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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.

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Agreement between the ecosystem service maps.100% agreement indicates the area where all maps indicate a hotspot, a coldspot or no extreme values, <100% agreement indicates regions where one to three of the maps have a hotspot or coldspot and the other maps do not demonstrate extreme values. Disagreement indicates the regions where at least one map indicates a hotpot and at least one other map indicates a hotspot.
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pone-0109643-g004: Agreement between the ecosystem service maps.100% agreement indicates the area where all maps indicate a hotspot, a coldspot or no extreme values, <100% agreement indicates regions where one to three of the maps have a hotspot or coldspot and the other maps do not demonstrate extreme values. Disagreement indicates the regions where at least one map indicates a hotpot and at least one other map indicates a hotspot.

Mentions: Figure 4 summarizes the area percentage in which the analysed ES maps agree. The erosion protection maps disagree in half of the area considered, meaning that in half of the EU territory some maps expect a hotspot for erosion protection while other maps expect a coldspot at the same location. The recreation maps (partly) agree in >80% of the EU territory. In about 5% of the area, all four analysed maps expect a coldspot for recreation. For all ES, there tends to be more agreement on the locations of coldspots than on the locations of hotspots (Figures 2 and 4). Coldspots for all ES coincide with urban or arable areas. This is supported by more detailed studies that have focussed on the provision of services in arable and urban areas: carbon sequestration [48], pollinator habitat [49], protection against erosion and floods [21] and landscape features for recreational activities [19] are often observed at lower levels in urban or arable areas.


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 the ecosystem service maps.100% agreement indicates the area where all maps indicate a hotspot, a coldspot or no extreme values, <100% agreement indicates regions where one to three of the maps have a hotspot or coldspot and the other maps do not demonstrate extreme values. Disagreement indicates the regions where at least one map indicates a hotpot and at least one other map indicates a hotspot.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0109643-g004: Agreement between the ecosystem service maps.100% agreement indicates the area where all maps indicate a hotspot, a coldspot or no extreme values, <100% agreement indicates regions where one to three of the maps have a hotspot or coldspot and the other maps do not demonstrate extreme values. Disagreement indicates the regions where at least one map indicates a hotpot and at least one other map indicates a hotspot.
Mentions: Figure 4 summarizes the area percentage in which the analysed ES maps agree. The erosion protection maps disagree in half of the area considered, meaning that in half of the EU territory some maps expect a hotspot for erosion protection while other maps expect a coldspot at the same location. The recreation maps (partly) agree in >80% of the EU territory. In about 5% of the area, all four analysed maps expect a coldspot for recreation. For all ES, there tends to be more agreement on the locations of coldspots than on the locations of hotspots (Figures 2 and 4). Coldspots for all ES coincide with urban or arable areas. This is supported by more detailed studies that have focussed on the provision of services in arable and urban areas: carbon sequestration [48], pollinator habitat [49], protection against erosion and floods [21] and landscape features for recreational activities [19] are often observed at lower levels in urban or arable areas.

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