Logo Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics Deutsch
Course of Study

Module 0600
Theory and models for an integrated analysis of ecosystem services

Course organizers

Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany

Course description

Ecosystems, both managed and unmanaged, deliver mostly free of charge a large number of services essential for human life. This includes provisioning services (food, fiber, water, minerals), supporting services (nutrient cycling, primary production), regulation services (water purification, crop pollination, waste decomposition), and cultural services (recreation, ecotourism). Currently, the delivery of such ecosystem services (ES) is increasingly threatened by human activities leading to ecosystem pollution and degradation worldwide.

To assess how human activities influence and impact on ES provision (and the other way around), a number of simulation models, tools and methods can be used to support in decision making. This course is aimed to
a) give an introduction to the relevant theories behind the ES concept, as well as other related concepts (such as the concepts of Multi-functionality and Sustainability), and
b) present and apply different computer-based simulation models, tools and methods which can be used to address ES-related issues such as land use based assessment of ES provision, ES mapping, ES quantification and valuation, and other aspects relevant for ES management.

Course outline

  1. Introduction to theories and concepts for an integrated analysis of ecosystem services
    • Underlying theories and concepts (e.g. Ecological Economics and ES concept, Multi-functionality concept, Sustainability concept)
    • Existing ES classification schemes
    • Overview of presented models, tools and methods
  2. Models, tools and methods for an integrated analysis of ecosystem services
    • Presentation of selected models, tools and methods (e.g. MIMES – Multi-scale Integrated Models of Ecosystem Services, MODAM – Multi-Objective Decision support tool for Agro-ecosystem Management, FoPIA – Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment, Net-Map – Tool for Participatory Social Network Analysis, Economic experiments rooted in Game Theory and Behavioral Economics, and QCA – Qualitative Comparative Analysis) and their different fields of application (e.g. ES mapping, ES flow analysis, ES quantification, ES preference analysis, ES valuation, ES provision and land use change, stakeholder analysis, stakeholder-based scenario development for sustainable development and improved ES provisioning, comparative analysis of different cases in ES management, etc.)
    • Practical application of selected models, tools, and methods (exercises)
  3. Use of models, tools and methods to aid in ecosystem service decision making
    • What makes a stakeholder?
    • Stakeholder identification and classification
    • Stakeholder involvement: modeling for vs. with stakeholders

Teaching methods:

Lectures 50%, exercises and group work 50%

Grading: Participation 50 %, exercises and group work 50%

Credit points: 3 credits


A list of relevant literature will be provided at the beginning of the course.


Needed software will be made available for you during the course.

Language of instruction: English

Organizational information

The course will be held at Leibniz-Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF,  www.zalf.de/en), Institute of Socio-Economics (ZALF-SO), Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany.
Müncheberg is located about 60km east of Berlin. For hourly train connection between Berlin-Lichtenberg and Müncheberg see http://www.vbb.de/en/index.html.
For directions: http://www.zalf.de/en/ueber_uns/kontakt_anfahrt/Pages/default.aspx


For further information please contact Dr. Claudia Sattler (ZALF/SO) csattler@zalf.de, Phone: +49(0)33432/82-439.