Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties

Nat Commun. 2016 Jun 13;7:11877. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11877.


High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pasture rehabilitation, together with a succession option. Our results show that high compositional landscape diversity supports multiple ecosystem services (multifunction effect). This implicitly provides a buffer against uncertainty. Our work shows that active integration of uncertainty is only important when optimizing single or highly correlated ecosystem services and that the multifunction effect on landscape diversity is stronger than the uncertainty effect. This is an important insight to support a land-use planning based on ecosystem services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't