Development and use of a typology of mapping tools to assess their fitness for supporting management of ecosystem service provision uri icon

abstract

  • The importance of land use in affecting a range of ecosystem services (ES) provided from rural landscapes is increasingly recognised, creating an imperative for tools to assist in managing impacts of land use on ES provision. Many stakeholders, at a range of scales, are involved, including policy makers and implementers, land users and people receiving the services. Here, we develop a new and comprehensive typology of ES maps by expanding the basic stock-flow-receptor concept to create a set of map categories that embraces requirements for management of ES provision. We then use this typology as a framework for assessment of approaches to mapping ES. Most approaches have considered natural capital stocks of few services, at large scales (>1,000 km(2)) and coarse resolution (>100 m(2)). Emphasis has been on areas of ES generation, with little attention to flows, limiting the extent to which reception of services, interactions amongst services, and impacts on different stakeholders are considered. Most approaches focused on a bounded watershed or administrative unit, with little attention to landscape evolution, or to the definition of system boundaries that encompass flows from source to reception for different services. Although uncertainty is inherent in both input data and the services that are mapped, this is rarely acknowledged, quantified or presented. These features of current mapping approaches constrain their usefulness for informing the management of ES provision from rural landscapes. Key areas for future development are (1) maps at scales and resolutions that connect field scale management options to local landscape impacts; (2) mapping flows, and defining landscape boundaries, that include complete pathways, from source to reception; (3) calculating and presenting information on synergies and trade-offs amongst services; and (4) incorporating stakeholder knowledge and perspectives in the generation and interpretation of maps to bound and communicate uncertainty and improve their legitimacy.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014