Title: Synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem service supply, biodiversity and habitat conservation in Europe
Citation: BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION vol. 155 p. 1-12
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC65208
ISSN: 0006-3207
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC65208
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.06.016
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Efforts to conserve biodiversity in the European Union are strongly directed towards the protection of habitats and species through the designation of protected areas under the Habitats Directive. Biodiversity is essential to the supply of ecosystem services so conservation efforts towards biodiversity have also the potential to deliver benefits for people (Naidoo et al. 2008). However, this potential is poorly explored across Europe (Harrison et al. 2010). Recently, the conservation status of Europe’s protected habitats protected under the Habitats Directive was systematically assessed across 25 Member States and for 7 terrestrial and 4 marine bio-geographical regions (European Commission 2009). Here we demonstrate that terrestrial habitats in a favourable conservation status are predicted to provide more biodiversity and ecosystem services than habitats in an unfavourable conservation status. We mapped biodiversity across Europe using three proxies: Mean Species Abundance (MSA), a biodiversity indicator used in regional and global assessments (Alkemade 2009), forest tree species diversity and the relative area of protected sites that constitute the Natura 2000 network. Furthermore, our results show a positive, saturating spatial relationship between Mean Species Abundance (MSA), and Total Ecosystem Service Value (TESV), corresponding to the sum of 10 standardized proxies for the spatial distribution of ecosystem services across Europe. We present evidence that this relationship is the result of spatial tradeoffs between ecosystem services where MSA relates positively to regulating services delivered by forests and wetlands but negatively to crop and livestock production capacity provided by agro-ecosystems. Our findings demonstrate that a conservation approach to biodiversity is expected to result in synergies with an ecosystem based approach to support the provision of ecosystem services. This information is of importance to identify regions where measures are likely to result in cost effective progress towards both new biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services targets adopted by Convention of Biological Diversity and the European Union
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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