Consequences of Uncertainty in Global-Scale Land Cover Maps for Mapping Ecosystem Functions: An Analysis of Pollination Efficiency

C.J.E. Schulp, J.R.M. Alkemade

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    Abstract

    Mapping ecosystem services (ESs) is an important tool for providing the quantitative information necessary for the optimal use and protection of ecosystems and biodiversity. A common mapping approach is to apply established empirical relationships to ecosystem property maps. Often, ecosystem properties that provide services to humanity are strongly related to the land use and land cover, where the spatial allocation of the land cover in the landscape is especially important. Land use and land cover maps are, therefore, essential for ES mapping. However, insight into the uncertainties in land cover maps and how these propagate into ES maps is lacking. To analyze the effects of these uncertainties, we mapped pollination efficiency as an example of an ecosystem function, using two continental-scale land cover maps and two global-scale land cover maps. We compared the outputs with maps based on a detailed national-scale map. The ecosystem properties and functions could be mapped using the GLOBCOVER map with a reasonable to good accuracy. In homogeneous landscapes, an even coarser resolution map would suffice. For mapping ESs that depend on the spatial allocation of land cover in the landscape, a classification of satellite images using fractional land cover or mosaic classes is an asset. © 2011 by the authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2057-2075
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Volume3
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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