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118728.

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Environmental and socio-economic developments induce land-use changes with potentially negative impacts on human well-being. To counteract undesired developments, a profound understanding of the complex relationships between drivers, land use, and ecosystem services is needed. Yet, national studies examining extended time periods are still rare. Based on the Special Report on land use, land management and climate change by the Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC), we use the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework to (1) identify the main drivers of land-use change, (2) describe past and future land-use changes in Austria between 1950 and 2100, (3) report related impacts on ecosystem services, and (4) discuss management responses. Our findings indicate that socio-economic drivers (e.g., economic growth, political systems, and technological developments) have influenced past land-use changes the most. The intensification of agricultural land use and urban sprawl have primarily led to declining ecosystem services in the lowlands. In mountain regions, the abandonment of mountain grassland has prompted a shift from provisioning to regulating services. However, simulations indicate that accelerating climate change will surpass socio-economic drivers in significance towards the end of this century, particularly in intensively used agricultural areas. Although climate change-induced impacts on ecosystem services remain uncertain, it can be expected that the range of land-use management options will be restricted in the future. Consequently, policymaking should prioritize the development of integrated land-use planning to safeguard ecosystem services, accounting for future environmental and socio-economic uncertainties.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agricultural intensification; Climate change; Drivers of change; Europe; Land abandonment; Urban sprawl
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Equity and Justice (EQU)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2023 08:18
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 08:18

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