Research output

‘The Matrix Reloaded': A review of expert knowledge use for mapping ecosystem services

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


External Organisations

  • Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, University of Kiel, Olshausenstraße 75, 24118 Kiel, Germany
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research ZALF, Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
  • Universiteit Antwerpen


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Ecosystem service research covers a challenging socio-ecological complexity and simultaneously copes with a high policy demand for decision support in sustainable resource management. This stimulates proliferation of pragmatic modeling techniques, such as the matrix model: ecosystem service supply is
modeled using expert estimations per land use or land cover class. The matrix models popularity proves its main strengths (efficient, fast, accessible and adaptable), but also entails risks for scientific credibility and legitimacy of its results and ecosystem service assessments in general. Some of the main
methodological critiques on the matrix model can be addressed especially by including measures of confidence, traceability, reliability, consistency and validity. This review presents recommendations and encourages these to become standard practise in future applications of the matrix model and related
techniques. Additionally, we argue that an extended matrix model could provide more than only scientifically sound and politically legitimate results. It could serve as a tool to improve cooperation between natural and social sciences, experts, stakeholders and decision makers: collaborative development of the matrix model contributes to transdisciplinary ecosystem service research aimed at effective implementation and action
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  • Jacobs_etal_2014_EcolModel

    Submitted manuscript, 918 KB, PDF document


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