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What is Ecoser?

ECOSER is a tool that is being developed as support for decision-making process about land use, as well as for research and disciplinary integration and scientific collaboration regarding ecosystem functions (EF) and ecosystem services (ES), their capture by society, as well as the “socio-ecologic vulnerability” (SEV) under different ES loss scenarios.

Basically ECOSER consists in a series of procedures aimed to the evaluation and mapping of ES and SEV, which depend on:

  • The quantification and the spatial representation of the ES flow.
  • The exposure of ES flows to scenarios of land use change, taking into account the type of pressure and its magnitude.
  • The sensibility of the benefits, expressed as the marginal change in the flow of the benefits coming from ES to society.
  • The adaptation capacity of the socio-ecological system (SSE) to the loss of ES flows and their benefits under different land use changes.

The procedures, models and indexes that constitute ECOSER are organized in two modules: 1) the evaluation of ES flows and benefits within landscape units and, 2) the evaluation of the SEV upon the loss of ES flows and ES benefit.

Ecoser as collaborative tool

The knowledge and modeling of the biophysical processes underlying the ES flows are in constant change, and that is why the utility of this tool resides in its continual upgrade. In this sense, ECOSER aspires to build a collaborative space, through which the different users comment, interact, correct, and integrate the different models, indexes and functions that compose it, while also sharing new complementary models to update and expand their utility.

In this website, the registered users can share their contributions in two sections. Models, indexes, and functions that are already available can be commented or modified through the Forum. Proposed models, indexes, and alternative functions can be sent to the website Contact. The proposal has to meet the minimum requirements described in the “User Guide for ECOSER Collaborators” document. Once revised and accepted by the team, the contributions will be uploaded to the web page, stating the name and email address of the collaborator.

ECOSER tool, and its collaborative space www.eco-ser.com.ar does not offer a validated and calibrated product for different situations. That is why its direct application does not guarantee reasonable results in any given context. On the contrary, this platform offer a space for the integration and critical analysis of knowledge, and for the collaborative improvement of the tool. The objectiveIn other terms this space is aimed to facilitate the necessary convergence of concepts and methods for enhancing the reliability and the incidence of this approach on policies and decision about land use and ecosystem services conservation for the human well-being.

What do you need to use Ecoser?

To apply the protocol the user has to have a basic level in remote sensing and geographical information systems. All the proposed models of ECOSER for evaluation and function mapping and ES are executed in ArcGIS or QGis. They are available as ArcScripts to execute them as ArcToolboxes. The user needs ArcGIS 9.x, level license ArcINFO to execute some of the models and Spatial Analyst extension. To use them in QGis, they are available as Qtoolboxes. The logic of the models is explained in detail (See tutorials), so the procedures and development of the maps can be done in any other GIS software.