Ecosystem service potentials, flows and demands-concepts for spatial localisation, indication and quantification

  • Benjamin Burkhard Kiel University, Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Ecosystem Management, Olshausenenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany; Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research ZALF, Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
  • Marion Kandziora Kiel University, Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Ecosystem Management, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany
  • Ying Hou Kiel University, Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Ecosystem Management, Olshausenenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany
  • Felix Müller Kiel University, Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Ecosystem Management, Olshausenenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany
Keywords: Benefit areas, Ecosystem service matrix, Landscape, Mapping, Providing units


The high variety of ecosystem service categorisation systems, assessment frameworks, indicators, quantification methods and spatial localisation approaches allows scientists and decision makers to harness experience, data, methods and tools. On the other hand, this variety of concepts and disagreements among scientists hamper an integration of ecosystem services into contemporary environmental management and decision making. In this article, the current state of the art of ecosystem service science regarding spatial localisation, indication and quantification of multiple ecosystem service supply and demand is reviewed and discussed. Concepts and tables for regulating, provisioning and cultural ecosystem service definitions, distinguishing between ecosystem service potential supply (stocks), flows (real supply) and demands as well as related indicators for quantification are provided. Furthermore, spatial concepts of service providing units, benefitting areas, spatial relations, rivalry, spatial and temporal scales are elaborated. Finally, matrices linking CORINE land cover types to ecosystem service potentials, flows, demands and budget estimates are provided. The matrices show that ecosystem service potentials of landscapes differ from flows, especially for provisioning ecosystem services.


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How to Cite
Burkhard, B.; Kandziora, M.; Hou, Y.; Müller, F. Ecosystem Service Potentials, Flows and Demands-Concepts for Spatial Localisation, Indication and Quantification. LO 2014, 34, 1-32.
Research Article