Yannay Casas-Ledon


2 Prioritizing Ecosystem Services for South-Central Regions of Chile: An Expert-Based Spatial Multi-Criteria Approach

Authors: Yenisleidy Martinez Martinez, Yannay Casas-Ledon, Jo Dewulf


The ecosystem services (ES) concept has contributed to draw attention to the benefits ecosystems generate for people and how necessary natural resources are for human well-being. The identification and prioritization of the ES constitute the first steps to undertake conservation and valuation initiatives on behalf of people. Additionally, mapping the supply of ES is a powerful tool to support decision making regarding the sustainable management of landscape and natural resources. In this context, the present study aimed to identify, prioritize and map the primary ES in Biobio and Nuble regions using a methodology that combines expert judgment, multi-attribute evaluation methods, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Firstly, scores about the capacity of different land use/cover types to supply ES and the importance attributed to each service were obtained from experts and stakeholders via an online survey. Afterward, the ES assessment matrix was constructed, and the weighted linear combination (WLC) method was applied to mapping the overall capacity of supply of provisioning, regulating and maintenance, and cultural services. Finally, prioritized ES for the study area were selected and mapped. The results suggest that native forests, wetlands, and water bodies have the highest supply capacities of ES, while urban and industrial areas and bare areas have a very low supply of services. On the other hand, fourteen out of twenty-nine services were selected by experts and stakeholders as the most relevant for the regions. The spatial distribution of ES has shown that the Andean Range and part of the Coastal Range have the highest ES supply capacity, mostly regulation and maintenance and cultural ES. This performance is related to the presence of native forests, water bodies, and wetlands in those zones. This study provides specific information about the most relevant ES in Biobio and Nuble according to the opinion of local stakeholders and the spatial identification of areas with a high capacity to provide services. These findings could be helpful as a reference by planners and policymakers to develop landscape management strategies oriented to preserve the supply of services in both regions.

Keywords: ecosystem services, Mapping, multi-criteria decision making, Prioritization, expert judgment

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1 The Impact of Human Intervention on Net Primary Productivity for the South-Central Zone of Chile

Authors: Yannay Casas-Ledon, Cinthya A. Andrade, Camila E. Salazar, Mauricio Aguayo


The sustainable management of available natural resources is a crucial question for policy-makers, economists, and the research community. Among several, land constitutes one of the most critical resources, which is being intensively appropriated by human activities producing ecological stresses and reducing ecosystem services. In this context, net primary production (NPP) has been considered as a feasible proxy indicator for estimating the impacts of human interventions on land-uses intensity. Accordingly, the human appropriation of NPP (HANPP) was calculated for the south-central regions of Chile between 2007 and 2014. The HANPP was defined as the difference between the potential NPP of the naturally produced vegetation (NPP0, i.e., the vegetation that would exist without any human interferences) and the NPP remaining in the field after harvest (NPPeco), expressed in gC/m² yr. Other NPP flows taken into account in HANPP estimation were the harvested (NPPh) and the losses of NPP through land conversion (NPPluc). The ArcGIS 10.4 software was used for assessing the spatial and temporal HANPP changes. The differentiation of HANPP as % of NPP0 was estimated by each landcover type taken in 2007 and 2014 as the reference years. The spatial results depicted a negative impact on land use efficiency during 2007 and 2014, showing negative HANPP changes for the whole region. The harvest and biomass losses through land conversion components are the leading causes of loss of land-use efficiency. Furthermore, the study depicted higher HANPP in 2014 than in 2007, representing 50% of NPP0 for all landcover classes concerning 2007. This performance was mainly related to the higher volume of harvested biomass for agriculture. In consequence, the cropland depicted the high HANPP followed by plantation. This performance highlights the strong positive correlation between the economic activities developed into the region. This finding constitutes the base for a better understanding of the main driving force influencing biomass productivity and a powerful metric for supporting the sustainable management of land use.

Keywords: land-use changes, net primary productivity, human appropriation, land-use impact

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