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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 665; doi:10.3390/su9040665

Temporal Changes in Ecosystem Services in European Cities in the Continental Biogeographical Region in the Period from 1990–2012

Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Olaf Bastian and Karsten Grunewald
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Ecosystem services (ES) in cities and surrounding suburban areas are one of the major factors which guarantee quality of life. Most studies directly referring to urban ecosystem services are conducted on a local scale or for selected cities. There are few studies which focus on temporal changes of the provision of ecosystem services across a large number of cities. This paper analyzes selected land use type (forest, green urban area), soil sealing, selected ecosystem services (food provisioning, climate regulation, recreation), and biodiversity potential in 85 large cities (over 100,000 citizens) from the Continental (Central and Eastern) biogeographical region in Europe. We used the Corine Land Cover (CLC) data for 1990, 2000, 2006, and 2012. Our main findings are as follows: (1) The increase of forest areas was the highest in 2006–2012, and of urban green areas in 2000–2006, mostly in cities in Germany and the western part of the Czech Republic; (2) The process of soil sealing growth occurred in all studied cities and the rate was the most intense in Polish cities; (3) There was a decrease of food production and biodiversity potential in all the analyzed cities; (4) climate regulating services experienced only slight changes; (5) There was a very positive trend of the recreation indicator in most core zones of the cities in Germany and several cities in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Denmark. Moreover, our results of the temporal changes of land use and ES in European cities in the Continental biogeographical region indicate how important it is to monitor CLC and ES for potential spatial planning and regional policy interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; European cities; Corine Land Cover; core city; large urban zone ecosystem services; European cities; Corine Land Cover; core city; large urban zone

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Szumacher, I.; Pabjanek, P. Temporal Changes in Ecosystem Services in European Cities in the Continental Biogeographical Region in the Period from 1990–2012. Sustainability 2017, 9, 665.

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