A blueprint for mapping and modelling ecosystem services

N. Crossman, B. Burkhard, S. Nedkov, L.L.J. Willemen, K. Petz, I. Palomo, E.G. Drakou, B. Martín-Lopez, T. McPhearson, K. Boyanova, R. Alkemade, B. Egoh, M.D. Dunbar, J. Maes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

417 Citations (Scopus)


The inconsistency in methods to quantify and map ecosystem services challenges the development of robust values of ecosystem services in national accounts and broader policy and natural resource management decision-making. In this paper we develop and test a blueprint to give guidance on modelling and mapping ecosystem services. The primary purpose of this blueprint is to provide a template and checklist of information needed for those beginning an ecosystem service modelling and mapping study. A secondary purpose is to provide, over time, a database of completed blueprints that becomes a valuable information resource of methods and information used in previous modelling and mapping studies. We base our blueprint on a literature review, expert opinions (as part of a related workshop organised during the 5th ESP conference2 ) and critical assessment of existing techniques used to model and map ecosystem services. While any study that models and maps ecosystem services will have its unique characteristics and will be largely driven by data and model availability, a tool such as the blueprint presented here will reduce the uncertainty associated with quantifying ecosystem services and thereby help to close the gap between theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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