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

Thomas Knoke, Carola Paul, Patrick Hildebrandt, Baltazar Calvas, Luz Maria Castro, Fabian Hartl, Martin Dollerer, Ute Hamer, David Windhorst, Yolanda F. Wiersma, Giulia F. Curatola Fernández, Wolfgang A. Obermeier, Julia Adams, Lutz Breuer, Reinhard Mosandl, Erwin Beck, Michael Weber, Bernd Stimm, Wolfgang Haber, Christine FürstJörg Bendix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11877
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2016


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