Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Valuation, assessment and mapping of Ecosystems Services of the Site of Community Importance “Dunas de Mira, Gândara e Gafanhas” (Portugal); Methodological Approach

Version 1 : Received: 10 November 2018 / Approved: 12 November 2018 / Online: 12 November 2018 (11:51:07 CET)

How to cite: Leitão, L.C.; Santos, J.G.; Aragão, A. Valuation, assessment and mapping of Ecosystems Services of the Site of Community Importance “Dunas de Mira, Gândara e Gafanhas” (Portugal); Methodological Approach. Preprints 2018, 2018110288 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201811.0288.v1). Leitão, L.C.; Santos, J.G.; Aragão, A. Valuation, assessment and mapping of Ecosystems Services of the Site of Community Importance “Dunas de Mira, Gândara e Gafanhas” (Portugal); Methodological Approach. Preprints 2018, 2018110288 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201811.0288.v1).

Abstract

Putting value to ecosystem services is something that society still refuses or simply ignores because it is not aware of the benefits that ecosystems provide us. In fact, people should be aware that a good understanding of ecosystem services can lead to win-win situations. Being aware of the importance of preserving the ecosystem and attaching value to its services will enable the development of self-sustaining strategies and appropriate policies for better ecological governance. Decades of over exploitation of natural resources, introduction and spread of alien species and, also, climate change, forest fires among other threats, have fostered biodiversity loss. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy has as one of its main goals to stop biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services; if possible, to recover the most threatened and degraded ecosystems, based on 20 Actions divided into 6 Targets. The present work falls within the scope of Action 5 of Target 2 – Improve knowledge of ecosystems and their services in the EU. The specific focus of this study is the Site of Community importance “Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas” (Portugal) and the assessment of its ecosystem services, in accordance with the methodology proposed by the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) Working Group. The work currently under way, a small segment of which is presented here, aims to identify, map and, when possible, assign value to the ecosystem services. For this purpose, modern GIS technologies will be used. This approach was implemented using a combination of data and tasks, including the photo-interpretation of Sentinel 2 (COPERNICUS Program) satellite imagery. The data geoprocessing tasks and image segmentation were developed using QGIS software and IMPACT Toolbox software (developed by the Joint Research Center – JRC, of the European Union), respectively. The analysis of Land Use and Burned Areas maps for the SCI "Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas" led us to conclude that Forests ecosystems, the most affected by the fire of October 2017, continue to have the greatest expression in the area under study even though they have lost more than 50% of the area, and their services were also the ones most affected by the fire.

Subject Areas

ecosystem services; valuation; monetization; assessment; mapping, biodiversity; geographic information technologies

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