University of Oulu

Ala-Hulkko, T., Kotavaara, O., Alahuhta, J., & Hjort, J. (2019). Mapping supply and demand of a provisioning ecosystem service across Europe. Ecological Indicators, 103, 520–529.

Mapping supply and demand of a provisioning ecosystem service across Europe

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Author: Ala-Hulkko, Terhi1; Kotavaara, Ossi1; Alahuhta, Janne1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Geography Research Unit, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2021-04-20


Human welfare is dependent on the availability of ecosystem services (ESs). There is an urgent need to explore the balance between ES production and consumption areas to ensure the sustainable use of the natural capital. Here, we present a spatial accessibility analysis to explicitly evaluate the balance between ES supply and demand across Europe. We used a central food product (crop) as an example of provisioning ES, where transportation is required to satisfy the demand. Our results show large differences in a country’s ability to produce food in relation to its demand, leading to significant risks of over- and underproduction on a regional scale. An ecosystem’s capacity to provide services exceeded especially in the middle of Europe. The majority of the countries would benefit significantly by balancing the supply and demand at international level, even at close distances. Our results demonstrate how the situation in Europe can change if the international distribution of the food ES is prevented. By using a state-of-the-art accessibility method instead of commonly used overlay analysis, it is possible to identify where to invest in transportation and enhance natural capacity to respond to the possible changes in food production or the growing demand of food energy.

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Series: Ecological indicators
ISSN: 1470-160X
ISSN-E: 1872-7034
ISSN-L: 1470-160X
Volume: 103
Pages: 520 - 529
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.04.049
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
519 Social and economic geography
113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Kone Foundation, the Alfred Kordelin Foundation and the Academy of Finland (grant numbers 285040 and 315519).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285040
Detailed Information: 285040 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
315519 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license