Quantification of the potential impact of nature conservation on ecosystem services supply in the Flemish Region: a cascade modelling approach
Staes, J.; Broekx, S.; Van Der Biest, K.; Vrebos, D.; Beauchard, O.; De Nocker, L.; Liekens, I.; Poelmans, L.; Verheyen, K.; Panis, J.; Meire, P. (2017). Quantification of the potential impact of nature conservation on ecosystem services supply in the Flemish Region: a cascade modelling approach. Ecosystem Services 24: 124-137. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.02.020
Ecological networks of protected areas are critical elements to protect biodiversity. To achieve a minimal performance of such networks, measures and investments are necessary for nature restoration and management. The concept of ecosystem service (ES) can provide additional arguments for investments in ecological networks. However, ES delivery processes are embedded in a complex array of ecological processes and there is a need to cope with this complexity in a pragmatic manner. As many assessment studies have already been criticized for using oversimplified indicators, too much pragmatism may foreclose credibility and acceptance of ES assessments. Therefore, a cascade ES modelling approach was developed that incorporated ecological processes, multiple off-site effects, feedbacks and trade-off mechanisms through shared variables. The assessment focused on which services the existing network delivers and how these services are influenced after realization of site specific conservation objectives.