Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2020) | Viewed by 54052

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), 38123 Trento, Italy
Interests: sustainable forest management; ecosystem services; stakeholder analysis; public participation in natural resources management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, 38122 Trento, Italy
Interests: fragile territories and communities; architecture and sustainable places; climate adaptation; urban resilience; nature-based solutions; blue and green infrastructure; infrastructure life cycle
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), the global interest in “ecosystem services” has rapidly grown in scientific studies and policy-makers’ agendas. At international level, many initiatives—i.e., the Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (TEEB), the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES), and the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)—have analyzed and incorporated the ecosystem services framework in the environmental and forestry policy targets. In urban, peri-urban, and forestry systems, the main ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems are wood and non-wood forest products (provisioning services), protection against natural hazards, reduction of pollutants emissions, water cycle, and climate change mitigation (regulating services), habitat and biodiversity (supporting services), recreational opportunities, spiritual and historical values (cultural services). Forest planning and management influence the supply of all ecosystem services categories (provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services) both in the short and in the long term. In order to assess the effects of forest management on ecosystem services supply, three domains must be considered, i.e., the biophysical, socio-cultural, and economic domains. The biophysical assessment focuses on the biological and ecological relationships between ecosystem services and effects of forest management on their provision, while the socio-economic assessment addresses market and non-market priced ecosystem services to uncover socially desirable levels for their provision. The biophysical and socio-economic assessments of ecosystem services—which aim to quantify the importance of ecosystems for human well-being—serve as a support for designing better policies aimed at conserving and ensuring Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).

The aim of this Special Issue is to promote the debate and the sharing of knowledge and experiences about assessing, valuing, and mapping ecosystem services provided by urban, peri-urban, and forestry systems. We encourage the submission of studies from all scientific fields, including case studies, to promote advancement of scientific knowledge and awareness of information.

Dr. Alessandro Paletto
Prof. Sara Favargiotti
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Biophysical assessment of ecosystem services
  • Economic evaluation of ecosystem services
  • Mapping of ecosystem services
  • Stakeholders’ preferences and opinions on ecosystem services
  • Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)
  • Landscape planning and ecosystem services provision
  • Ecosystem services in urban, peri-urban, and forestry environments
  • Ecosystem services in protected areas
  • Traditional knowledge about ecosystem services
  • Multifunctional landscape design
  • Green infrastructures and ecosystem services

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 641 KiB  
Editorial
Ecosystem Services: The Key to Human Well-Being
by Alessandro Paletto and Sara Favargiotti
Forests 2021, 12(4), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040480 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
Since the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), the global interest for “ecosystem services” has rapidly grown in scientific studies and policy makers’ agenda [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

15 pages, 3500 KiB  
Communication
Spatial Distribution of Local Forest Products at the End of the 19th Century: A Case Study of Former Villages in Iwate Prefecture
by Keiko Izumi
Forests 2020, 11(10), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11101044 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
Recent research in Japan has investigated how local people historically utilized natural resources, using geographic information systems (GIS). These works have helped to clarify the role of forest provisioning services in the past, and have shown how modern landscapes were formed. The aim [...] Read more.
