Photo: Robert Kautsky/Azote

Mapping bundles of ecosystem services reveals distinct types of multifunctionality within a Swedish landscape

A recent study reveals that there are five distinct bundles of ecosystem services across the Stockholm region (Norrström drainage basin).

Interestingly the study, led by Cibele Queirozexternal link (Stockholm Resilience Centre) and a team of researchers affiliated to PECS and the SEEN project, shows that human-dominated landscapes in the study area are associated with a diverse set of critical ecosystems services and that densely populated urban areas are hotspots of cultural services.

This research builds on recent recentexternal link promising approaches that address the need for social-ecological integration and lower cost assessments (mainly based on publically available data such as census and GIS data) by focusing on how social- ecological interactions produce reasonably coherent sets of ecosystem services or bundles across a region. First the authors visualized and compared the spatial patterns of each individual ecosystem service by mapping the distribution of 16 key ecosystem services (six provisioning services, five regulating services, and five cultural services) in ArcGIS. Second, the tradeoffs and synergies were analyzed between all pairs of ecosystem services and between categories of ecosystem services. Finally, the “multifunctionality” of each municipality was assessed by calculating the diversity of the sets of ecosystem services associated with each municipality through the Simpsons diversity index.

Identifying bundles of ES can bring numerous benefits for managers and policy makers, when managing complex landscapes. These different bundles are likely produced by different sets of social–ecological interactions, and implementing policies targeted for bundles of services, instead of individual services, takes advantage of those interactions.

The full paper is published in the journal AMBIO, is open access and can be found hereexternal link


PECS - Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Visiting address: Kräftriket 2

+46 734 60 70 68


The Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), is a core project of Future Earth. It aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social–ecological system and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality and poverty.