Ecosystem Services from Forest Landscapes: An Overview

  • Guillermo Martínez PasturEmail author
  • Ajith H. Perera
  • Urmas Peterson
  • Louis R. Iverson


One of the greatest challenges of this century is to develop economic and social systems, and supporting systems of governance from local to global scales, capable of achieving sustainable levels of human population and consumption, while also maintaining the ecosystem life-support services that underpin human well-being. Forest ecosystems provide critical services to humanity and harbor most of the globe’s terrestrial biodiversity. Forests play a multifunctional role in balancing the human need for commodities with the production of other goods and services, including habitat for forest-dependent organisms. This is particularly true in the temperate forest zone, which is home to a significant proportion of the planet’s human population. Some of the vital services that forest ecosystems provide include the following: (i) the production of ecosystem goods, (ii) the regulation of climate, (iii) the formation and retention of soils, (iv) the generation and maintenance of biodiversity, (v) pollination, (vi) natural pest control, (vii) seed dispersal, and (viii) aesthetic beauty, together with intellectual and spiritual stimulation. However, the forest landscapes over which a range of ecosystem services is provided are often not considered in the development of forest management strategies. Even though much has been written on the ecosystem services received from forests, few examples exist in which this concept was effectively included in the planning, conservation, and management of temperate forest ecosystems around the world. This introductory chapter presents the concept of ecosystem services (ES) in the framework of forest ecosystems and focuses on forest management, conservation, and planning at different landscape levels. A broader perspective on ES will be crucial in designing landscapes to serve future human well-being within the context of sustainable management.


Sustainability Human well-being Forest conservation Forest management Temperate forest ecosystems Landscape management 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Martínez Pastur
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ajith H. Perera
    • 2
  • Urmas Peterson
    • 3
  • Louis R. Iverson
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)UshuaiaArgentina
  2. 2.Ontario Forest Research InstituteSault Ste. MarieCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Estonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia
  4. 4.Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, Northern Research Station, US Forest ServiceDelawareUSA

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