Recent research in Japan has investigated how local people historically utilized natural resources, using geographic information systems (GIS). These works have helped to clarify the role of forest provisioning services in the past, and have shown how modern landscapes were formed. The aim of this study was to elucidate the utilization of plant resources in forest landscapes of both fields and mountains, in the late 19th century in Iwate Prefecture, located in northeastern Japan. This study focused on a different area and a larger scale than previous studies, and included information from 642 villages. This study specifically focused on what kinds of forest products were historically used and shipped, which species were used, and how these uses were distributed around the prefecture. A combination of historical documents and GIS mapping, named MANDARA, was employed. The primary historical document was “The topography of Iwate Prefecture” that was published from 1876 to 1885, and recorded the products used in each village. A wide range of forest products were recorded, which contained both edible and inedible plants further split into 10 primary categories: edible wild plants, mushrooms, nuts and berries, medical herbs, timber, agricultural and construction materials, fuel, tree sap, bark, and others. Many villages also produced various secondary processed goods. Fifty-two species were specified as forest products, which included some estimation, and were composed of 19 herbaceous and 23 arboreal species. GIS mapping of each village indicated that firewood and charcoal were shipped to towns located in southern Iwate, from around Kesen County. People might trade these fuel woods on markets. On the other hand, chestnut (Castanea crenata S. et Z.) and acorn were produced in the low-density populated area all around Iwate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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26 pages, 5839 KiB  
Article
Optimal Harvesting Decision Paths When Timber and Water Have an Economic Value in Uneven Forests
by Paola Ovando and Matthias Speich
Forests 2020, 11(9), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11090903 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3016
Abstract
We developed an uneven-aged forest economic decision-making framework that combines: (i) a size-structured matrix model, based on growth and mortality predictions of a dynamic process-based forest landscape model, (ii) an optimal control model that determines the dynamics of control and state variables, which [...] Read more.
We developed an uneven-aged forest economic decision-making framework that combines: (i) a size-structured matrix model, based on growth and mortality predictions of a dynamic process-based forest landscape model, (ii) an optimal control model that determines the dynamics of control and state variables, which in turn are defined by tree harvesting and forest stock, respectively, and (iii) a water yield function that depends on changes in the leaf area index (LAI), the latter being affected by forest management. This framework was used to simulate the effects of economic-driven harvesting decisions on water yields on a catchment of South-Western Swiss Alps when both timber and water benefits are considered. Water benefits are estimated as environmental prices considering current water demands for drinking, irrigation and hydropower production. We simulated optimal harvesting decisions given the initial forest structure at each 200 m × 200 m grid cells, a set of restrictions to harvesting, and specific species survival, recruitment and growth probabilities, all of which are affected by the stand’s LAI. We applied this model using different harvesting restriction levels over a period of 20 to 40-years, and accounting for single and joint timber and water benefits. The results suggested that at the environmental prices estimated at the catchment area, water benefits have a slight influence on harvesting decisions, but when water is accounted for, harvesting decisions would include more tree species and different diameter classes, which, in principle, is expected to favor more diverse forest structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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22 pages, 771 KiB  
Article
Qualitative Exploration of Perception and Use of Cultural Ecosystem Services from Tree-Based Urban Green Space in the City of Zagreb (Croatia)
by Silvija Krajter Ostoić, Ana Marija Marin, Martina Kičić and Dijana Vuletić
Forests 2020, 11(8), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080876 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4463
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Cultural ecosystem services of urban green spaces are increasingly important and often recognized as such by people living in urban areas. Qualitative studies on perception of cultural ecosystem services from urban green spaces are still rare. Previous studies addressed only [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Cultural ecosystem services of urban green spaces are increasingly important and often recognized as such by people living in urban areas. Qualitative studies on perception of cultural ecosystem services from urban green spaces are still rare. Previous studies addressed only certain types of urban green space and often only some services. There is a lack of understanding how people perceive cultural ecosystem services from different types of tree-based urban green spaces. Hence, the purpose of the study was to explore whether and how people perceive and use cultural ecosystem services of different types of tree-based urban green spaces. Materials and Methods: Focus groups were conducted with citizens in each city district. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and transcripts analyzed in MAXQDA software. We used bottom up code-category-theme approach to analyze the data without predefined set of codes or categories. Results: Place attachment, aesthetic and recreational services were more recognized than educational and cultural identity services. For place attachment, most important single attributes were positive memories, and good maintenance, while most important categories were facilities, existence of emotional ties, possibility of experiences, recreational use and access. Presence of specific tree species and presence of trees in general were most important attributes for aesthetic services, while possibility of experiences and trees were the most important categories. Conclusions: People perceived various cultural ecosystem services from tree-based urban green space, even though some services more than others. Recreation may be the underlying goal of our participants when interacting with tree-based urban nature. Forests, parks were recognized as those providing multiple cultural ecosystem services. However, other types of green spaces were also recognized as bearers of these services, albeit with less services and attributes attached. It supports the importance of careful planning of urban green spaces in terms of providing a variety of green space types. The study provides basis for later quantification of cultural ecosystem services (CES) from tree-based urban green space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
16 pages, 3902 KiB  
Article
Allometric Equations for Predicting Agave lechuguilla Torr. Aboveground Biomass in Mexico
by Cristóbal de J. Flores-Hernández, Jorge Méndez-González, Félix de J. Sánchez-Pérez, Fátima M. Méndez-Encina, Óscar M. López-Díaz and Pablito M. López-Serrano
Forests 2020, 11(7), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11070784 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3082
Abstract
Quantifying biomass is important for determining the carbon stores in land ecosystems. The objective of this study was to predict aboveground biomass (AGB) of Agave lechuguilla Torr., in the states of Coahuila (Coah), San Luis Potosí (SLP) and Zacatecas [...] Read more.
