Forests are suppliers of important ecosystem services, provisioning (timber, foods, resins), regulating (improving air and water quality, soil protection, carbon sequestration) and cultural (recreation, aesthetic, spiritual) contributing to human well-being.
Researchers of the IRNAS, CSIC and EVENOR-TECH have evaluated the state and trends of ecosystem services provided by the forests of Andalusia (S Spain). In particular, changes during the last 50 years have been analysed for two main regulating services: soil protection from erosion and capacity of carbon storage.
In general Andalusian forests have increased their carbon storage by 3040 Gg C during the last 50 years, due to the plantations of conifers and eucalyptus. While the soil erosion risk has increased because the area of open spaces, deforested or burnt has tripled.
This study has been published in the August 2016 issue of the journal Ecosystem Services.