By María Felipe-Lucia

March 12, 2020

New paper published proposing a new way of measuring multifunctionality across spatial scales, illustrated with a European-wide dataset of 18 ecosystem services. Our assessment captures not only the diversity of ecosystem services supplied within each municipality (alpha-multifunctionality), but also the unique contribution of each municipality to the regional ecosystem service diversity (beta-multifunctionality). This cross-scale analysis helps better understanding the spatial distribution of ecosystem services,which is required to design management and policies at the right scale.

Our analysis shows that alpha-multifunctionality follows a latitudinal gradient across Europe and strongly decreases towards the city centers of metropolitan areas. By relating alpha- and beta-multifunctionality to land use intensity, we show that low-intensity management systems support higher ecosystem multifunctionality across Europe.Municipalities of low alpha-multifunctionality often contribute significantly to regional multifunctionality, by providing ecosystem services of a specific value to the region. Our method to measure both alpha- and beta-multifunctionality thus provides a new way to inform reconciliation of competing land uses when maximizing alpha-multifunctionality is not reasonable.

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Measuring ecosystem multifunctionality across scales

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