Quantifying biomass is important for determining the carbon stores in land ecosystems. The objective of this study was to predict aboveground biomass (AGB) of Agave lechuguilla Torr., in the states of Coahuila (Coah), San Luis Potosí (SLP) and Zacatecas (Zac), Mexico. To quantify AGB, we applied the direct method, selecting and harvesting representative plants from 32 sampling sites. To predict AGB, the potential and the Schumacher–Hall equations were tested using the ordinary least squares method using the average crown diameter (Cd) and total plant height (Ht) as predictors. Selection of the best model was based on coefficient of determination (R2 adj.), standard error (Sxy), and the Akaike information criterion (AIC). Studentized residues, atypical observations, influential data, normality, variance homogeneity, and independence of errors were also analyzed. To validate the models, the statistic prediction error sum of squares (PRESS) was used. Moreover, dummy variables were included to define the existence of a global model. A total of 533 A. lechuguilla plants were sampled. The highest AGB was 8.17 kg; the plant heights varied from 3.50 cm to 118.00 cm. The Schumacher–Hall equation had the best statistics (R2 adj. = 0.77, Sxy = 0.418, PRESS = 102.25, AIC = 632.2), but the dummy variables revealed different populations of this species, that is, an equation for each state. Satisfying the regression model assumptions assures that the predictions of A. lechuguilla AGB are robust and efficient, and thus able to quantify carbon reserves of the arid and semiarid regions of Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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27 pages, 4035 KiB  
Article
IoT Monitoring of Urban Tree Ecosystem Services: Possibilities and Challenges
by Victor Matasov, Luca Belelli Marchesini, Alexey Yaroslavtsev, Giovanna Sala, Olga Fareeva, Ivan Seregin, Simona Castaldi, Viacheslav Vasenev and Riccardo Valentini
Forests 2020, 11(7), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11070775 - 19 Jul 2020
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 7795
Abstract
Urban green infrastructure plays an increasingly significant role in sustainable urban development planning as it provides important regulating and cultural ecosystem services. Monitoring of such dynamic and complex systems requires technological solutions which provide easy data collection, processing, and utilization at affordable costs. [...] Read more.
