Multifunctionality of floodplain landscapes: relating management options to ecosystem services

S. Schindler, Z. Sebesvari, C. Damm, T. van der Sluis

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89 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of green infrastructure has been recently taken up by the European Commission for ensuring the provision of ecosystem services (ESS). It aims at the supply of multiple ESS in a given landscape, however, the effects of a full suite of management options on multiple ESS and landscape multifunctionality have rarely been assessed. In this paper we use European floodplain landscapes as example to develop an expert based qualitative conceptual model for the assessment of impacts of landscape scale interventions on multifunctionality. European floodplain landscapes are particularly useful for such approach as they originally provided a high variety and quantity of ESS that has declined due to the strong human impact these landscapes have experienced. We provide an overview of the effects of floodplain management options on landscape multifunctionality by assessing the effects of 38 floodplain management interventions on 21 relevant ESS, as well as on overall ESS supply. We found that restoration and rehabilitation consistently increased the multifunctionality of the landscape by enhancing supply of provisioning, regulation/maintenance, and cultural services. In contrast, conventional technical regulation measures and interventions related to extraction, infrastructure and intensive land use cause decrease in multifunctionality and negative effects for the supply of all three aspects of ESS. The overview of the effects of interventions shall provide guidance for decision makers at multiple governance levels. The presented conceptual model could be effectively applied for other landscapes that have potential for a supply of a high diversity of ESS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-244
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • biodiversity conservation
  • restoration
  • indicators
  • ecology
  • scales
  • assessments
  • knowledge
  • policy
  • rivers
  • reach


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