Assessing ecosystem service potentials to evaluate terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystem types in Northern Germany – An expert-based matrix approach

Felix Müller, Sabine Bicking, Kai Ahrendt, Dang Kinh Bac, Irmgard Blindow, Christine Fürst, Peter Haase, Marion Kruse, Tim Kruse, Liwei Ma, Marie Perennes, Ivana Ruljevic, Gerald Schernewski, Claus-Georg Schimming, Anik Schneiders, Hendrik Schubert, noteJohanna Schumacher, Ulrike Tappeiner, Peter Wangai, Wilhelm WindhorstJakub Zeleny

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In this article, a revised and enlarged version of a qualitative assessment matrix for the appraisal of ecosystem service potentials is introduced. The product is a simple tool for scoring terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystem types with respect to their abilities to provide provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services as well as indicators of ecosystem state by applying criteria of ecosystem integrity. The methodological steps of matrix development are described, and the emerging expert opinions are illustrated by characterizing different ecosystem types, analysing different ecosystem services and showing the outcomes of linked GIS-based mapping exercises. The applicability of the matrix is demonstrated by some case studies. The related uncertainties are characterized and discussed in context with limitations, arising challenges and conceptual problems. The tool is made available on the internet, and the authors are looking forward to critical checks and proposals for improvement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Indicators
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - May-2020

Thematic list

  • Society
  • Space

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology


  • ecosystem services

Geographic list

  • Germany


  • supporting technologies

Free keywords

  • ecosystem service potential
  • matrix approach
  • ecosystem assessment

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