Quantification and Mapping of Flood Regulating Ecosystem Services in Different Watersheds – Case Studies in Bulgaria and Arizona, USA

Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


There is great need for accurate and practical methods to assess the conditions of ecosystems, and the possible results of their interaction with social systems. The generation and interpretation of quantitative data for ecosystem service analysis is still not well established. Ecosystem service analyses demand an interdisciplinary approach that integrates knowledge with a high variety, and manifold verifications, of models and data. Maps seem to be the most preferable tool for the visualisation of results, being a comprehensive and intuitive tool for communication between decision makers and the general public. The following chapter presents an application and the verification of an approach for the quantification of flood regulating ecosystem services by using results from the watershed hydrological model KINEROS and the AGWA tool (Nedkov and Burkhard 2012). It is applied in six watersheds - three in Bulgaria and three in Arizona, USA, in order to check its reliability in case studies with differing geographic characteristics. The model results are used to define the capacities of the land cover classes in the different watersheds and to prepare flood regulating supply capacity maps. Capacities for flood regulation differ within the case studies and their land cover classes. Forests still show generally high capacities in both Bulgaria and Arizona, while grasslands and pastures in Bulgaria show higher capacities for flood regulation than in Arizona. The maps can provide valuable information for sustainable environmental management.


European Union Land Cover Ecosystem Service Land Cover Type Land Cover Class 
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The work for this study has been supported by the EU 7th Framework Program project SWAN (Sustainable Water Action; Grant agreement no: 294 947) and by the “National, European, and Civilizational Dimensions of the Culture – Language – Media Dialogue” Programme of the “Alma Mater” University Complex for the Humanities at Sofia University “Saint Kliment Ohridski”, funded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Youth, and Science Scientific Research Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and GeographyBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Institute for Natural Resource ConservationUniversity of KielKielGermany

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