MAES-related developments in Greece

  • Technical-Methodological guide on the determination and assessment of the Ecosystem Types in Greece and their Ecosystem Services at national, regional and local scale (Deliverable of Life IP 4 Natura project))
  • The first glossary in Greek for MAES related studies [translation from the paper of Potschin-Young, M.; Burkhard, B.; Czúcz, B. and F. Santos-Martín (2018): Glossary of ecosystem services mapping and assessment terminology. One Ecosystem 3: e27110.], was delivered in the frame of the Life IP 4 Natura project.
  • National Set of Ecosystem Services (ES) Indicators: Technical report (Deliverable of Life IP 4 Natura project)   (updated, September 2019)MAES field surveys for the national assessment using a pre-defined field protocol for ecosystem condition and ecosystem services assessment: Each ecosystem type present at the 10x10 Km grid cells, is surveyed and assessed for its condition and ecosystem services. Field work was until now held at the territories of Peloponnese, Crete, Thraki, Ionian Islands, Aegean Islands and Central Macedonia (on-going survey in the frame of the Life IP 4 Natura project) (updated, September 2019)
  • Development of an online tool for the national scale MAES study:  a web-based database to register data from field MAES surveys (MAES field protocols). An integrated algorithm is developed to automatically calculate ecosystem condition and ecosystem services score, using the registered field data information (Deliverable of Life IP 4 Natura project)(updated, September 2019)
  • Presentation at the ESP Regional Conference of the study entitled: “A multidisciplinary critical review of ecosystem services studies in Greece: approaches, shortcomings and the pathway to implementation”, by Dimopoulos et al. (2018) (updated, September 2019)The present study aims to (i) synthesize the ecosystem services literature relevant to the ES implementation in Greece, (ii) validate and classify each literature source to the relevant ecosystem services categories, (iii) identify shortcomings in terms of ES assessed and data available, and (iv) critically review the variety of approaches to ES assessments that are followed. The outcomes of this study will facilitate the efficient implementation of ecosystem services assessments in Greece
  • Presentation at the ESP Regional Conference of the study entitled: “Ecosystem services as a tool for policy support and decision making: an exploratory assessment in a protected mountainous lake (Stymfalia, Greece)”, by Kokkoris et al. (2018) (updated, September 2019)This is a large-scale study in a Natura 2000 protected area (Special Area for Conservation), which includes biophysical and social assessment as well as economic valuation for future scenarios, to support decision and policy making. This is the first study in Greece which uses all available datasets from EU funded Projects (e.g. Monitoring projects for Habitats, Water resources etc.), in a Natura 2000 site, develops future scenarios and provides economic valuation for key ecosystem services
  •  Presentation at the ESP Regional Conference of the study entitled: “Insights from an exploratory assessment of Cultural Ecosystem Services in Greece”, by Vlami et al. (2018) (updated, September 2019)

    In this research we screen for and identify several CES indicators within the Natura 2000 Network of Greece, as well as outside the Network where data was available. This assessment resulted in the compilation of a set of indicators ranging from specialized outdoor recreation interests (such as nature-viewing infrastructure, rafting areas, sacred natural sites, etc.) to site characterization proxies (such as blue-flag beach designations, traditional agriculture, "mythical landscapes" etc.). The analysis revealed that some types of indicators show redundancy or/and are complementary, while others are extremely specialized (e.g. birdwatching hotspots). GIS analysis produced heat maps and hotspots complementing a prioritization scheme that assists in highlighting the cultural ecosystem services both at the protected area scale and broader regional scale. A key outcome of the study is that uncertainties are defined and major gaps in progress are expressed. Thus, the analyses provide a kaleidoscope effect that may be helpful in expressing screening-level state-wide CES evaluations.

    Presentation at the inter-regional workshop “Incredible: innovation networks for cork, resins & edibles” of the study entitled: Diversity and ecosystem services of the flora of Greece: the case study of Lamiaceae, by Cheminal et al. (2019) (updated, September 2019)

    This study focuses on the Lamiaceae endemic to Greece, a country well-known for its high endemism rate. This report first aims to summarize the properties (aromatic, medical potential, environmental interest...) and compositions of each taxon, and to evaluate the distribution of these rare plants. Maps have been created using GIS, pointing at hotspots and gaps in the repartition of the species, but also at patterns in the geographical repartition of the properties of interest. The gaps in the knowledge about these endemics are also highlighted at the taxon, molecule and geographical levels, showing on which fields further studies could be led. The review-and-location method used in this study could be seen as a tool for the management of the exploitation and of the protection of the endemic species of use. The limits and applications of this method are discussed.

