Assessment and valuation of ecosystem services from peri-urban forests : the case of Oslomarka, Norway
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Peri-urban forests provide many ecosystem services that contribute to human well-being including provision of food and fresh water, recreational opportunities, climate regulation and habitat provision. This study examines ecosystem services delivered by a peri-urban forest in a Nordic context: the case of Oslomarka, the peri-urban forest of Oslo, Norway’s capital city. First, we identify and characterize ecosystem services delivered by Oslomarka. Second, we measure flows and assess trends in these ecosystem services over the past 50 years. Third, we explore the importance of Oslomarka and its ecosystem services as perceived by its recreational users through a socio-cultural valuation survey (n=95). Based on our results, we find that i) Oslomarka provides a wide range of critically important ecosystem services to the urban population of Oslo, with freshwater supply and outdoor recreation being of particular prominence, ii) provisioning and supporting services have declined over the past fifty years while regulating and cultural services have increased during the studied time period, iii) ecosystem services provided by Oslomarka are highly valued by its recreational users, with the cultural service ‘outdoor recreation’ perceived as the most important ecosystem service, iv) overall, supporting services are given the highest average value, followed by regulating services and cultural services.