Anticipating and managing future trade-offs and complementarities between ecosystem services

M.S. Reed, Klaus Hubacek, A. Bonn, T.P. Burt, J. Holden, L.C. Stringer, N. Beharry-Borg, S. Buckmaster, D. Chapman, P. Chapman, G.D. Clay, S. Cornell, A.J. Dougill, A. Evely, E.D.G. Fraser, N. Jin, B. Irvine, M. Kirkby, W. Kunin, C. PrellCh. Quinn, W. Slee, Sigrid Stagl, M. Termansen, S. Thorp, F. Worrall

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This paper shows how, with the aid of computer models developed in close collaboration with decision makers and other stakeholders, it is possible to quantify and map how policy decisions are likely to affect multiple ecosystem services in future. In this way, potential trade-offs and complementarities between different ecosystem services can be identified, so that policies can be designed to avoid the worst trade-offs, and where possible, enhance multiple services. The paper brings together evidence from across the Rural Economy and Land Use Programmes Sustainable Uplands project for the first time, with previously unpublished model outputs relating to runoff, agricultural suitability, biomass, heather cover, age, and utility for Red Grouse (Lagopus scotica), grass cover, and accompanying scenario narratives and video. Two contrasting scenarios, based on policies to extensify or intensify land management up to 2030, were developed through a combination of interviews and discussions during site visits with stakeholders, literature review, conceptual modeling, and process-based computer models, using the Dark Peak of the Peak District National Park in the UK as a case study. Where extensification leads to a significant reduction in managed burning and grazing or land abandonment, changes in vegetation type and structure could compromise a range of species that are important for conservation, while compromising provisioning services, amenity value, and increasing wildfire risk. However, where extensification leads to the restoration of peatlands damaged by former intensive management, there would be an increase in carbon sequestration and storage, with a number of cobenefits, which could counter the loss of habitats and species elsewhere in the landscape. In the second scenario, land use and management was significantly intensified to boost UK self-sufficiency in food.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)0
JournalEcology & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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