  • Publication of the scientific paper entitled: The need for the implementation of an Ecosystem Services assessment in Greece: drafting the national agenda, by Dimopoulos et al. (2017). (updated, September 2019).
  • Publication of the scientific paper entitled: Ecosystem Service capacity is higher in areas of multiple designation types, by Nikolaidou et al. (2017). (updated, September 2019)
  • Publication of the scientific paper entitled: “National scale ecosystem condition assessment with emphasis on forest types in Greece”, by Kokkoris et al. (2018). (updated, September 2019)
  • Publication of the scientific paper entitled: A Field Method for Landscape Conservation Surveying: The Landscape Assessment Protocol (LAP), by Vlami et al. (2019). (updated, September 2019
  • Publication of the scientific paper entitled: Indicators for mapping and assessment of ecosystem condition and of the ecosystem service habitat maintenance in support of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, by Hatziiordanou et al. (2019). (updated, September 2019)
  • Publication of the scientific paper entitled: Integrating MAES implementation into protected area management under climate change: a fine-scale application in Greece, by Kokkoris et al. (2019). (updated, September 2019)MSc Thesis entitled: Wind farms and ecosystem services in Natura 2000 protected areas, by Kotsiras K. (2019). Department of Biology, University of Patras (updated, September 2019)

This work refers to selected mountains in Peloponnese (Mt. Panachaikon) and in the island of Evvia (Mt. Ochi), within the Natura 2000 network, where some of the largest wind farms in the country are operating or are under construction. Main aim of the study is to contribute to Action 5 of Target 2 of the European Biodiversity Strategy, by Mapping and Assessing Ecosystems and their Services (MAES). Using the Natura 2000 datasets and data from environmental studies for the studied wind farms, a matrix of biophysical parameters was created; these parameters were assigned to actual and potential supply of the relevant ecosystem services (following CICES) which were evaluated and mapped at the local-scale. Identification and assessment of wind farms' impact(s) on (a) ecosystem condition, (b) important plant species, (c) important bird species and (d) the trade-offs between the benefits of "green" energy production and ecosystems' condition and their ability to provide ecosystem services. Results on ecosystems' and species' condition, as well as the identification and assessment of ecosystem services are presented in thematic maps. The main conclusion is that the maintenance of a "sound" balance between wind energy production and the conservation of biophysical parameters should act as a main tool for protected areas' sustainable management.

This is an online tool for the spatial distribution of plant taxa in the phytogeographical areas of Greece. It provides useful information on spatial patterns and biodiversity hot-spots in Greece. We use this large database of plant taxa for functional trait assignment to each plant taxon, especially the ones of high importance (endemic at different scales-national, regional, local, range-restricted, single-mountain and single-island endemics).

The project “Floristic Diversity and Ecosystem Services in Greece” is related to the outputs of the Flora of Greece database and is currently in progress. With the aim to investigate the role of biodiversity in the provision and maintenance of multiple ecosystem services, the patterns of floristic diversity in Greece (total taxonomic- and endemic- diversity, exclusive total-, range-restricted- and endemic- diversity per phytogeographical region), as well as of the functional diversity for the exclusive endemics of the Peloponnesian mountains (regional scale) have been examined. Preliminary results include: (I) Assessment and mapping of "hot spot" areas considering a) their plant diversity, b) the quantitative representation of taxon richness in different habitat/ecosystem categories, c) the actual- and the potential- supply of ecosystem services. (II) Correlation of taxonomic indices with supplied ecosystem services per phytogeographical region. The synthesis of the examined diversity indices, their correlation and spatial congruence with ecosystems per phytogeographical region document the importance of each region for ecosystem services supply (actual and potential).

  • In the frame of the LIFE project Natura2000ValueCrete (The ecological services, social benefits and economic value of the Ecosystem Services in Natura 2000 sites in Crete), a workshop under the title:  “Management of the NATURA 2000 sites: New challenges, good practices and consultation with society” was organized recently (8th October 2018) in the island of Crete.

A presentation by Prof. P. Dimopoulos gave emphasis on “the Ecosystem Services as a tool for sustainable management in the protected areas”. Other participants/invited speakers discussed “the integration of the role of the protected areas in the sustainable development” (Prof. Ifigenia Kagalou). Representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy presented the “framework for the Management Plans of the protected areas” (Melina Koutsogianni), as well as “the role of the Management Bodies to the implementation of Management actions within the protected areas” (Dr. Anastasia Dalaka).

  • Participation as a full partner in the Horizon 2020 Project “Mapping and Assessment for Integrated ecosystem Accounting (MAIA)” (updated, September 2019)

Our contribution refers to biodiversity assessment and analyses, to the assessment of freshwater-related services (water quality and provision), as well as on economic valuation methods to fulfil the objectives of the project. This is the first approach to implement MAES -mapping, assessment and valuation- at regional scale in Greece. Stakeholder consultation is held using a questionnaire survey, targeted to key stakeholders. An extensive workshop is scheduled for 30 Sep 2019 to exchange information with State authorities, stakeholders and academia, and by this identify current knowledge, data gaps and policy needs.


 Date: 05/09/2019