Landscape ecology can be now and in the near future, the scientific basis for sustainable development of the landscape. This aspect focuses on two prerequisites landscape ecological science must meet to be efficient in producing appropriate knowledge for such processes upstream, such as a relevant social approach to research and policy development (Bass et al., 2001; Gergel and Turner, 2017). It should also include an evaluation component and be suitable for use in collaborative decision-making, mainly at local level (Breuste, 2004). The landscape ecological research should focus on these issues and propose the concept of “Landscape Ecosystem Services” as a common ground to aid in the knowledge base creation that could be integrated in multifunctional systems (Gomez-Baggethuna et al., 2010; Fagerholm et al., 2016).
Our overall objective is to argue how research on landscape ecology should focus more on these issues and to propose the concept of landscape services as a unifying common ground in which scientists from various disciplines are encouraged to cooperate in the production of a general knowledge that could be incorporated into the multiple use of systems (Primmer et al., 2015). To do this, our aim is to analyze a particular case in relation to ecosystem services provided by the rural landscape in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula through a territorial approach based on intensive use of this land by man.
Numerous questions arise when we analyze the relationship between people and rocks, trees, soil, plants and animals. For most, this non-human environment is the "natural" world and the "nature" is largely imagined as something above and separate from the activity of people (World Bank, 2003). The ecosystem services are generally not able to explain the complexity of the socio-ecological connections, which often leads to a fragmentation in the assessment of land-use to sustainable development and resilience. The consideration of the multiple dimensions of landscape represents a way forward (Bastian et al., 2014). As for the territorial approach, our research is based on the knowledge to obtain adequate indicators for forest landscape recovery globally. The pattern of assessment should be performed for each individual ecosystem service provided by the rural landscape within the study area.
This is a versatile question because it involves different -socioeconomic, political and environmental- aspects, being essential that there is adequate coordination between all levels of government and stakeholders (Sunderlin et al., 2005).
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