An integrative index of Ecosystem Services provision based on remotely sensed data.

Publicado en Ecological Indicators, v. 71:145-154

Paruelo, J.M, Texeira, M., Staiano, L., Mastrángelo, M., Amdan, L., Gallego, F.

Año de publicación 2016

Laboratorio de Análisis Regional y Teledetección, Depto. Métodos Cuantitativos y Sistemas de Información, Facultad de Agronomía and IFEVA, UBA and CONICET, Av. San Martín 4453, 1417 Buenos Aires, Argentina IECA, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Uruguay GEAP, Unidad integrada Balcarce, Universidad de Mar del Plata and INTA, Balcarce, Argentina



Proyecto CRN3095


•An index of Ecosystem Services provision based on remotely sensed data was developed.

•The index varied according changes in total C gains seasonality.

•One third of temperate and subtropical South America presented a significant trend in the index.


We present an approach to generate estimates and to map Ecosystem Services (ES) related to C and water dynamics (Soil Carbon sequestration, evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge) and biodiversity (Avian Richness) from remotely sensed data in two ecoregions of South America: the Semiarid Chaco woodlands and the Rio de la Plata grasslands. Two attributes of the seasonal dynamics of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) the annual mean (NDVI mean), an indicator of light interception and hence of total C gains and the intra-annual Coefficient of Variation of the NDVI (NDVI CV), a descriptor of seasonality were combined into an ES provision index (ESPI = NDVImean  (1-NDVICV)). The proportion of the variance in ES provision explained by the ESPI varied from 0.484 for avian richness up to 0.662 for C sequestration. A relatively large proportion of the studied area presented changes in ES provision. A 32,4% of the Semiarid Chaco and the Rio de la Plata grasslands presented significant (p < 0.01) trends. Most of the trends (30.2%) were negative, showing a decrease in ESPI. An index like the one proposed here can be used as an aggregated indicator of the status and/or trends of ES supply at large spatial scales (subcontinental in our case).