Although ecosystems and biodiversity are highly important to mankind, their value is not yet included in national accounts. In the present study we evaluated the applicability of the GLOBIO modelling approach for establishing biodiversity accounts.
Compiling biodiversity accounts
We used the GLOBIO modelling approach (version 3.5) to compile biodiversity accounts for the country of Mexico, which is known for its high biodiversity and high quality of geographical data. We quantified the accounts based on the area-weighted mean species abundance (MSA) per ecosystem type, as function of both land use and infrastructure. We further compared three different land-use maps as input: the 0.5° by 0.5° raster-based land-use map as produced by the GLOBIO model, and two vector-based maps that included, respectively, 19 aggregated and 178 detailed land-use types specific to Mexico.
Using multiple land-use maps
Based on the case study results we conclude that the MSA values and cause-effect relationships from the GLOBIO model provide a transparent, flexible and relatively time- and cost-efficient approach to compile national biodiversity accounts. Further, we found clear trade-offs between the generic land-use map from the GLOBIO model and the vector-based maps specific to Mexico. Given these trade-offs, we conclude that it is worth using and comparing multiple land-use input maps when compiling national ecosystem accounts, including a generic, global-scale land-use map as well as more detailed country-specific maps.