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Remote Sensing Combined with Social-Ecological Data: The Importance of Diverse Land Uses for Ecosystem Service Provision in North-Eastern Madagascar

April 28, 2017 |


This paper was originally published on ScienceDirect


  • We combined remotely sensed land use with household survey data in eastern Madagascar.
  • We provide a comprehensive assessment of ecosystem services from different land uses.
  • Remotely sensed landscape types reflect households’ different modes of rice production.
  • Ecosystem service bundles linked to specific land uses differ between landscape types.
  • Household types based on key ecosystem service benefits differ between landscape types.

Abstract: Through ongoing deforestation in the tropics, forest-related ecosystem services are declining, while ecosystem services provided by agricultural land uses are on the increase. Land system science provides a framework for analysing the links between land use change and the resulting socio-environmental trade-offs. However, the evidence base to support the navigation of such trade-offs is often lacking, as information on land use cannot directly be obtained through remote sensing and census data is often unavailable at sufficient spatial resolution.

The global biodiversity hotspot of north-eastern Madagascar exemplifies these challenges. Combining land use data obtained through remote sensing with social-ecological data from a regional level household survey, we attempt to make the links between land use and ecosystem service benefits explicit.

Our study confirmed that remotely sensed information on landscapes reflects households’ involvement in rice production systems. We further characterized landscapes in terms of “ecosystem service bundles” linked to specific land uses, as well as in terms of ecosystem service benefits to households. The map of landscape types could help direct future conservation and development efforts towards places where there is potential for success…”

Read on and access the paper at: ScienceDirect.

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