Exploring geographical mismatch between supply and demand of ecosystem services using big and open source data across high latitudes (AccESS)

Project description

Human welfare relies on the availability of ecosystem services. Mapping can be used to illustrate and quantify the geographical mismatch between places where ecosystems’ produce services and the location where people use them. This project carried out in the Geography Research Unit of the University of Oulu will utilize novel Geographic Information System-based accessibility methods to evaluate availability of ecosystem services at multiple spatial and temporal scales in terrestrial and aquatic systems at high latitudes. We will develop new multidisciplinary approaches to quantify how well people can utilize ecosystem services but also how species movement influences on ecosystems’ capacity to produce services by using existing and open source data. The main goal is to increase our knowledge on the sustainable use of ecosystem services and provide easy-to-read maps of ecosystem services, which can improve policy actions to achieve fair and prosperous future for people and planet.

The objective of the AccESS project is to study 1) how well widely-utilized proxies can indicate the real-time use of cultural ecosystem services, 2) how ecosystem services (ES) supply of key natural resources (crop, meat, timber, sand and gravel) is able to satisfy people’s demand currently and in the future, and 3) how species movement (pollinators, primary producers and large herbivores) between supply and demand areas affects ecosystem functioning and further ES production in terrestrial and freshwater systems across high latitudes and beyond.

The Physical Geography Research Group (PGRG) led by Professor Jan Hjort contributes to cutting-edge global change research by focusing on a wide range of complementing study questions related to abiotic and biotic earth surface systems ( see also: https://oyluma.weebly.com/).

People

Janne Alahuhta

Senior Research Fellow
Terhi Ala-Hulkko

Terhi Ala-Hulkko

Postdoctoral researcher