Fergus L. Sinclair:
Ecosystem services in forest and agrarian landscapes


University of Wales, Bangor, School of the Environment and Natural Resources, United Kingdom

Agricultural impacts in forested landscapes are a major and accelerating driver of change to ecosystem services, while tree cover in agrarian landscapes is increasingly valued as a means of enhancing their provision. Meaningful landscape units depend upon the ecosystem. Catchments are appropriate for water flow and quality but occur at a range of scales, with discontinuity of response across scales. Often catchments comprise mosaics of forest and agrarian land cover with uneven anthropogenic disturbance of forest areas and distinct forms of tree cover in agrarian areas. Habitat networks focus on the connectivity of the elements within and beyond these mosaics and are often used to evaluate biodiversity conservation options. Once again, there are discontinuous responses across scales of measurement with the appropriate scale depending upon the distances that the organisms of interest and their genes move. The state of carbon stores and fluxes in some fragile landscapes threaten wholescale regional collapse of ecology and society. Attempts to manage ecosystem services are further complicated because they interact and are traded off against one another and productive exploitation of land. Rarely does social capital exist at the same scales as these ecosystem services are manifest. This means that there is a requirement for integrated approaches that build social and natural capital simultaneously, creating institutions through which management and policy can be implemented. Current developments with model forests and corridors, at a range of scales, are beginning to address these issues but require more explicit ways of dealing with discontinuities of scale.

Keywords: Ecosystem services, modelling


Contact Address: Fergus L. Sinclair, University of Wales, Bangor, School of the Environment and Natural ResourcesLL57 2UW Gwynedd, United Kingdom, e-mail: f.l.sinclair@bangor.ac.uk
Andreas Deininger, November 2007