Nature’s contributions to people in mountains: A review

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Berta Martín-López
  • Ines Leister
  • Pedro Lorenzo Cruz
  • Ignacio Palomo
  • Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
  • Paula A. Harrison
  • Sandra Lavorel
  • Bruno Locatelli
  • Sandra Luque
  • Ariane Walz
Mountains play a key role in the provision of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) worldwide that support societies’ quality of life. Simultaneously, mountains are threatened by multiple drivers of change. Due to the complex interlinkages between biodiversity, quality of life and drivers of change, research on NCP in mountains requires interdisciplinary approaches. In this study, we used the conceptual framework of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the notion of NCP to determine to what extent previous research on ecosystem services in mountains has explored the different components of the IPBES conceptual framework. We conducted a systematic review of articles on ecosystem services in mountains published up to 2016 using the Web of Science and Scopus databases. Descriptive statistical and network analyses were conducted to explore the level of research on the components of the IPBES framework and their interactions. Our results show that research has gradually become more interdisciplinary by studying higher number of NCP, dimensions of quality of life, and indirect drivers of change. Yet, research focusing on biodiversity, regulating NCP and direct drivers has decreased over time. Furthermore, despite the fact that research on NCP in mountains becoming more policy-oriented over time, mainly in relation to payments for ecosystem services, institutional responses remained underexplored in the reviewed studies. Finally, we discuss the relevant knowledge gaps that should be addressed in future research in order to contribute to IPBES.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217847
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 11.06.2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Martín-López et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.