Title: An assessment of soil erosion prevention by vegetation in Mediterranean Europe: current trends of ecosystem service provision
Citation: ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS vol. 60 p. 213-222
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC92664
ISSN: 1470-160X
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X15003775
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.06.043
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The concept of ecosystem services has received increased attention in recent years, and is seen as a useful construct for the development of policy relevant indicators and communication for science, policy and practice. Soil erosion is one of the main environmental problems for European Mediterranean social-ecological systems, making soil erosion prevention a key ecosystem service to monitor and assess. Here, we present a spatially and temporally explicit assessment of the provision of soil erosion prevention by vegetation in Mediterranean Europe between 2001 and 2013, including maps of vulnerable areas. We follow a recently described conceptual framework for the mapping and assessment of regulating ecosystem services to calculate eight process-based indicators, and an ecosystem service provision profile. Results show a relative increase in the effectiveness of provision of soil erosion prevention in Mediterranean Europe between 2001 and 2013. This increase is particularly noticeable between 2009 and 2013, but it does not represent a general trend across the whole Mediterranean region. Two regional examples describe contrasting trends and illustrate the need for regional assessments and policy targets. Our results demonstrate the strength of having a coherent and complementary set of indicators for regulating services to inform policy and land management decisions.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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