Research group Ecosystem Service Change

Inequalities in ecosystem services supply and demand: a Chile case study

Vulkanen und Araukarien
Photo by Felipe Pineda

Contacts Partners Funding Publications

Short description

The aim of this project is to assess patterns of ecosystem services (ES) supply and demand and its relation to land tenure and landscape attributes. It will delve into local, national and international teleconnections affecting the local supply and demand of ES which are important for understanding the local distribution of ES and their equity effects. The project seeks to understand how equal/unequal is the local distribution of ES supply and demand, and their spatial and temporal relationships. Two main administrative units of analysis will be used; the farm property and the municipality. Data is available from publicly available sources. The main research question is: how do biophysical and socioeconomic variables affect the equality of ES supply and demand distribution?


  1. To determine how land tenure patterns affect the supply and demand of native timber supply, non-native timber plantations (NNTP), water regulation and recreation opportunities in different municipalities in Chile
  2. To determine to what extent land tenure patterns at two administrative units and socioeconomic variables influence ES relationships such as tradeoffs, synergies and tele-coupling in face of land use projections
  3. To determine if ES supply and demand are being provided equally and the consequences of this supply for conservation policies


The significance of the project is its contribution to the empirical and theoretical explanation of inequalities in ES supply and demand in many different ecosystems but more importantly in working landscapes. The assessment of the inequality issue could be decisive for decision making regarding ES and biodiversity and the development of conservation strategies like payment for ecosystem services. The project is significant because it contributes to fill the gap of knowledge of ES in Chile. As the project focuses on administrative scales it is relevant for decision making considering the interest of the Chilean government to incorporate ES a a common conservation strategy. Moreover, the project could reveal threats to ES supply and demand in the face of threats like exotic tree plantation growth and global trade. Finally, it is relevant because the inequality concept has been neglected in the ES services literature and is particularly important in highly unequal countries with large amounts of natural capital such as Chile.


Felipe Benra

Phone: +49 (0)341 97 33178



Prof. Dr. Laura Nahuelhual: PI of Chilean government funded Project FONDECYT 1190207 “Unveiling the nature of social-ecological traps: drivers, human responses and potential solutions”


DAAD PhD scholarship “Doctorado acuerdo bilateral CONICYT - DAAD convocatoria 2017”. Funding for 4 years.


Benra, F., L. Nahuelhual, M. Gaglio, E. Gissi, M. Aguayo, C. Jullian, A. Bonn (2019): Ecosystem services tradeoffs arising from non-native tree plantation expansion in southern Chile. Landscape and Urban Planning 190.

Benra, F., Nahuelhual, L. (2019): A trilogy of inequalities: Land ownership, forest cover and ecosystem services distribution. Land Use Policy 82, 247-5