Forest disturbance in a changing world

Trade-offs between ecosystem services level and provisioning

A recent study published in Ecological Applications found a trade-off between temporal stability and level of provisioning for three forest ecosystem services.


In this simulation study, members of the RESIN team used iLand to unravel the relationship between stability and absolute level of ecosystem service provisioning under climate change. This was done for the study landscape Weißenbachtal (see also our study on landscape scale disturbance management from the same landscape)

We simulated three different climate change scenarios as well as four management strategies (ranging from pure spruce forest to a mixed-species strategy adapted to projected future climate conditions). Three ecosystem services (timber production, carbon cycling and site protection) were investigated with two indicators each. We analyzed the temporal stability (1/(range 5h-95th percentile)) and the mean level of ecosystem provisioning.

The general trend across all ecosystem services and indicators revealed a trade-off between stability and level. This means that an attempt to increase ecosystem services supply might reduce its stability, which could be problematic especially for ecosystem services like site protection were a constant supply is crucial.

Written by katharina on Wednesday August 1, 2018

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