Bundles of ecosystem (dis)services and multifunctionality across European landscapes

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The study presents an assessment of the spatial pattern of ecosystem services (ES) associations across Europe based on models of eleven ES and one dis-service, mapped at the extent of twenty-seven Member States of the European Union (EU27) on a 1 km2 grid. The researchers isolated three clusters of cells sharing common features in multi-ES supply associated with the main land-use-land-cover types such as forests and agricultural lands.

Confronting these spatial patterns with biophysical and socio-economic drivers revealed two strong gradients structuring European ES bundles, climate and land use intensity. Variations in the diversity of ES bundles provided across administrative units (NUTS 2), quantified by the Shannon diversity index, tend to be higher in forested regions (e.g. SE Romania) and in the mosaic landscapes in the central EU27 (from eastern France to Austria). Lower diversity prevails in areas of homogeneous terrain and land use in north-western Europe (e.g. Western France). The findings illustrate that ES trade-offs and bundles cannot be reduced to land use conflicts but also depend on climate and, for a specific bundle, to biodiversity.

Full reference: 

Mouchet, M.A. , Paracchini, M.L., Schulp, C.J.E., Stürck, J., Verkerk, P.J., Verburg, P.H., Lavorel, S., 2017. Bundles of ecosystem (dis)services and multifunctionality across European landscapes . Ecological Indicators 73, 23-28.