Ecosystem services research in Portugal: are we on the right track?

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A detailed overview of ecosystem services studies can be very useful for evaluating the knowledge status of a wide range of ecological benefits for human well-being. Given the increasing research attention in the recent years, we aimed to assess the scientific contribution of ecosystem services research in Portugal, using a systematic review approach.
We applied research attention indexes from three global scientific databases (Web of Science, Scopus and Wiley Online Library). We selected papers including the terms “Ecosystem Services” and “Portugal” in their title, abstract or keywords.
For each study, we identified the year of publication, the authors’ nationalities and the research topics. We calculated the number of published papers by the number of subject areas from each region, following the Portuguese nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS).
We found 136 papers published between 2005 to 2019 from over 30 country affiliations. The attention indexes showed that Environmental Science was the subject area with most of the research attention (~70%). We mapped many spatial differences in the allocation of research efforts among land-use covers, ecosystem service categories and geographic regions, highlighting the main scientific gaps for further studies on ecosystem services in Portugal.
According to peer-reviewed literature, our findings introduce the current knowledge status on the ecosystem services studies in Portugal. New efforts for framing ecosystem-based approaches with stakeholders’ participation are key to
support conservation policies at regional and national scales.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event15th European Ecological Federation (EEF) Congress and 18th National SPECO Meeting: Ecology across borders: Embedding Ecology in Sustainable Development Goals - Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 29 Jul 20192 Aug 2019
Conference number: 15th


Conference15th European Ecological Federation (EEF) Congress and 18th National SPECO Meeting
Internet address


  • Ecosystem services
  • Research trends
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Attention indexes
  • Peer-reviewed literature


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