Applying ecosystem services indicators in landscape planning and management: The ES-in-Planning framework

Christian Albert, Carolin Galler, Johannes Hermes, Felix Neuendorf, Christina Von Haaren, Andrew Lovett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


Applying ecosystem services (ES) concepts and indicators in landscape planning requires them to be linked with models for decision-making by practitioners. The objective of this paper is to introduce an ES-in-Planning framework, which combines ES assessment and valuation indicators with the widely used Driving Forces, Pressures, State, Impacts and Responses (DPSIR) model. Within this framework, ES indicators become part of landscape planning as a means of assessing the current state of the environmentand for determining how it might change in the future. The implementation and added value of the framework is illustrated in a case study of planning issues in the Mardorf community bordering the Steinhuder Meer Lake, Northern Germany. Two scenarios of potential landscape changes and possible response measures are considered in terms of alterations in a set of ES indicators. The ES examined are food production (a provisioning ES), climate mitigation (a regulation ES), landscape esthetics (as thebasis for many cultural ES), and biodiversity. The ES indicators employed distinguish between services valued by humans and those which are actually utilized. Valuation of changes in ES has shown to reflect societal objectives (as institutionalized in legal requirements) and expert-based estimates. However, these valuations could be further validated by including economic and social valuation of impacts. The added value of applying ES in the planning process lies in improved opportunities for developing targeted response measures, for communicating trade-offs between planning options, and for facilitating jointimplementation by partners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-113
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Indicators
Early online date21 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Ecosystem functions
  • Ecosystem services
  • Indicators
  • Landscape planning
  • Decision support
  • Landscape

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