Urban green infrastructure plays an increasingly significant role in sustainable urban development planning as it provides important regulating and cultural ecosystem services. Monitoring of such dynamic and complex systems requires technological solutions which provide easy data collection, processing, and utilization at affordable costs. To meet these challenges a pilot study was conducted using a network of wireless, low cost, and multiparameter monitoring devices, which operate using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, to provide real-time monitoring of regulatory ecosystem services in the form of meaningful indicators for both human health and environmental policies. The pilot study was set in a green area situated in the center of Moscow, which is exposed to the heat island effect as well as high levels of anthropogenic pressure. Sixteen IoT devices were installed on individual trees to monitor their ecophysiological parameters from 1 July to 31 November 2019 with a time resolution of 1.5 h. These parameters were used as input variables to quantify indicators of ecosystem services related to climate, air quality, and water regulation. Our results showed that the average tree in the study area during the investigated period reduced extreme heat by 2 °C via shading, cooled the surrounding area by transferring 2167 ± 181 KWh of incoming solar energy into latent heat, transpired 137 ± 49 mm of water, sequestered 8.61 ± 1.25 kg of atmospheric carbon, and removed 5.3 ± 0.8 kg of particulate matter (PM10). The values of the monitored processes varied spatially and temporally when considering different tree species (up to five to ten times), local environmental conditions, and seasonal weather. Thus, it is important to use real-time monitoring data to deepen understandings of the processes of urban forests. There is a new opportunity of applying IoT technology not only to measure trees functionality through fluxes of water and carbon, but also to establish a smart urban green infrastructure operational system for management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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27 pages, 1023 KiB  
Article
Water-Related Payment Schemes for Forest Ecosystem Services in Selected Southeast European (SEE) Countries
by Dijana Vuletić, Silvija Krajter Ostoić, Ljiljana Keča, Mersudin Avdibegović, Kristina Potočki, Stjepan Posavec, Aleksandar Marković and Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh
Forests 2020, 11(6), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060654 - 8 Jun 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
This paper examines the level of payment for ecosystem services (PES) concept implementation in the financing of water-related forest ecosystem services (ES) in the Republic of Croatia, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H), the Republic of Slovenia, and the Republic of Serbia. [...] Read more.
This paper examines the level of payment for ecosystem services (PES) concept implementation in the financing of water-related forest ecosystem services (ES) in the Republic of Croatia, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H), the Republic of Slovenia, and the Republic of Serbia. The focus is on water-related forest ES recognised by the millennium ecosystem assessment (MEA). For the purpose of this paper, the term pure PES describes schemes that comply to all five conditions set by Wunder definition and term PES like for those schemes that miss some of those conditions. In the first step, the most important legislative documents related to forests, water, and environmental protection were selected. The second consists of a content analysis; focusing on the definition of ES; the definition of fees or payments; the establishment of ‘forest funds’, ‘water funds’, or ‘environmental funds’; and the way these funds were spent. Here we looked at the flow of funding into the forestry sector recognising forest management as the main water-related forest ES provider. Research revealed existence of well-established payments schemes in forestry in Croatia for almost 30 years and in FB&H for some 20 years which were assessed as closest to pure PES. In Serbia and Slovenia, there were no PES or PES like schemes in the forestry sector. In the water sector the well-established PES like payments schemes existing in all four countries. The environmental protection sector, however, rely more on the tax like rather than on the PES like schemes. Legislation in general recognised the link between forests and water, but this was much more evident in the forestry than in the water or environment sector. The role of the state is strongly pronounced in all countries studied, and was the main driving force behind all payments. However, this position of the state represents also the main obstacle for the development of pure PES schemes, together with underdeveloped private forestry and complex socio-economic conditions. Nevertheless, there is room for further development of pure PES and PES like schemes based on EU or global experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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31 pages, 8372 KiB  
Article
Using a Vegetation Model and Stakeholder Input to Assess the Climate Change Vulnerability of Tribally Important Ecosystem Services
by Michael J. Case, John B. Kim and Becky K. Kerns
Forests 2020, 11(6), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060618 - 1 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2794
Abstract
We demonstrate a generalizable approach for assessing climate change effects on tribally important ecosystem goods and services. Indigenous peoples may be highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because they rely on ecosystem goods and services, such as traditional foods, hunting, timber [...] Read more.
