Accounting for ecosystem services and biodiversity in Limburg province, the Netherlands

R.P. Remme

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Ecosystem services and biodiversity are important for human well-being. Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystems to benefits used in economic and other human activity. This thesis aims to empirically assess how spatial models for ecosystem service flows and biodiversity can be applied in the context of ecosystem accounting, management and conservation for Limburg province, the Netherlands. Ecosystem accounting is a systematic approach to measure and monitor ecosystems, ecosystem services and their contribution to human and economic activity. Biophysical models are developed to analyze seven ecosystem services for ecosystem accounting. Based on the biophysical models, the ecosystem services are valued in monetary terms, using methods that are consistent with national economic accounting. In addition, this thesis examines how ecosystem contributions (i.e. the ecosystem services) and human contributions to human benefits can be distinguished. In addition, different biodiversity indicators are spatially modelled and analyzed for Limburg, to assess their applicability in biodiversity accounting. Scenario analysis is applied to measure the effects budget limitations on the further development of Limburg’s biodiversity conservation network, and the effects of including ecosystem services into the network. This thesis contributes substantially to operationalizing ecosystem accounting by empirically testing applicable indicators, spatial modelling methods and monetary valuation methods, delineating caveats and assessing uncertainties. The research stresses the importance of accounting for ecosystem services in both biophysical and monetary terms, and including additional information on biodiversity. Ecosystem accounting, management and conservation are all necessary to ensure the safeguarding of natural and managed ecosystems and for sustaining human well-being.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Leemans, Rik, Promotor
  • Hein, Lars, Promotor
Award date13 Jan 2016
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789462576100
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • ecosystem services
  • biodiversity
  • models
  • nature conservation
  • netherlands
  • limburg

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