Module 6 – ES

Valuating ecosystem services from a human perspective has been a rapidly growing field in the last two decades (since Costanza et al. (1997, as attested by the recent launching of the ‘Intergovernmental panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, http://www.ipbes.net and references therein). Mountain ecosystem services were also assessed and models start to appear in the literature to predict ecosystem services in space and assess their persistence under climate change. Yet, to be applicable, prediction tools must involve stakeholders at the earliest possible stage. Here, we will use outputs from the vegetation and hydrological models to interpellate various stakeholders about two specific ecosystem services – landscape scenic value and water provision – during targeted workshops, in the first and last part of the project. Tasks in this module will particularly benefit from collaborations with Prof. Grêt-Regamey from ETHZ, who is expert in
ecosystem services and landscape planning. The two workshops with stakeholders will be organized by and at the Maison de la Rivière (http://www.maisondelariviere.ch),a new non-profit foundation located near Lausanne.

Detailed tasks
Task 1 – Organizing the 1st workshop with stakeholders involved in the study area – We will organize the 1st workshop with stakeholders involved in the study area, at the “La Maison de la Riviére” (see above). During this first workshop, we will present our project and the importance of information exchange and interdisciplinary interaction to maintain ecosystems services provisions to stakeholders from different fields in order to link our research to practical questions in the study area. We will discuss with them the two types of ecosystem services –
the scenic value of alpine landscape (6.2) and water provision (6.3) – we want to assess in our study area and if necessary refine the concepts.

Task 2 – Using the vegetation model to assess change in landscape scenic value – By using the alpine vegetation simulation model (developed in task 2.3 of the GeoVeg module) we will extrapolate the changes in the scenic mountain landscape in response to e.g. forest regrowth in open areas up to the mountain. This will use the 3D landscape model developed in task 2.3 in collaboration with Dr. Stephane Joost at the LASIG lab at EPFL in Lausanne for 3D simulations and with S. Lefebvre at INRIA (France) for texture synthesis.

Task 3 – Using the hydrological model to assess changes in water provision – We will assess the ecosystem service of the water provision in our study area by determining the runoff (obtained in the GeoHydro module) and water storage within the catchment. Both runoff and storage are the determining factors for drinking water provision and sustainability. The numerical model will allow quantifying the influence changing environmental conditions on the basins water balance and dynamics in response to changes of the biotic and abiotic environment. Indicators for water provision for different uses will be derived from our model results (obtained in the GeoHydro module) and compared to stakeholder requirements.