Ecosystem services accounting: Part I – Outdoor recreation and crop pollination

The work presented in this report highlights the importance of the spatial relationship between ecosystem service potential and demand. The changes in the use of the service cannot be explained solely by changes in the potential and demand, but also by their spatial relationship. When dealing with ecosystem services the spatial component is a key driver that needs to be integrated within the accounting framework for a consistent assessment. The spatial relationship between potential and demand is different for each service. Crop pollination requires the spatial overlap between potential and demand, whereas proximity is the key spatial feature for outdoor recreation. As shown by the two examples, ecosystem service accounts significantly differ depending on the service being assessed, both conceptually and methodologically. Hence, further examples of ecosystem service accounting are needed to produce accounting tables for a representative number of service. Ultimately, the availability of this information represents a key input for the analysis of synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services.

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