Spatial characterization of landscape functions

Willemen, L.; Verburg, P.H.; Hein, L.G.; Mensvoort, M.E.F. van


There is little information available on the spatial variation of landscape functions. We developed a methodological framework to map and quantify landscape functions depending on the availability of spatial information. In this framework three different methods were proposed (1) linking landscape functions to land cover or policy defined areas, (2) assessing landscape functions with empirical models using spatial indicators and (3) assessing landscape functions using decision rules based on literature reviews. The framework was applied to the Gelderse Vallei, a transitional rural area in the Netherlands. We successfully mapped and quantified the capacities to provide goods and services of eight landscape functions (residential, intensive livestock, drinking water, cultural heritage, tourism, plant habitat, arable production, and leisure cycling function) for this region. These function maps provide policy makers valuable information on regional qualities in terms of landscape functionality. Making landscape functions spatial explicit, adds an important component to research conducted in the field of quantification of landscape goods and services.