14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 152 4 6 Introduction to the ecosystem services approach Richard HASTIK University of Innsbruck Institute of Geography Innsbruck Austria Clemens GEITNER Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Innsbruck Austria Christin HAIDA University of Innsbruck Institute of Ecology Innsbruck Austria The ecosystem services concept was rst proposed in 1983 by Paul Ehrlich and Harold Mooney and since then its use in the scienti c literature has grown rap idly Ecosystem services are de ned in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MEA as the bene ts people obtain from ecosystems These ecosystem services include a multitude of aspects such as food and fodder production provision of raw materials pollination climate and water regulation water supply erosion control soil formation nutrient cycling carbon sink green house gas cycling biological control genetic resources recreation and cultural values Over the years several classi cation schemes of eco system services have been elaborated for instance the classi cations used by the above mentioned MEA by TEEB The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity or by CICES Common International Classi cation of Ecosystem Services These classi cation schemes differ entiate ecosystem services on the basis of their function i Provisioning services material or energy outputs from ecosystem such as food production for example sh meat honey mushrooms and berries provision of raw materials for example timber wood for bioenergy wa ter supply ii Regulating services bene ts obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes such as water and climate regulation pollination hydrogeological protec tion soil erosion control iii Cultural services non ma terial bene ts that people obtain from forests through spiritual enrichment cognitive development recreation and aesthetic experience and iv Supporting services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services such as natural diversity plant production soil formation and nutrient cycling There are some noted differences between the various classi cation schemes For example in contrast to the Sport activities and leisure figure among the most important ecosystem services for certain categories of protected areas

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