Ecosystem service supply by European landscapes under alternative land-use and environmental policies

<p>The European Union (EU) 2020 Biodiversity strategy aims at guaranteeing and enhancing the future supply of ecosystem services (‘ES’) in the member states. In an <i>ex-ante</i> assessment of plausible environmental policies, we projected the supply of 10 ES under 3 policy alternatives of land-use change (‘Nature Protection’, ‘Payment for carbon sequestration’ and ‘Payment for recreational services’) in the 27 EU member states (EU27). We assessed changes in supply of individual services across administrative units (at the NUTS-2 and EU27 levels) as well as bundles (at the EU27 level) between 2010 and 2040. Results show that the policy options only marginally affected ES bundles but several services could change substantially at the EU27 level (e.g. energy content from agricultural production and pollination). Wood supply, carbon sequestration and moderation of wind disturbance responded very differently across policy alternatives. At the NUTS-2 level, biocontrol of pests, carbon sequestration, moderation of wind disturbance and wood supply showed the most contrasted deviation from their regional supply in 2010. Finally, while payments for carbon sequestration benefited carbon sequestration as expected, specific payments for recreation services failed to promote them. Our analyses suggest that protecting nature appeared to be the best way of fostering ES supply within Europe.</p>