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Kimberly Nicholas

Kimberly Nicholas

Senior Lecturer, Docent, Director of Studies PhD school

Kimberly Nicholas

Valuing and mapping cork and carbon across land use scenarios in a Portuguese montado landscape


  • Marius von Essen
  • Inês T. do Rosário
  • Margarida Santos-Reis
  • Kimberly A. Nicholas

Summary, in English

The ecosystem services approach can inform decision-making by accounting for both short- and long-term benefits from different land use options. Here we used the InVEST toolkit to quantify and map key ecosystem services at the largest publicly-owned agro-silvo-pastoral farmstead in Portugal–a site representative for the montado landscape. We analyzed how Provisioning (cork production) and Regulating & Maintenance (carbon storage and sequestration) services would be affected under three land use change scenarios, which were developed in collaboration with the forest manager of the study area: Cattle Intensification, Forest Improvement, and Residential Development. Results show that increasing cattle or residential development would deliver substantially lower levels of services. We find that extensive management, improvements to forest quality, and promotion of traditional livestock grazing would provide the highest levels of assessed ecosystem services, resulting in 13.5% more carbon storage (worth between $0.34-$7.79 million USD depending on carbon price) and 62.7% more cork production (total value of USD $3.5 million) than the current land use. However, a shift in economic incentives to make sustainable cork harvesting and traditional low-density grazing of smaller ruminants like sheep and goats profitable are likely needed to reward traditional land stewardship and help support this iconic Mediterranean landscape in the future.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year










Document type

Journal article


Public Library of Science


  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use




  • ISSN: 1932-6203