The concept of ecosystem services is thought to protect social-ecological systems by contributing to more informed decision-making in land management and planning. Although the utilisation of ecosystem services knowledge in decision-making is increasingly being promoted by academics and policy makers, the actual uptake of ecosystem services knowledge in land management largely remains undetermined (Cowell and Lennon, 2014; Jordan and Russel, 2014). To overcome the mere generation of knowledge and practically contribute to better environmental or ecological outcomes, an important challenge for scientists and practitioners is to understand how ecosystem knowledge can be used, by whom, and in what specific decision-making context. By emphasizing the spatial relationship between landscape characteristics and human wellbeing, the mapping of ecosystem services is found a useful method to support communication and decision making in landscape management (Brown and Fagerholm, 2015; de Groot et al., 2010). In this contribution, we use participatory mapping of ecosystem services to inform the regional park management of the Pentland Hills Regional Park in Scotland and their future Management Plan (2017-2027). We combine results of participatory mapping of ecosystem services based on two different sampling methods: a social survey (n=454) conducted on-site in 2014 and a workshop with key stakeholders (n=20) performed in 2016. We identify hotspots of ecosystem services and explore landscape features able to provide such ecosystem services hotspots. We compare these landscape features able to provide ecosystem services with land management priorities that we derived from the current Management Plan. The mismatch we uncovered allows for a better understanding of the required focus of future land management measures to account for ecosystem service providing landscape features.
Brown, G., Fagerholm, N., 2015, Empirical PPGIS/PGIS mapping of ecosystem services: A review and evaluation, Ecosystem Services 13, 119-133.
Cowell, R., Lennon, M., 2014, The Utilisation of Environmental Knowledge in Land-Use Planning: Drawing Lessons for an Ecosystem Services Approach, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32(2):263-282.
de Groot, R.S., Alkemade, R., Braat, L., Hein, L., Willemen, L., 2010. Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decisionmaking. Ecological Complexity 7, 260–272.
Jordan, A., Russel, D., 2014, Embedding the Concept of Ecosystem Services? The Utilisation of Ecological Knowledge in Different Policy Venues, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32(2):192-207.