Mapping ecosystem services across scales and continents: A review

Author(s): Malinga, R., L.J. Gordon, G. Jewitt, R. Lindborg
In: Ecosystem Services 13: 57–63
Year: 2015
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Landscapes
Link to centre authors: Gordon, Line
Full reference: Malinga, R., L.J. Gordon, G. Jewitt, R. Lindborg. 2015. Mapping ecosystem services across scales and continents: A review. Ecosystem Services 13: 57–63.


Tremendous progress in ecosystem service mapping across the world has moved the concept of ecosystem services forward towards an increasingly useful tool for policy and decision making. There is a pressing need to analyse the various spatial approaches used for the mapping studies.

We reviewed ecosystem services mapping literature in respect to spatial scale, world distribution, and types of ecosystem services considered. We found that most world regions were represented among ecosystem service mapping studies and that they included a diverse set of ecosystem services, relatively well distributed across different ecosystem service categories.

A majority of the studies were presented at intermediary scales (municipal and provincial level), and 66% of the studies used a fine resolution of 1 ha or less. The intermediary scale of presentation is important for land use policy and management. The fact that studies are conducted at a fine resolution is important for informing land management practices that mostly takes place at the scale of fields to villages.

Ecosystem service mapping could be substantially advanced by more systematic development of cross-case comparisons and methods.


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