Spatial relationships and impacts of global change on ecosystem services in the European Alps




cultural ecosystem services, global change, mountain landscape, spatial analysis


The increasing interest in the concept of ecosystem services (ES) for decision-making requires a profound understanding of ecological processes, social values and spatial patterns to mitigate the effects of global change on human well-being. Although great progress has been made in the assessment and valuation of ES, scientists are still facing challenges due to a frequent emphasis on ES potential and individual ecosystems as well as disciplinary thinking. This post-doctoral thesis addresses these challenges by (1) contributing to novel mapping approaches with a focus on cultural ES, (2) examining impacts of global change on ES at the ecosystem and landscape level and (3) analysing spatial patterns and interactions between ES supply and demand for ES across multiple spatial scales. This work focuses on the European Alps, as mountain regions are highly important for providing ES while beeing particularly vulnerable to global change. The findings clearly confirm the relevance of mountain landscapes not only to local populations, but indicates spatial interactions that go far beyond the regional level with great implications for decision- and policy-making. The findings also indicate how the concept of ES may promote biodiversity conservation and the maintainance of multiple ES supported by a sustainable use of natural resources. This work also suggests how interdisciplinary approaches can help to integrate ES supply and demand across different temporal and spatial scales for decision-making in planning and management, taking into account ecological processes in response to climate change. Finally, this work reveals research gaps that need to be addressed in future research to deepen the understanding of socio-ecological systems and underlying mechanisms, as well as to enhance interdisciplinary research.


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Title image LO.2022.1102




How to Cite

Schirpke, U. (2022). Spatial relationships and impacts of global change on ecosystem services in the European Alps. Landscape Online, 97, 1102.