Ecosystem services are benefits that the natural environment provides to support human well-being. A thorough understanding and assessment of these services are critical to maintain ecosystem services flow through sustainable land management to optimize bundles of ecosystem services provision. Maximizing one particular ecosystem service may lead to reduction in another. Therefore, identifying ecosystem services tradeoffs and synergies is key in addressing this challenge. However, the identification of multiple ecosystem services tradeoffs and synergies is still limited. A previous study failed to effectively capture the spatial interaction among ecosystem services as it was limited by “space-to-time” substitution method used because of temporal data scarcity. The study was also limited by using land use types in creating ecosystem services, which could lead to some deviations. The broad objective of this study is therefore to examine the bundles and hotspots of multiple ecosystem services and their tradeoffs in Kentucky, U.S. The study combined geographic data and spatially-explicit models to identify multiple ecosystem services bundles and hotspots, and determined the spatial locations of ecosystem services hotspots. Results showed that the spatial interactions among ecosystem services were very high: of the 21 possible pairs of ecosystem services, 17 pairs were significantly correlated. The seven ecosystem services examined can be bundled into three groups, geographically clustered on the landscape. These results support the hypothesis that some groups of ecosystem services provision can present similar spatial patterns at a large mesoscale. Understanding the spatial interactions and bundles of the ecosystem services provides essential information for evidence-based sustainable land management.
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