Ecosystem service multifunctionality: Decline and recovery pathways in the Amazon and Chocó Lowland rainforests
The balance between the supply of multiple ecosystem services (ES) and the fulfillment of society demands is a challenge, especially in the tropics where different land use transition phases emerge. These phases are characterized by either a decline (from intact old-growth to logged forests) or a recovery of ES (successional forests, plantations, and agroforestry systems). This highlights the importance of ecosystem service multifunctionality (M) assessments across these land use transition phases as a basis for forest management and conservation. We analyzed synergies and trade-offs of ES to identify potential umbrella ES. We also evaluated the impact of logging activities in the decline of ES and M, and the influence of three recovery phases in the supply of ES and M. We installed 156 inventory plots (1600 m2) in the Ecuadorian Central Amazon and the Chocó. We estimated indicators for provisioning, regulating, supporting services and biodiversity. M indicator was estimated using the multifunctional average approach. Our results show that above-ground carbon stocks can be considered as an umbrella service as it presented high synergetic relations with M and various ES.We observed that logging activities caused a decline of 16%–18% on M, with high impacts for timber volume and above-ground carbon stocks, calling for more sustainable practices with stricter post-harvesting control to avoid a higher depletion of ES and M. From the recovery phases it is evident that, successional forests oer the highest level of M, evidencing high potential to recover multiple ES after human disturbance.