Mapping Ecosystem Services: From Biophysical Processes to (Mis)Uses

  • Simon Dufour
  • Xavier Arnauld de Sartre
  • Monica Castro
  • Michel Grimaldi
  • Solen Le Clec’h
  • Johan Oszwald


Critical Physical Geography has two fundamental ambitions: to link deeply biophysical processes and social relationships and to increase reflexivity in scientific practice. Thus, it provides a powerful framework to analyze how general concepts such as ecosystem services are used in natural science and environmental management. Over the last decade, this concept has become a crucial component for justifying and implementing environmental policies. In this chapter, we aim to demonstrate the relevance of a Critical Physical Geography for improving identification of potentials and limitations of the concept of ecosystem services. We demonstrate that a thorough understanding of the biophysical processes that generate services and indicator choices has a strong influence on the ability to quantify and to map them.



We would like to thank N. Jégou for a very helpful advice on statistical analysis, the AMAZ ES team (P. Lavelle, T. Decaens, etc.) for field data and anonymous reviewers. This research was funded by the French ANR project “Approche géographique des services écosystémiques” (2011–2013) and by a grant to S. Le Clec’h from the Institut des Amériques.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Dufour
    • 1
  • Xavier Arnauld de Sartre
    • 2
  • Monica Castro
    • 2
  • Michel Grimaldi
    • 3
  • Solen Le Clec’h
    • 4
  • Johan Oszwald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversité Rennes 2/CNRS LETGRennesFrance
  2. 2.Institut Claude Laugénie, CNRS PASSAGESPauFrance
  3. 3.IRD BIOEMCOBondyFrance
  4. 4.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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