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RC 4.5

Ecosystem services as a framework for sustainable natural resource management in Denmark

Denmark is an old cultural landscape with high population pressure, where the majority of the land is used in agriculture. Our management decisions increasingly centers around balancing the social, economic and ecological needs of sustainable development. Ecosystem services are in this context a way of understanding the ecological resources and to clarify the important processes and products we depend on from a functional nature (e.g., wastewater treatment, recreation opportunities and food production). The intensive land use, combined with high nitrogen emissions have an impact on nature, and heavily affect the functionality of ecosystem services. Therefore we rely on identifying good management practices, based on sound insight into the social, economic and ecological dynamics in the landscape, if we are to mitigate the challenges of developing a sustainable future.

The goals of Katrine Turners Ph.D. are to investigate the ecological aspect of this strategy; i.e. how decision makers and stakeholders are aware of the potential value of involving the utility effects we get from nature, thus optimizing natural resources to achieve sustainable management of the countryside in Denmark. The project places special emphasis on the following areas:

  1. To identify and examine ecosystem services’ spatial distribution in the landscape and in relation to other services, such as nitrogen mitigation in wetlands
  2. To find ways to use the valuation of ecosystem services to identify where the greatest potential and need for nature is
  3. To develop a framework to use nature’s utility and ecosystem services as a tool to communicate between different disciplines and stakeholders.
Ph.d. student
Katrine Grace Turner

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