Mapping flood regulating ecosystem services in Bulgaria using data of different quality for future scenario developments and implication in decision making

Authors and Affiliations: 

Kremena Boyanova a,, Stoyan Nedkov a, Benjamin Burkhard b

a. National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Street, bl. 3, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

b. Institute for the Natural Resource Conservation, Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany


The ecosystem service approach shows high comprehensiveness and applicability for decision making. Being human-centric in its base, it is used as an indicator and measure for the strong relations between ecosystem functions and human well-being. Moreover, ecosystem services can help clarifying modeling or other kind of analysis data, making them more accessible for non-specialists and policy makers.

Mapping is a good tool for representing spatial data as maps are perceivable and intuitive. The European Union’s new Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 puts the task on its member states to map and assess ecosystem services on national levels until 2014. The resulting data will be used for assessing the economic values of ecosystem services and their integration into the European Union’s and national accounting and reporting systems by 2020. This is a big challenge for scientists and decision makers.

This paper is a continuation of a previous research on mapping flood regulating ecosystem service supply and demand – in the Etropole municipality, Bulgaria (Nedkov and Burkhard 2012). The method quantifies and maps the capacity of different land cover types to supply flood regulating ecosystem services using results from the catchment-based hydrologic model KINEROS, the GIS AGWA tool and further GIS and statistical processing. In the subsequent study, spatial analysis of land cover data of different spatial resolution for the purpose of ecosystem service quantification is made in order to enhance data availability for decision making. Future scenario simulations are performed for assessing the influence of land cover changes on landscape functions and their capacity to supply ecosystem services. The approach is developed in order to support decision making in sustainable landscape management. This actual study aims to provide guidelines for optimizing flood regulating ecosystem service supply and demand and will analyze the importance of land cover data characteristics and their influence on the quantification results.


Nedkov, S., Burkhard, B., 2012. Flood regulating ecosystem services – mapping supply and demand, in the Etropole municipality, Bulgaria. Ecological Indicators 21, 67–79.