Ecosystem services in the landscape
DOI link for Ecosystem services in the landscape
Ecosystem services in the landscape book
The ways in which people manage and modify landscapes and landscape structure (i.e., composition, configuration, and connectivity) have key impacts on ecosystem services – the benefits people derive from natural and semi-natural ecosystems. In particular, changes to landscape structure can impact the different underlying components of ecosystem services (ecosystem service capacity, demand, and flow) by influencing how organisms, matter, or people move through a landscape. Research generally shows that loss of natural capital from landscapes can drive decreases in ecosystem service capacity and changes in landscape configuration – in particular, increased fragmentation and loss of important habitat patches can negatively impact some key services (e.g., pollination, pest regulation, water quality regulation) – and that maintaining landscape connectivity can be key to supporting species populations that provide important services. However, key knowledge gaps remain, including a strong focus on regulating services to the neglect of other benefits (e.g., cultural services) and a lack of understanding of how to manage and structure landscapes for multifunctionality (the provision of multiple ecosystem services). Expanding our understanding of how landscape structure affects service demand and flow for a full diversity of services and disservices will improve our ability to build multifunctional and sustainable landscapes.