Research objectives are:
- Identifying the most relevant ecosystem services and usable indicators from prevailing research, monitoring and other data for Ecuador through a national stakeholder process
- Setting up a national scale ecosystem services mapping and assessment through the use of models / digital information tools (GISCAME) referring to the above services and indicators; this includes an analysis of landscape metrics as a corrigendum for some regulating and cultural services
- Projecting the further development of ecosystem services provision under land use and cover changes using scenarios taken from participatory processes and literature research
- Deriving spatially explicit recent and future risk areas of high losses in ecosystem services and biodiversity for which governance instruments to counteract the losses will be identified
Research questions are:
- What are current capacities of Ecuadorian ecosystems (under consideration of their context to other ecosystems such as grasslands or agriculture) to provide ecosystem services?
- What capacities are hold by specific landscape types / biomes (Andes, Amazon region, Pacific coast region) considering their ecosystems and their landscape structure?
- Which ecosystem services are prevailing, which are threatened and would need conservation with regard to the three main regions?
- Which ecosystem services would affect biodiversity and other ecosystem services if they would be improved (trade-off with biodiversity and other ecosystem services)?
- Are biodiversity hotspots matching with ecosystem services hotspots (and coldspots)?
- What kind of measures (adapted land use and management) would support the conservation / enhancement of threatened ecosystem services; which would be the impacts for the overall balance of ecosystem services at regional scale?
- Which recommendations can be drawn for land users and owners, district managers and policy makers?
- How could be future ecosystem services provision under climate change, global land changes, tele-coupled markets and other stressors?