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Practical solutions for bottlenecks in ecosystem services mapping

Louise Sing

Lead Author: Chloe Bellamy

Home Publications Practical solutions for bottlenecks in ecosystem services mapping

Palomo I, Willemen L, Drakou E, Burkhard B, Crossman N, Bellamy C, Burkhard K, Campagne CS, Dangol A, Franke J, Kulczyk S, Le Clec’h S, Malak DA, Muñoz L, Narusevicius V, Ottoy S, Roelens J, Sing L, Thomas A, Van Meerbeek K, Verweij P (2018) . One Ecosystem 3: e20713.


Ecosystem services (ES) mapping is becoming mainstream in many sustainability assessments, but its impact on real world decision-making is still limited. Robustness, end-user relevance and transparency have been identified as key attributes needed for effective ES mapping. However, these requirements are not always met due to multiple challenges, referred to here as bottlenecks, that scientists, practitioners, policy makers and users from other public and private sectors encounter along the mapping process.

New information

A selection of commonly encountered ES mapping bottlenecks that relate to seven themes: i) map-maker map-user interaction; ii) nomenclature and ontologies; iii) skills and background; iv) data and maps availability; v) methods-selection; vi) technical difficulties; and vii) over-simplification of mapping process/output. The authors synthesise the variety of solutions already applied by map-makers and map-users to mitigate or cope with these bottlenecks and discuss the emerging trade-offs amongst different solutions. Tackling the bottlenecks described here is a crucial first step towards more effective ES mapping, which can in turn ensure the adequate impact of ES mapping in decision-making.


Publication type
Peer reviewed papers
Publication owner
Forest Research