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Space for ecosystems

(2014-06-05) Metria just finalised a project on Earth Observation (EO) for Ecosystem valuation. In four different trials in Asia and South America EO data was used for mapping in three terrestrial and one marine trial.

The EO derived maps was used for Ecosystem services valuation using the GIS-tool INVEST. The project was funded by the European Space Agency and performed in co-operation with GeoVille GmbH, GeoVille Environmental Services and Argans Ltd. More information is found in the recent newsletter. One example from Lombok in Indonesia reveals the benefits using EO data

Water falling on land is filtered by vegetation, soil and to some extent bedrock. Purification of water is one of the most important and basic ecosystem services. Pure water is a prerequisite for human well-being as drinking water, source of irrigation and for healthy aquatic environments. The aquatic environments provide services such as recreation and populations of edible fish and other aquatic organisms. Clean water, in lakes ponds and rivers, is important for game populations. Clean water availability is one of the most important factors for primary production. Water filtration hence provides the base for a cascade of ecosystem services at landscape and global level.

EO derived data is important to estimate the ecosystem services delivered, serving as key information to support policies on nutrient retention. In order to assess the nutrient retention potential on Lombok the land cover classification, a digital elevation model and metrological data on rainfall and soil characteristics was used as input to the Invest water yield and nutrient retention model. The results are calculated per watershed.

The figure displays one of the outputs, a phosphorous (P) retention map, where green areas have low retention and orange areas a high. The retention is closely connected to the nutrient load on the land but to a large extent dependent on the vegetation close to the water courses. The results show how EO data can be used to monitor different scenarios in land use changes and its impact on phosphorous retentions.

For more information contact Tobias Edman , tel +46 10 121 85 04.