Landscape services: an indispensable concept for modern landscape monitoring programs

Authors and Affiliations: 

Felix Kienast, Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Landscape Ecology, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland, Email:

Jacqueline Frick, University of Applied Sciences, Life Sciences und Facility Management, 8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland, Email:


Modern Landscape Monitoring Programs should be (a) based on the ecosystem service concept and (b) measure landscape quality in a holistic sense, i.e. cover production and regulation services of landscapes  as well all services that improve well-being and identity- building of the population. In line with the European Landscape Convention the Swiss landscape monitoring program measures landscape-related services with 35 spatially explicit indicators in the following broad categories:


  1. physical aspects of the Swiss landscape
  2. important aspects of perceived space, i.e. complexity, coherence, legibility and mysteriosity
  3. culturally important  aspects of Swiss landscapes, i.e. aesthetics or landscape character
  4. important land use properties and related services (recreation, cultural services)


Category 2) and 3)  indicators are based on people’s attitudes and stem from a country-wide survey. In my paper, I will highlight the methodological development of the indicator concept as well as present first data to the most innovative indicators.