Effects of land management on the Supply and Distribution of ecosystem services

Project: Research

Project participants


Ecosystem services can be defined as the benefits humans obtain
from ecosystems, including material goods such as food and fibres
(provisioning services), immaterial benefits such as aesthetic and
spiritual enjoyment (cultural services), and biophysical and
biogeochemical processes (regulating services). In previous research
we showed that most ecosystem services are co-produced by
combining natural and anthropogenic capital, the latter including
human (knowledge and skills), social (sense of community),
manufactured (tools and infrastructures) and financial capital
(investments and credits). Understanding the relative importance of
natural and anthropogenic capitals in the supply of ecosystem
services is one of the most important challenges in ecosystem service
research that still remains under-studied. Here, we will investigate
how increasing land management intensification and the substitution
of natural capital by human, social, technological and financial
capitals affect (i) the sustainable supply of multiple ecosystem
services, (ii) the equitable distribution of those services across
different stakeholders and multiple spatial scales, in terms of use and
demand; and (iii) how governance of ecosystem services impacts on
both natural and anthropogenic capitals underpinning service supply.
ESuDis is organized in three work packages (WPs). WP1 is devoted
to the conceptualization, organization and coordination of the project
(Tasks 1.1-1.3), and to the synthesis and dissemination of its
outcomes (Task 1.4). WP2 investigates the relationships between the
increasing substitution of natural capital by anthropogenic capital on
the supply of ecosystem services (Task 2.1), and on the use and
demand by different stakeholders (Task 2.2), in order to understand
its effects on the distribution of ecosystem services among
stakeholders at multiple spatial scales (Task 2.3). WP3 aims to reveal
how the governance regime of different ecosystem services impact on
the level of co-production in their supply (Task 3.1), how relationships
among stakeholders enable the flow and (un-)equal distribution of
ecosystem services (Task 3.2), and how the configuration of
ecosystem service governance at multiple spatial scales relates to the
distribution of services among stakeholders (Task 3.3). Our
interdisciplinary research will contribute to put into practice the new
framework of the Biodiversity Exploratories, which has been
expanded for the next phase to include additional drivers of the
effects of land management on biodiversity and ecosystem services
and its consequences for the social-ecological system. In this way,
our research will provide a novel aspect to the Biodiversity
Exploratories by combining existing biophysical data with social
surveys, statistical modelling and social network analyses to
understand the interaction of both natural and anthropogenic capitals
in social-ecological systems for the sustainable provision of
ecosystem services.