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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

New OpenNESS paper about cross-scale analysis of ecosystem services

In the last issue of Ecological Indicators (Volume 38, March 2014) the OpenNESS paper 'Cross-scale analysis of ecosystem services identified and assessed at local and European level' was published. Two methods for assessing the ecosystem services delivered at the scale of a land management unit in the UK are being compared, using 73 local scale indicators and 16 indicators obtained from European scale data.

In recent years a consistent number of studies carried out at different spatial scales have proposed optionsfor mapping and integrated assessment of ecosystem services. Examples of cross-scale assessments arelimited and open questions remain on the extent to which general assessments are able to capture localphenomena. This study aims at investigating what the relation is between ecosystem services analysiscarried out at different spatial scales, and to what extent approaches based on input data at differentresolution can be reconciled.

In particular, the challenges and limitations involved in attempting holistic assessments of ecosystemservices at the level of a management unit in the UK were investigated using two sets of ecosystemservice indicators: (i) identified by local land managers and (ii) derived from EU-based spatially explicitdata coupled with process-based models. The difference in the ecosystem services estimated for 11 sitesof the Environmental Change Network (ECN) by the two methodologies was compared using (i) totalecosystem service index (TESI), (ii) regression analysis of comparable ecosystem service indicators, and(iii) multivariate techniques to determine site comparability. The comparative analysis revealed robustgrouping of sites by both methods coupled with weak correlation between the different ecosystem serviceindicators assessed. This study indicated that both methods characterised the general landscapes in asimilar way, but total ecosystem service index was critically dependent on indicators selected.

Go to the Ecological Indicators website »

Figure: Total Ecosystem Service Index (TESI) for the provisioning, regulating and cultural services at 11 sites in mainland UK.