We demonstrate a generalizable approach for assessing climate change effects on tribally important ecosystem goods and services. Indigenous peoples may be highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because they rely on ecosystem goods and services, such as traditional foods, hunting, timber production, nontimber forest resources, and cultural resources. However, there are few assessments that have examined the potential impact of climate change on these goods and services and even less that examine ecological, socio-economic, and cultural resources in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Our approach uses four basic steps: (1) identify 78 tribally important ecosystem services (species and resources), (2) relate those ecosystem services with biologically relevant vegetation projections from a dynamic global vegetation model, (3) identify appropriate timeframes and future climate scenarios, and (4) assess future changes for vegetation types and ecosystem services. We then highlight how model uncertainty can be explored to better inform resilience building and adaptation planning. We found that more than half of the species and resources analyzed may be vulnerable to climate change due to loss of potential habitat, including aridland species and grazing quality. We further highlight our findings for tribally important species, huckleberries (genus Vaccinium) and bitterbrush (Purshia tridentate (Pursh) DC.), and show how this information can be applied to help inform resource management and adaptation planning. We have demonstrated a generalizable approach that identified tribally important ecosystem services and related them with biologically relevant vegetation projections from a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model. Although our assessment is focused in the Pacific Northwest, our approach can be applied in other regions for which model data is available. We recognize that there is some inherent uncertainty associated with using model output for future scenario planning; however, if that uncertainty is addressed and applied as demonstrated by our approach, it then can be explored to help inform resource management and adaptation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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18 pages, 1475 KiB  
Article
The Forest Stakeholders’ Perception towards the NATURA 2000 Network in the Czech Republic
by Jiří Schneider, Aleš Ruda, Žaneta Kalasová and Alessandro Paletto
Forests 2020, 11(5), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050491 - 26 Apr 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Natura 2000 is a network of European protected areas, established under the provision of two directives of the European Union: the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC; 2009/147/EU). The Natura 2000 network can be considered an interesting instrument to maintain and [...] Read more.
Natura 2000 is a network of European protected areas, established under the provision of two directives of the European Union: the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC; 2009/147/EU). The Natura 2000 network can be considered an interesting instrument to maintain and improve ecosystem services provided by protected sites. The European Union member countries are free to organize the participatory process in the implementation of the Natura 2000 network. The participatory process is often overlooked despite it being an important tool to increase the social acceptance and reduce conflicts among stakeholders with different interests. The aim of the present study is to investigate the stakeholders’ perceptions towards the ecosystem services provided by the Natura 2000 sites in the Czech Republic. The data was collected through a questionnaire survey involving 53 stakeholders (forester managers and nature conservation authorities) in all regions of the Czech Republic. The results show that for the respondents, the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives in the Czech Republic is very or quite important (54.7%), but at the same time, many respondents consider the Natura 2000 network an obstacle for economic activities close to the sites (66.0% of total respondents). In accordance with the stakeholders’ opinions, the three most important human activities near and inside the Natura 2000 sites are agricultural activities, followed by nature conservation interventions and forestry activities. The representatives of environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and academia emphasize the importance of nature conservation interventions, while the other groups of interest consider the provisioning services supplied by agricultural and forestry activities as the most relevant ecosystem services. The results of this study can be considered as the starting point aimed to improve the participatory process in the establishment and management of the Natura 2000 sites based on the stakeholders’ feelings and opinions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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15 pages, 2663 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Potential of Forest Stands for Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms as a Subsistence Ecosystem Service for Socially Disadvantaged People: A Case Study from Central Slovakia
by Branislav Olah, Vladimír Kunca and Igor Gallay
Forests 2020, 11(3), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030282 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2795
Abstract
Mushrooming is a widespread leisure activity for a significant part of the Slovak population. From the point of view of the ecosystem services, it combines a provisioning service (mushrooms as food or delicacies) and a cultural service (mushroom picking as physical activity in [...] Read more.
