Peter Mederly , Ján Černecký , Jana Špulerová , Zita Izakovičová , Viktória Ďuricová , Radoslav Považan , Juraj Švajda , Matej Močko , Martin Jančovič , Simona Gusejnov , Juraj Hreško , František Petrovič , Dagmar Štefunková , Barbora Šatalová , Gréta Vrbičanová , Dominika Kaisová , Martina Turanovičová , Tomáš Kováč , Ivan Laco
July 29 2020
July 29 2020
This article provides an overview and results of the pilot national ecosystem services assessment in Slovakia. It follows the MAES process and past ecosystem services (ES) research in Slovakia and is based on original research methodology using spatial and statistical data. The initial step of national ES assessment resulted in the selection of significant ES for the evaluation process, where 18 ES in three groups were selected (five provisioning, 10 regulatory/maintenance and three cultural ES). An original assessment model provided the theoretical and methodological framework for national ES evaluation. The principal result is an assessment of the national landscape’s capacity for ES provision, based on evaluation of the landscape units and selected properties and indicators at the ecosystem level. These inputs included habitat types and watersheds, administrative units, natural topology, geology, soils, climate, water and biota. The ES capacity models were created and evaluated for each ES, for the main groups and, finally, for overall ES provision. The highest capacity to provide ES in Slovakia comes from natural and semi-natural ecosystems, mainly deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests which cover over 38% of Slovak territory. The water ecosystems and wetlands are also significant, followed by grasslands and permanent crops. The research highlights the crucial importance of the mountainous and sub-mountainous areas in Slovakia and confirms the significant contribution of the natural and semi-natural ecosystems for ensuring ES provision.