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EU Commission: New report on ecosystem services in Europe
Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services: Trends in ecosystems and ecosystem services in the European Union between 2000 and 2010
This report presents an analysis of the trends in the spatial extent of ecosystems and in the supply and use of ecosystem services at the European scale between 2000 and 2010. In the EU urban land and forests increased while cropland, grassland and heathland decreased. Other ecosystem types underwent smaller changes. The main trends in provisioning, regulating and maintenance, and cultural ecosystem services were assessed using a set of 30 indicators assorted according to the CICES classification. More crops for food, feed and energy were produced in the EU on less arable land. More organic food was grown. Textile crop production and the total number of grazing livestock decreased. Water use relative to water availability remained stable. Timber removals increased but so, too, did the total timber stock. There was an increase in net ecosystem productivity (growing biomass). Several regulating services, but in particular those which are related to the presence of trees, woodland or forests, increased slightly. This was the case for water retention, forest carbon potential, erosion control, and air quality regulation. Pollination potential and habitat quality showed a negative trend. There was a positive trend in the opportunity for citizens to have access to land with a high recreation potential.