Mushrooming is a widespread leisure activity for a significant part of the Slovak population. From the point of view of the ecosystem services, it combines a provisioning service (mushrooms as food or delicacies) and a cultural service (mushroom picking as physical activity in nature). For urban residents, the forest is a refuge from the daily work routine, and mushrooming contributes significantly to improving their quality of life. For mushroom pickers living in rural areas, the occurrence and availability of mushroom harvesting sites are often even more important since it contributes to their diet or even provides an occasional income. We summarised the ecological preferences of selected ectomycorrhizal mushrooms and applied them as parameters for modelling the potential of forest stands for mushroom growing in central Slovakia. In the second step, we analysed the theoretical demand for wild mushrooms as a subsistence provisioning service for the local population with a special focus on socially disadvantaged inhabitants. The results showed that there is a spatial overlap of forest stands with a high potential for mushroom growing and the districts with the highest proportion of unemployment or of inhabitants receiving social benefits, and the best mushroom forest stands are situated within walking distance from the settlements. This supports the initial assumption that wild mushrooms may contribute to a better life for disadvantaged local communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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15 pages, 2166 KiB  
Article
Neuroscience Application for the Analysis of Cultural Ecosystem Services Related to Stress Relief in Forest
by Sandro Sacchelli, Gianluca Grilli, Irene Capecchi, Lorenzo Bambi, Elena Barbierato and Tommaso Borghini
Forests 2020, 11(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020190 - 8 Feb 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3964
Abstract
The paper presents an integrated methodology to assess psychological and physiological responses of people when exposed to forests, with the main objective of assessing the suitability of different stands for stress recovery on the basis of tree species and density. From the methodological [...] Read more.
The paper presents an integrated methodology to assess psychological and physiological responses of people when exposed to forests, with the main objective of assessing the suitability of different stands for stress recovery on the basis of tree species and density. From the methodological viewpoint, the study applies both a Restoration Outcome Scale (ROS) questionnaire and a neuroscientific technique grounded on electro-encephalographic (EEG) measurement. Results show different outcomes for conifers and broadleaves as well as a statistical significance of density in the evaluation of an individual’s emotional state. A forest with a high density of conifers and low density of broadleaves seems to be the proper combination for stress recovery. The differences among psychological stated preferences and EEG trends highlights potential conflict among “needs” and “wants” of people in the topic of stress relief. Potential applications of the research for health care and territorial marketing operations are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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19 pages, 8189 KiB  
Article
Assessment and Mapping Green Areas Ecosystem Services and Socio-Demographic Characteristics in Turin Neighborhoods (Italy)
by Luca Battisti, Enrico Pomatto and Federica Larcher
Forests 2020, 11(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010025 - 23 Dec 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 6706
Abstract
The ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being are keywords that guide the Italian strategy on urban greening. The development of ES priorities linked to specific land uses help to guide the drafting of management plans. The aim of the research was to assess [...] Read more.
The ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being are keywords that guide the Italian strategy on urban greening. The development of ES priorities linked to specific land uses help to guide the drafting of management plans. The aim of the research was to assess and map green areas ecosystem services and socio-demographic characteristics in Turin neighborhoods in order to identify where to improve the provision of ecosystem services and the socio-demographic conditions. The Preliminary Assessment Method (PAM) was used for the assessment of provision and regulating services based on land use. The Species-specific Air Quality index (S-AQI) was used to assess the regulating services provided by trees. Three socio-demographic characteristics were analyzed at the neighborhood level—age index, housing density, and % of economically assisted citizens. PAM results show that Turin provides more ecosystem services in peripheral areas of the city. Trees with high S-AQI values represent 21% of the censed trees. Not recommended trees are 18%. The neighborhoods with higher S-AQI values are not always characterized by a higher number of trees/km2 or species richness. Results show that the northern part of the city is characterized by higher values of ES and socio-demographic conditions than the central-southern part. This aspect is related to the conspicuous presence of agricultural land uses and water bodies, together with the presence of tree species with a high S-AQI values and high or medium socio-demographic conditions. 57% of the neighborhoods present low results for both aspects. Actions to improve the quality of green spaces in those neighborhoods could have great effects on liveability. Future management and planning strategies for increasing citizens’ well-being through urban greening should consider the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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19 pages, 2342 KiB  
Article
How Do Stakeholders Working on the Forest–Water Nexus Perceive Payments for Ecosystem Services?
