Selecting and applying quantification models for ecosystem services to forest ecosystems in South Korea

Hyun Ah Choi, Woo Kyun Lee, Cholho Song, Nicklas Forsell, Seongwoo Jeon, Joon Soon Kim, So Ra Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


There is growing interest in using ecosystem services to aid development of management strategies that target sustainability and enhance ecosystem support to humans. Challenges remain in the search for methods and indicators that can quantify ecosystem services using metrics that are meaningful in light of their high priorities. We developed a framework to link ecosystems to human wellbeing based on a stepwise approach. We evaluated prospective models in terms of their capacity to quantify national ecosystem services of forests. The most applicable models were subsequently used to quantify ecosystem services. The Korea Forest Research Institute model satisfied all criteria in its first practical use. A total of 12 key ecosystem services were identified. For our case study, we quantified four ecosystem functions, viz. water storage capacity in forest soil for water storage service, reduced suspended sediment for water purification service, reduced soil erosion for landslide prevention service, and reduced sediment yield for sediment regulation service. Water storage capacity in forest soil was estimated at 2142 t/ha, and reduced suspended sediment was estimated at 608 kg/ha. Reduced soil erosion was estimated at 77 m3/ha, and reduced sediment yield was estimated at 285 m3/ha. These results were similar to those reported by previous studies. Mapped results revealed hotspots of ecosystem services around protected areas that were particularly rich in biodiversity. In addition, the proposed framework illustrated that quantification of ecosystem services could be supported by the spatial flow of ecosystem services. However, our approach did not address challenges faced when quantifying connections between ecosystem indicators and actual benefits of services described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1384
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forestry Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Classification
  • Ecosystem services
  • Quantification
  • Stepwise approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


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