National Parks, buffer zones and surrounding lands: Mapping ecosystem service flows
The use of ecosystem service maps for conservation planning is increasing. However, their potential for measuring the benefits derived from protected areas has rarely been studied. To overcome this, information gap, we organized two expert workshops based on participatory mapping techniques for Doñana and Sierra Nevada protected areas. Protected area managers and scientists mapped service provision hotspots, (SPHs), degraded SPHs and service benefiting areas (SBAs). In Doñana, SPHs were located inside the protected area and its surroundings, whereas, degraded SPHs were located primarily within the protected areas. In Sierra Nevada, most SPHs and most degraded SPHs were located inside the protected area. SBAs were located in the surrounding territory for both protected areas, especially in the neighboring cities. We also identified the major issues that faced both protected areas and their drivers of change. We found that most problems originated outside the limits of the protected areas and were produced by drivers associated with economic factors and land use changes. We discuss the implications of using ecosystem services maps for protected area management and the effects of the surrounding territory on areas within the protected zone. The results of our study demonstrate the need for a broader territorial planning strategy. âº The Doñana and Sierra Nevada protected areas are service provision hotspots (SPHs). âº Large cities and their surroundings are the main service benefiting areas (SBAs). âº Maps show the connections of SPHs and SBAs. âº Supply-demand flow matters for protected areas management.