Ökosystemleistungen in Kulturlandschaften
European cultural landscapes are significantly shaped by human activities and provide a multitude of ecological services which benefit human society. In an article published in the May 2010 issue of "Natur und Landschaft", the concept of ecosystem services is evaluaten in regard to its limits and potentials to analyse conflicts between land use and nature conservation.
The concept of ecosystem services offers the opportunity to analyse the links between landscapes as ecosystems and as arenas of social processes. It hence provides a crucial framework for sustainable landscape development. However, the concept has not yet been much applied to European cultural landscapes which have been strongly shaped by human use.
As an example, the authors identify the ecosystem services of two German biosphere reserves. They do so by analysing the land-use forms most relevant in the areas with regard to their utilization of and effects on ecosystem services.
Despite some weaknesses, the ecosystem services concept delivers an improved understanding of conflicts among various demands upon landscapes, and reveals services that have previously gone largely unnoticed.