European forests cover 33% of the total land area and provide a wide range of goods and services. Studies and initiatives such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and The Economics of Ecosystems and biodiversity have developed the term ecosystem services. Other frameworks like the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services distinguish provisioning services (e.g. nutrition, biomass and energy), regulating services (e.g. water run-off, climate change mitigation), supporting services (e.g. soil formation, primary production) and cultural services (e.g. recreation). Forest ecosystem services in Europe are non–marketed public goods or common-pool resources, and landowners are generally not financially rewarded by the markets for their provision. Often the forest ecosystem services are not mapped, but the geolocation of the potential services is a prerequisite for sustainable management and needed to close the gap between the demands of the society and the service providers. Recent developments in remote sensing due to technical improvements and launching of new satellite systems as the Copernicus program providing large amount of spatial data that might provide means to derive information about forest ecosystem services.
Therefore we aim to assess the ecosystem state (condition, structure, function), assess the services provided by the ecosystem, and analyze the drivers of change and pressures for the provision of forest ecosystem services. These will allow to provide forest ecosystem services maps for the case study regions.