Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment
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Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment

Edited by Davide Geneletti

This Handbook presents state-of-the-art methodological guidance and discussion of international practice related to the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment, featuring contributions from leading researchers and practitioners the world over. Its multidisciplinary approach covers contributions across five continents to broaden the scope of the field both thematically and geographically.
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Chapter 9: Impacts of agricultural and forest management on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Christine Fürst, Susanne Frank, Marcos Jiménez, Daniel Alejandro Rozas Vásquez, Katrin Pietzsch and Frank Pietzsch


Agriculture and forestry are land use sectors that cover worldwide large areas. A noteworthy peculiarity is that agricultural and forest land uses are most intensively confronted with human interventions compared to other vegetation cover types. Hence, agricultural and forest land management practices play a key role in impacting biodiversity shifts and in sustaining natural capacities to provide a multitude of ecosystem services. A resulting challenge for a comprehensive impact assessment consists of integrating the whole range of actions and interventions in agriculture and forestry from the management scale towards planning and policy consulting. This requires the development of reliable, nested indicator sets and of modelling approaches that support integrative analyses at different spatial and temporal scales. In this chapter, we introduce the modelling and assessment platform GISCAME that was developed to connect planning and decision-making at different scales. The approach particularly supports the comparative analyses of combined land use and land management change scenarios in support of spatial planning processes. GISCAME enables a temporally highly resolved and spatially explicit mapping and assessment of the ecosystem services provision and includes landscape ecological analyses that are principally relevant for biodiversity management at landscape scale. To demonstrate how the platform can be applied, we present two regional applications based upon research projects in Europe (Germany) and South-America (Chile). In both cases, strategies for increasing biomass provision or improving the overall balance in ecosystem services bundles were tested in a regional context, where ‘region’ in this case was set equal to administrative districts. We selected some scenarios to illustrate the workwise of GISCAME and then summarized regional recommendations that built on various scenario runs. Finally, we discuss how integrative modelling platforms such as GISCAME could be further evolved to contribute to the implementation of the ecosystem services concept. We suggest a concept of how to integrate the cascade from ecosystem processes and structures over ecosystem services towards benefits for human well-being to connect spatial planning and impact assessment processes.

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