Integrating ecosystem services in landscape planning: requirements, approaches and impacts

C. Albert, J. Aronson, C. Fürst, P. Opdam

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


Despite growing knowledge of ecosystem services (ES), and heightened awareness of their political and socio-economic relevance, mainstreaming and implementing ES in landscape planning and decision-making are still in their infancy. The objective of this special issue, therefore, is to explore requirements for, approaches to, and potential impacts of, integrating ES in landscape planning and management. The issue includes three key research themes: (i) Requirements and interests of planners and decision-makers for integrating ES in different application contexts, (ii) Approaches to applying ES in (participatory) planning, and (iii) Potential impacts of integrating ES in policy and decision-making. These themes are addressed by 12 papers that refer to case studies in Africa, Australia, and Europe. Four lessons are highlighted: (i) Information on ES is considered useful by many practitioners, but the type, production and communication of ES information need to be adapted to the specific context of a planning case; (ii) A broad range of approaches are available for integrating the ES concept in (participatory) planning with different and complementary contributions to decision-support; (iii) Effectively integrating ES in planning requires careful scoping of the context, objectives and capacities; (iv) Integrating ES in planning can effectively support the co-production of relevant knowledge and the collaboration of diverse actors. A new research field of ‘Planning-for-ES Science’ is emerging which focuses on, among other issues, the critical evaluation of real-world case studies of applying the ES concept in different fields of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1285
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • decision-making
  • sustainability
  • science


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