New Special Issue on “Integrating Ecosystem Services in Landscape Planning"


Despite growing knowledge of ecosystem services (ES), and heightened awareness of their political and socio-economic relevance, mainstreaming and implementing ES in landscape planning and decision-making are still in their infancy. The objective of a new special issue in Landscape Ecology, edited by Christian Albert, James Aronson, Christine Fürst and Paul Opdam, was to explore requirements for, approaches to, and potential impacts of, integrating ES in landscape planning and management. 


The issue includes three key research themes: 

  1. Requirements and interests of planners and decision-makers for integrating ES in different application contexts,
  2. Approaches to applying ES in (participatory) planning, and
  3. Potential impacts of integrating ES in policy and decision-making. 

These themes are addressed by 12 papers that refer to case studies in Africa, Australia, and Europe. Looking across the contributions, four lessons are highlighted:(i) Information on ES is considered useful by many practitioners, but the type, production and communication of ES information need to be adapted to the specific context of a planning case; (ii) A broad range of approaches are available for integrating the ES concept in (participatory) planning with different and complementary contributions to decision-support; (iii) Effectively integrating ES in planning requires careful scoping of the context, objectives and capacities; (iv) Integrating ES in planning can effectively support the co-production of relevant knowledge and the collaboration of diverse actors. A new research field of ‘Planning-for-ES science’ is emerging which focuses on, among other issues, the critical evaluation of real-world case studies of applying the ES concept in different fields of practice.



  • Albert C, Aronson J, Fürst C, Opdam P (2014) Integrating ecosystem services in landscape planning: requirements, approaches, and impacts. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1277-1285
  • Mascarenhas A, Ramos T, Haase D, Santos R (2014) Integration of ecosystem services in spatial planning: a survey on regional planners’ views. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1287-1300
  • Albert C, Hauck J, Buhr N, von Haaren C (2014) What ecosystem services information do users want? Investigating interests and requirements among landscape and regional planners in Germany. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1301-1313
  • Sitas N, Prozesky H, Esler K, Reyers B (2014) Opportunities and challenges for mainstreaming ecosystem services in development planning: perspectives from a landscape level. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1315-1331
  • von Haaren C, Albert C, Barkmann J, de Groot R, Spangenberg J, Schröter-Schlaack C, Hansjürgens B (2014) From explanation to application: introducing a practice-oriented ecosystem services evaluation (PRESET) model adapted to the context of landscape planning and management. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1335-1346
  • Liu J, Opdam P (2014) Valuing ecosystem services in community-based landscape planning: introducing a wellbeing-based approach. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1347-1360
  • Kopperoinen L, Itkonen P, Niemelä J (2014) Using expert knowledge in combining green infrastructure and ecosystem services in land use planning: an insight into a new place-based methodology. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1361-1375
  • Frank S, Fürst C, Witt A, Koschke L, Makeschin F (2014) Making use of the ecosystem services concept in regional planning—trade-offs from reducing water erosion. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1377-1391
  • Casado-Arzuaga I, Onaindia M, Madariaga I, Verburg P (2014) Mapping recreation and aesthetic value of ecosystems in the Bilbao Metropolitan Greenbelt (northern Spain) to support landscape planning. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1393-1405
  • Moreno J, Palomo I, Escalera J, Martín-López B, Montes C (2014) Incorporating ecosystem services into ecosystem-based management to deal with complexity: a participative mental model approach. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1407-1421
  • Palacios-Agundez I, Fernández de Manuel B, Rodríguez-Loinaz G, Peña L, Ametzaga-Arregi I, Alday J, Casado-Arzuaga I, Madariaga I, Arana X, Onaindia M (2014) Integrating stakeholders’ demands and scientific knowledge on ecosystem services in landscape planning. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1423-1433
  • Fürst C, Opdam P, Inostroza L, Luque S (2014) Evaluating the role of ecosystem services in participatory land use planning: proposing a balanced score card. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1435-1446
  • Hatton MacDonald D, Bark R, Coggan A (2014) Is ecosystem service research used by decision-makers? A case study of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Landscape Ecology 29(8):1447-1460

The Special Issue has been a joint effort of members of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE), the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) Thematic Working Group “Application of Ecosystem Services in Planning & Management”, and the European Land Use Institute (ELI)

For more information, please see the special issue website at



by Christian Albert


Landscape Ecology - 2019 Best Article Award

The Editorial Board of the IALE flagship journal Landscape Ecology selected and...

IALE 2021 European Congress: Call for Symposia

The call for symposia is now open for the IALE 2021 European Landscape Ecology...

New Bulletin online

IALE Bulletin Vol. 38 No. 1 - April 2020 is online now.
Download the new...

Call for proposals: 2023 IALE World Congress

Host the premier event for landscape ecologist worldwide | Bids are due by...

Socio-Ecological Practice Research for Sustainable Landscape Governance

Conference in online-virtual environment jointly organized by ELI / ICUB / SEPR...

1st IALE-Russia Conference moves to online format

Due to the restrictions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic the 1st IALE-Russia...

New Bulletin online

IALE Bulletin Vol. 38 No. 1 - April 2020 is online now.
Download the new...