MAPPING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES SUPPLY IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS: A CASE STUDY FROM SOUTH TYROL (ITALY)
Keywords:Ecosystem services, cluster analysis, topography, spatial analysis, Alps, mapping, trade-offs
Mountain regions provide many ecosystem services and spatially explicit assessments have to account for their specific topographic and climatic conditions. Moreover, it is fundamental to understand synergies and trade-offs of multiple ecosystem services. In this study, ecosystem services supply, including forage production, timber production, water supply, carbon sequestration, soil stability, soil quality, and the aesthetic value, was quantified in bio-physical terms on the landscape scale for South Tyrol. Mean ecosystem services values of the 116 municipalities were grouped in 5 clusters. The results indicate that carbon stock is the prevailing ecosystem service of valley municipalities. On contrast, they suffer from water deficit and depend on water supply from high mountain municipalities. Trade-offs can be also found between the aesthetic value on one hand and timber production, carbon sequestration and soil stability on the other hand. The latter are characteristic for municipalities dominated by forest. The resulting maps can support landscape planning, ecosystem management and conservation of biodiversity.