In this new study, Alejandra Morán-Ordóñez, José V. Roces-Díaz, Lluís Brotons (members of the ESP Mediterranean working group) and colleagues, reviewed the available literature on the use of ecological models to predict global change environmental impacts, to answer the following questions: (1) what are the modelling approaches most commonly used to predict the condition and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services under future scenarios of global change? (2) what are the drivers of change considered in future scenarios and at what scales? (3) what are the biodiversity/nature and ecosystem services indicators most commonly evaluated?
The authors focused their review on the case study of Mediterranean forests. Future conservation of these systems must deal with multiple cultural, ecological and economic values, and complex dynamics of social change are likely to be exacerbated by global change. The review shows that forecasting studies make relatively little use of modelling approaches accounting for actual ecological processes and feedbacks between different socio-ecological sectors; predictions are generally made on the basis of a single (mainly climate) or a few drivers of change; in general, there is a bias in the set of nature and ecosystem services indicators assessed; in particular, cultural services and human wellbeing are greatly underrepresented in the literature. In the publication, the authors argue that these shortfalls hamper our capacity to make the best use of predictive tools to inform decision-making for the conservation of Mediterranean forests in the context of global change.
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