Including stakeholders’ perspectives on ecosystem services in multifunctionality assessments

Lisanne Hölting*, Franziska Komossa, Anna Filyushkina, Miene Marie Gastinger, Peter H. Verburg, Michael Beckmann, Martin Volk, Anna F. Cord

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Multifunctional landscapes are used and shaped by a range of different stakeholders. The high number of diverging values, interests or demands in such landscapes can lead to conflicts that impact sustainability goals. In this study, our aim was to include stakeholders’ valuations of ecosystem services in multifunctionality assessments and thereby to identify different and possibly contradictory perspectives on landscape multifunctionality. Two European cultural landscapes, the Vereinigte Mulde (Germany) and the Kromme Rijn (The Netherlands), were used as case studies. Spatially explicit indicators of eleven ecosystem services were assessed and weighted according to their survey-based perceived importance for different stakeholder groups. While some significant differences between the groups were apparent, the results also revealed that all stakeholder groups acknowledge the importance of multiple ecosystem services. Stakeholder-specific multifunctionality hotspots occurred mainly in forests or grasslands and largely overlapped between the groups. Our study therefore clearly shows that the diversity of ecosystem services must be preserved in order to preserve the values that cultural landscapes offer to a wide range of people. While local solutions must be sought to resolve local land use conflicts over the use of ecosystem services, we conclude that multifunctionality can be declared a common goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-368
Number of pages15
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Christian Albert
  • Ecosystem services
  • interest groups
  • land use management
  • nature’s contribution to people
  • perception
  • socio-ecological systems
  • surveys
  • trade-offs


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