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Ecosystem services in changing landscapes: An introduction

Abstract

The concept of ecosystem services from landscapes is rapidly gaining momentum as a language to communicate values and benefits to scientists and lay alike. Landscape ecology has an enormous contribution to make to this field, and one could argue, uniquely so. Tools developed or adapted for landscape ecology are being increasingly used to assist with the quantification, modelling, mapping, and valuing of ecosystem services. Several of these tools and methods encased therein are described among the eleven papers presented in this special issue, and their application has the potential to facilitate the management and promotion of services within ecosystems. Papers are associated with each of the four key categories of services that ecosystems provide to humans: supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural. The papers represent work conducted in eleven different countries, especially from South America. Each carries a unique approach to address a particular question pertaining to a particular set of ecosystem services. These studies are designed to inform and improve the economic, environmental and social values of the ecosystem services. This knowledge should help to develop new management alternatives for sustaining and planning ecosystems and the services they provide at different scales in space and time. We believe that these papers will create interest and inform management of some potential methods to evaluate ecosystem services at the landscape level with an integrative approach, offering new tools for management and conservation.

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Acknowledgments

This special issue emerged from two conferences as mentioned in the text, in which the co-guest editors were involved as organizers. We thank the many people who organized, presented, or attended these conferences, as they provided many stimulating discussions and presentations. We thank the many reviewers who volunteered their time to review the articles in this special issue. We also thank the enthusiasm and continuing support from the IUFRO, IALE and ELI communities that make these outcomes possible. We especially want to thank the authors for their time and patience to participate in this volume. Thanks also to Stephen Matthews and Richard Birdsey for reviews of this paper.

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Correspondence to Louis Iverson.

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Iverson, L., Echeverria, C., Nahuelhual, L. et al. Ecosystem services in changing landscapes: An introduction. Landscape Ecol 29, 181–186 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-014-9993-2

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Keywords

  • Landscape ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Provisioning
  • Supporting
  • Regulating
  • Cultural
  • South America
  • Planning
  • IUFRO-LE