Mapping ecosystem services in the Ewaso Ng'iro catchment

Polly Ericksen*, Jan De Leeuw, Mohammed Said, Silvia Silvestri, Lokman Zaibet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes an exercise to portray, quantify and map ecosystem services in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya. We used a framework that distinguished intermediate services, final services and benefits to classify ecosystem services. The intermediate services were water and forage, key inputs into the final benefits of livestock production, wildlife tourism and cropping. To construct maps of ecosystem services, this study first delineated and described the natural resource base, as well as the physical and human geography and physical infrastructure of the catchment. The supply of ecosystem services were then described and mapped as bundles by land use type. This distribution was based on a spatially explicit land use map, as land management choices determine production of ecosystem services. The conceptual framework of ecosystem services implies that any given point in a landscape supplies multiple ecosystem services. However, few studies manage to describe or map such bundles of ecosystem services. We described the bundles of services provided by different land uses and geographic points. The maps allow for comparison of service provision among different locations. The final map shows the market value of the final benefits, which allow for an economic comparison among different commodities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Kenya
  • drylands
  • ecosystem service bundles
  • mapping
  • pastoralism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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