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A Linear Programming Model to Biophysically Assess Some Ecosystem Service Synergies and Trade-Offs in Two Irish Landscapes

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Date and Publication

2016: Forests, published by MDPI, Vol. 7, Iss. 7, 128.


Edwin Corrigan and Maarten Nieuwenhuis 

Paper Summary

Ecosystem service provisions are becoming more frequently used to assess land-use related conflicts in recent decades. This study investigates the current spatial and research information available to quantify ecosystem services relative to forest land-use planning in Ireland. A model is developed using the linear-programming method in Remsoft’s Woodstock optimization analytics software. This model is applied to two case study areas in Ireland: Western Peatlands and Newmarket. Each case study area was chosen to assess a unique issue in the Irish and European context on the provision of ecosystem services. Western Peatlands was chosen to assess the effects of forest and alternative land-use options and Newmarket was chosen to investigate the effect of afforestation. The synergies and trade-offs of biophysically optimising the provisions of each ecosystem service are presented and discussed. The study quantitatively determines that trade-offs among provisions of some ecosystem services are required when optimising an ecosystem service while other ecosystem services are synergistic when the provision of a single ecosystem service is optimised.

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