Limits...
Uncertainties in ecosystem service maps: a comparison on the European scale.

Schulp CJ, Burkhard B, Maes J, Van Vliet J, Verburg PH - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Safeguarding the benefits that ecosystems provide to society is increasingly included as a target in international policies.Consequently, there are, so far, no accurate measures for ecosystem service map quality.The results illustrate the need for better process understanding and data acquisition to advance ecosystem service mapping, modelling and validation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Safeguarding the benefits that ecosystems provide to society is increasingly included as a target in international policies. To support such policies, ecosystem service maps are made. However, there is little attention for the accuracy of these maps. We made a systematic review and quantitative comparison of ecosystem service maps on the European scale to generate insights in the uncertainty of ecosystem service maps and discuss the possibilities for quantitative validation. Maps of climate regulation and recreation were reasonably similar while large uncertainties among maps of erosion protection and flood regulation were observed. Pollination maps had a moderate similarity. Differences among the maps were caused by differences in indicator definition, level of process understanding, mapping aim, data sources and methodology. Absence of suitable observed data on ecosystem services provisioning hampers independent validation of the maps. Consequently, there are, so far, no accurate measures for ecosystem service map quality. Policy makers and other users need to be cautious when applying ecosystem service maps for decision-making. The results illustrate the need for better process understanding and data acquisition to advance ecosystem service mapping, modelling and validation.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Agreement between maps for each ecosystem service.The maps indicate the number of maps that have a hotspot or coldspot per NUTS2 region. Dark grey areas were not considered.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4206275&req=5

pone-0109643-g002: Agreement between maps for each ecosystem service.The maps indicate the number of maps that have a hotspot or coldspot per NUTS2 region. Dark grey areas were not considered.

Mentions: For climate regulation, there is agreement on the location of a coldspot in the north-western EU while there is reasonable agreement on hotspots in the central southern region (Figure 2; see Figure 1 for regional subdivision). These coldspots and hotspots can also be seen in the average climate regulation map (Figure 3). High climate regulation capacities are found in Sweden and Finland because of the high percentage forest cover, but here the maps strongly disagree. The provision of climate regulation is strictly defined [42], and is normally quantified based on the rate of carbon sequestration (e.g. in the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services, CICES (http://cices.eu)). This service is to a large extent provided by natural vegetation. Consequently, the climate regulation maps depend largely on land cover data. All the analysed maps use the same land cover map [23]. The process of carbon sequestration is well-researched [11] and there is consensus on the direction and magnitude of drivers for climate regulation. All maps assume that arable land and urban areas do not provide the service in a relevant amount, and assume that forests and areas that are more natural do. Although the parameterisation of the land cover types differs among the studies, the consistency in input data, well-established process knowledge and strict indicator definition result in the highest level of agreement among the ES assessed here.


Uncertainties in ecosystem service maps: a comparison on the European scale.

Schulp CJ, Burkhard B, Maes J, Van Vliet J, Verburg PH - PLoS ONE (2014)

Agreement between maps for each ecosystem service.The maps indicate the number of maps that have a hotspot or coldspot per NUTS2 region. Dark grey areas were not considered.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4206275&req=5

pone-0109643-g002: Agreement between maps for each ecosystem service.The maps indicate the number of maps that have a hotspot or coldspot per NUTS2 region. Dark grey areas were not considered.
Mentions: For climate regulation, there is agreement on the location of a coldspot in the north-western EU while there is reasonable agreement on hotspots in the central southern region (Figure 2; see Figure 1 for regional subdivision). These coldspots and hotspots can also be seen in the average climate regulation map (Figure 3). High climate regulation capacities are found in Sweden and Finland because of the high percentage forest cover, but here the maps strongly disagree. The provision of climate regulation is strictly defined [42], and is normally quantified based on the rate of carbon sequestration (e.g. in the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services, CICES (http://cices.eu)). This service is to a large extent provided by natural vegetation. Consequently, the climate regulation maps depend largely on land cover data. All the analysed maps use the same land cover map [23]. The process of carbon sequestration is well-researched [11] and there is consensus on the direction and magnitude of drivers for climate regulation. All maps assume that arable land and urban areas do not provide the service in a relevant amount, and assume that forests and areas that are more natural do. Although the parameterisation of the land cover types differs among the studies, the consistency in input data, well-established process knowledge and strict indicator definition result in the highest level of agreement among the ES assessed here.

Bottom Line: Safeguarding the benefits that ecosystems provide to society is increasingly included as a target in international policies.Consequently, there are, so far, no accurate measures for ecosystem service map quality.The results illustrate the need for better process understanding and data acquisition to advance ecosystem service mapping, modelling and validation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Safeguarding the benefits that ecosystems provide to society is increasingly included as a target in international policies. To support such policies, ecosystem service maps are made. However, there is little attention for the accuracy of these maps. We made a systematic review and quantitative comparison of ecosystem service maps on the European scale to generate insights in the uncertainty of ecosystem service maps and discuss the possibilities for quantitative validation. Maps of climate regulation and recreation were reasonably similar while large uncertainties among maps of erosion protection and flood regulation were observed. Pollination maps had a moderate similarity. Differences among the maps were caused by differences in indicator definition, level of process understanding, mapping aim, data sources and methodology. Absence of suitable observed data on ecosystem services provisioning hampers independent validation of the maps. Consequently, there are, so far, no accurate measures for ecosystem service map quality. Policy makers and other users need to be cautious when applying ecosystem service maps for decision-making. The results illustrate the need for better process understanding and data acquisition to advance ecosystem service mapping, modelling and validation.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus