The role of cultural ecosystem services in landscape management and planning

Tobias Plieninger, Claudia Bieling, Nora Fagerholm, Anja Byg, Tibor Hartel, Patrick Hurley, Cesar A Lopez-Santiago, Nidhi Nagabhatla, Elisa Oteros-Rozas, Christopher Raymond, Dan van der Horst, Lynn Huntsinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


There is increasing concern that the ecosystem services approach puts emphasis on optimizing a small number of services, which may jeopardize environmental sustainability. One potential solution is to bring cultural ecosystem services more strongly into the foreground. We synthesize recent empirical evidence and assess what consideration of cultural ecosystem services adds to landscape management and planning. In general, cultural ecosystem services incentivize the multifunctionality of landscapes. However, depending on context, cultural ecosystem services can either encourage the maintenance of valuable landscapes or act as barriers to necessary innovation and transformation. Hence, cultural ecosystems services are not uncontested, as seen through the three analytical lenses of landowner behavior, cultural practices of communities, and landscape planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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