by Klára Báliková, Tereza Červená, Isabella De Meo, Rik De Vreese, Tuğba Deniz, Abdelmohssin El Mokaddem, Bekir Kayacan, Fadila Larabi, Zane Lībiete, Mariyana Lyubenova, Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh, Kristina Potočki, Oksana Pelyukh, Benedetto Rugani, Zuzana Sarvasova, Jaroslav Šálka, Mirjana Stevanov, Srdjan Stojnic, Vilém Jarský, Dijana Vuletić, Lyudmyla Zahvoyska and Alessandro Palettoadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Forests 2020, 11(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010012 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5112
Abstract
Nowadays, great emphasis is placed on the relationship between forest and water because forests are considered as substantial sources of many water ecosystem services. The aim of this paper is to analyze the stakeholder opinions towards the relationship between forests and water and [...] Read more.
Nowadays, great emphasis is placed on the relationship between forest and water because forests are considered as substantial sources of many water ecosystem services. The aim of this paper is to analyze the stakeholder opinions towards the relationship between forests and water and the potential development of water-related payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes. The study is developed in the context of COST Action CA15206–PESFOR-W (Forests for Water) aimed at synthesizing current knowledge about the PES schemes across Europe. The stakeholder opinions were mapped out using a structured questionnaire consisting of 20 questions divided into four thematic sections. The data were collected through an online survey. The results showed opinions of 142 stakeholders from 23 countries, mainly from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. In order to analyze the collected data, the stakeholders were grouped in buyers, sellers, intermediaries, and knowledge providers. The survey results indicated that the most important category of water ecosystem services according to our sample of stakeholders is regulating services followed by provisioning services. Further findings pointed out the highest importance that shared values and direct changes in land management can have when designing water-related PES schemes. The role of public authorities and collective collaboration of different stakeholders, with emphasis on local and expert knowledge, are also identified as of crucial importance. The results show that stakeholder opinions can serve as a starting point when designing PES schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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16 pages, 1602 KiB  
Article
ASFORESEE: A Harmonized Model for Economic Evaluation of Forest Protection against Rockfall
by Cristian Accastello, Ettore Bianchi, Simone Blanc and Filippo Brun
Forests 2019, 10(7), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10070578 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3084
Abstract
Gravitational hazards, such as rockfall, constitute a major risk in mountainous areas, threatening dwellers, goods, and infrastructures, and ultimately posing a challenge to their development. Ecosystem-based solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR), such as protection forests, can play a significant role in mitigating [...] Read more.
Gravitational hazards, such as rockfall, constitute a major risk in mountainous areas, threatening dwellers, goods, and infrastructures, and ultimately posing a challenge to their development. Ecosystem-based solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR), such as protection forests, can play a significant role in mitigating these risks by integrating the protective structures currently adopted, which are often costly and could entail higher environmental impacts. This study develops an economic model called ASFORESEE (Alpine Space FORest Ecosystem Services Economic Evaluation) to assess the protective service forests provide against rockfall within a standardized framework adopting a precautionary approach. The Replacement Cost approach was adopted, measuring the protection effectiveness, the need for protection of the stakeholders and defining a harmonized method for the design of the defensive structures. Applying the model to a case study in the Italian Alps, the results show the forest has a relevant protective effect able to fulfil the stakeholders’ needs, with a value of 30,440 € ha−1, equal to 950 € ha−1 year−1, within the 25-year timespan considered. ASFORESEE could feasibly be adopted in other mountainous contexts, due to its harmonized structure reliant on minimal assumptions. Its adoption would foster the acknowledgment of the forest role and to further support the inclusion of Eco-DRR in local risk management plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing, Valuing and Mapping Ecosystem Services)
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