Ecosystem services are a significant research and policy topic and there are many modelling and mapping approaches aimed at understanding the stocks, demands and flows of ecosystem goods and services on different scales. This Special Issue "Mapping and Modelling Ecosystem Services" of the journal Ecosystem Services is mainly an outcome of the "Quantifying, Mapping, Modelling and Indicators of Ecosystem Services" Workshop that was organized at the 4th Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) Conference entitled Ecosystem Services: Integrating Science and Policy in October 2011 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
The 14 articles in this Special Issue present the latest methods in modelling and mapping ecosystem services and their application to science, policy and practical decision making. The integration of geo-biophysical processes and structure assessments provides insights into actual ecosystem service supply and the ecological and biodiversity base (ecosystem functions). Information and data potential on ecosystem service beneficiaries (demand), their actual rates of use and consumption and how these components are interconnected (flows and trade-offs) can be analysed, integrated and represented by available tools such as thematic mapping, GIS, remote sensing, multi-criteria analysis, and dynamic geobiophysical and decision process models.
"The Special Issue of Ecosystem Services is completely dedicated to the scientific challenges and policy opportunities of mapping and modelling ecosystem services. It brings together a great diversity of quality papers addressing the current hot topics in this field of ecosystem services research and policy.", comments Dr. Leon Braat, Alterra Research Institute Wageningen/The Netherlands and Editor-in-Chief of Ecosystem Services, and adds: "I trust that both scientists and policy advisors in governments and businesses at all levels can profit from the knowledge and ideas presented in this Special Issue."