Ecosystem services provision and landscape urbanization degrees. Spatial assessment in upper Silesia, central Europe

Authors and Affiliations: 

Luis Inostroza
Institute of Geography, Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany
Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Chile

Corresponding author: 
Luis Inostroza

Landscapes are providers of fundamental ecosystem services (ES) which are crucial for society, such as supplying commodities, regulation, providing aesthetics and recreation. However, under a process of landscape urbanization potential provision of ES will eventually shrink. Landscape urbanization is a complex spatial process which takes place in areas usually far beyond urban cores, it is a spatiotemporal process difficult to monitor, quantify and finally plan. Areas providing fundamental ES, which are vital for urban sustainability but located out of urban cores should be planned in an integrated manner. Yet, there is no evidence on the spatial variability of the relationship between ES and landscape urbanization. To explore these relationships a spatial analysis was carried out in Upper Silesia, central Europe. The aim is to explore specific measures and indicators for advancing the use of ES in landscape planning, but understanding the spatial linkages between ES and urbanization. Technomass indicator was used to assess the levels of landscape urbanization. In a second step, the potential provision of ES was assessed to ascertain the spatial variability between urbanization levels and ES provision across the landscape using a geographically weighted regression model. Results show a statistically significant variability across the landscape for several ES, showing that this relationship is not constant. The spatial variability of urbanization intensities affects bundles of ES in a differentiated manner. That information is relevant for sustainable landscape planning. The proposed methodology allows the direct use of the ES framework in landscape planning for assessing the impacts of urbanization.


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