Früh-Müller, A; Krippes, C; Hotes, S; Breuer, L; Koellner, T; Wolters, V: Spatial correlation of agri-environmental measures with high levels of ecosystem services, Ecological Indicators, 84, 364–370 (2017), online: 25.09.2017, doi:
Stichworte: Spatial pattern; Organic farming; EU common agricultural policy; Ecosystem services; Multifunctional landscapes
The maintenance of multifunctional landscapes is essential for halting biodiversity loss and maintaining a balanced supply of ecosystem services. Policies of the European Union aim at achieving these goals, e.g. by designating protected areas, supporting organic farming or establishing other agri-environmental measures. We analysed the extent to which the application of such regulatory and incentive schemes relates to the supply of ecosystem services at municipal level. Our study focussed on two neighbouring counties in Germany (Wetterau and Vogelsberg, Federal State of Hesse) with contrasting environmental and socioeconomic conditions. Based on indicators for six individual ecosystem services derived from a suite of spatially explicit models, we obtained estimates of total ecosystem service supply (Total Ecosystem Service Value, TESV) as well as indicators for the balance in supply of different ecosystem service categories (ecosystem service clusters). Indicators for total ecosystem service supply as well as for the balance in supply of different service categories showed significant correlations with indicators for efforts made to maintain high and balanced levels of ecosystem service supply. The mechanisms causing the matching spatial patterns of the indicators are likely to differ for regulatory and incentive schemes. Natura 2000 areas are designated where habitats and species of conservation concern occur, and these areas provide co-benefits for balanced ecosystem service supply. The low uptake in highly productive landscapes, by contrast, suggests that agri-environmental measures currently do not motivate farmers to provide a broader portfolio of ecosystem services. At municipal level, indicators for both ecosystem services and policy tools provide valuable insights into the structure of regional socio-ecological systems. Incentive schemes aiming at stimulating high and balanced provision of ecosystem services in productive landscapes need to integrate socio-economic information on the factors driving decision-making by farmers and land managers.
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