In the last decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been transformed by anthropogenic processes, such as changes in land use and climate. In particular, forest transition in mountain areas, and urban sprawl in lowlands could strongly undermine the ability of ecosystems to provide benefits over time. Under these changing conditions, forest ecosystems have reduced their functionality, resilience and stability. In this way, important forest ecosystem services, such as timber, non-wood products, climate regulation, biodiversity conservation, and cultural and spiritual values, will be eroded if forest resilience is not effectively maintained. Accordingly, forest planning is called to spatially allocate management alternatives and strategies in order to balance the final provision of forest goods and services demanded by local communities with the ecosystem functionality. In this study, we implement the “Multi-scale mapping of Ecosystem Services” (MIMOSE) approach in Sicily region to (i) assess the forest ecosystem services bundle over a 20-year time period; and (ii) evaluate how ecosystem services can be balanced to support sustainable forest management at the regional scale. Through the MIMOSE approach, at first we spatially assessed, in biophysical and monetary terms, timber provision and carbon sequestration, according to three forest management alternatives: business as usual conditions, maximizing economic incomes, and prioritizing conservation purposes. We then calculated the trade-offs among these ecosystem services and carried out a cross-case analysis. Finally, sustainable future-oriented strategies for forest landscape planning were identified, in agreement with the best balanced set of ecosystem services. The most important outcomes are the following: (i) timber provision is in general a conflicting service, especially when adaptation strategies are promoted; (ii) the best balanced set of forest ecosystem services is achieved by adopting a more conservative approach; and (iii) the bundle of ecosystem services is generally influenced by ecological and management conditions (e.g., differences among forest landscapes in the two regions), and is sensitive to harvest intensity and frequency, as well as to the length of the period used for the simulation. The MIMOSE approach demonstrated to be a spatially-explicit tool particularly suitable to support landscape planning towards balancing forest ecosystem potentialities with local communities’ needs. Moreover, the approach can be considered an easy-to-use and replicable tool to cope with sustainable development goals in the Mediterranean area. In this light, the MIMOSE approach can improve the monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services demand and budget from local to national scale, thus contributing to the statistics and environmental accounting for the forestry sector.

The MIMOSE approach to support large-scale statistics on forest ecosystem services

Riccioli Francesco;
2016

Abstract

In the last decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been transformed by anthropogenic processes, such as changes in land use and climate. In particular, forest transition in mountain areas, and urban sprawl in lowlands could strongly undermine the ability of ecosystems to provide benefits over time. Under these changing conditions, forest ecosystems have reduced their functionality, resilience and stability. In this way, important forest ecosystem services, such as timber, non-wood products, climate regulation, biodiversity conservation, and cultural and spiritual values, will be eroded if forest resilience is not effectively maintained. Accordingly, forest planning is called to spatially allocate management alternatives and strategies in order to balance the final provision of forest goods and services demanded by local communities with the ecosystem functionality. In this study, we implement the “Multi-scale mapping of Ecosystem Services” (MIMOSE) approach in Sicily region to (i) assess the forest ecosystem services bundle over a 20-year time period; and (ii) evaluate how ecosystem services can be balanced to support sustainable forest management at the regional scale. Through the MIMOSE approach, at first we spatially assessed, in biophysical and monetary terms, timber provision and carbon sequestration, according to three forest management alternatives: business as usual conditions, maximizing economic incomes, and prioritizing conservation purposes. We then calculated the trade-offs among these ecosystem services and carried out a cross-case analysis. Finally, sustainable future-oriented strategies for forest landscape planning were identified, in agreement with the best balanced set of ecosystem services. The most important outcomes are the following: (i) timber provision is in general a conflicting service, especially when adaptation strategies are promoted; (ii) the best balanced set of forest ecosystem services is achieved by adopting a more conservative approach; and (iii) the bundle of ecosystem services is generally influenced by ecological and management conditions (e.g., differences among forest landscapes in the two regions), and is sensitive to harvest intensity and frequency, as well as to the length of the period used for the simulation. The MIMOSE approach demonstrated to be a spatially-explicit tool particularly suitable to support landscape planning towards balancing forest ecosystem potentialities with local communities’ needs. Moreover, the approach can be considered an easy-to-use and replicable tool to cope with sustainable development goals in the Mediterranean area. In this light, the MIMOSE approach can improve the monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services demand and budget from local to national scale, thus contributing to the statistics and environmental accounting for the forestry sector.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/936694
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