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High rates of short-term dynamics of forest ecosystem services

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Louise MairORCiD


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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. Currently, the main tools for assessing and managing ecosystem services at large scales are maps providing snapshots of their potential supply. However, many ecosystems change over short timescales; thus, such maps soon become inaccurate. Here we show high rates of short-term dynamics of three key forest ecosystem services: wood production, bilberry production and topsoil carbon storage. Almost 85% of the coldspots and 65% of the hotspots for these services had changed into a different state over a ten-year period. Wood production showed higher rates of short-term dynamics than bilberry production and carbon storage. The high rates of dynamics mean that static snapshot ecosystem service maps provide limited information for assessing and managing multifunctional, dynamic landscapes, such as forests. We advocate that dynamic, spatially explicit tools to assess and manage ecosystem service dynamics be further developed and applied in post-2020 biodiversity and ecosystem service policy supporting frameworks.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Snall T, Trivino M, Mair L, Bengtsson J, Moen J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Sustainability

Year: 2021

Volume: 4

Pages: 951–957

Online publication date: 02/09/2021

Acceptance date: 23/07/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2398-9629

Publisher: Nature Research


DOI: 10.1038/s41893-021-00764-w


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