Disentangling ecosystem services perception by stakeholders: An integrative assessment based on land cover

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Understanding where ecosystem services (ES) are and quantifying their supply using stakeholderś information is key for effective sustainable management. This paper describes a participatory methodology for extracting stakeholders’ ES perception for continental Portugal based on land cover using analytical hierarchy process (AHP), matrix-based approach with data visualization techniques, and scenario analysis. Results show that drought regulation was the most valued ES by stakeholders and recreation was considered the least important. Results also show that the “Agricultural areas and “Forests and semi-natural areas” land cover classes provide about two-thirds of the total ES for the country. An “Economic development” scenario will yield negative values for all ES except recreation and food supply, whereas an “Environmental development” scenario will increase all ES, except food supply. Finally, a “Sustainable development” scenario, presents values between the previous two scenarios and is the best for food supply. This operational methodology for extracting information from stakeholders and to report information on the mapping and assessment of ES can be helpful for sustainable planning in Portugal and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107660
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Indicators
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • CORINE land cover
  • Land cover change
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Natural capital
  • Portugal
  • Stakeholder participation


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