Alpine Ecosystem Services - mapping, maintenance, management

South Tyrol, Italy

Our test region “South Tyrol” is identical to the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano – South Tyrol. It is situated in the northernmost part of Italy – in the Eastern Central Alps. With 520.000 inhabitants it spans 116 municipalities across 7.400 km². At altitudes ranging from 200 to 3.900 m.a.s.l., the main land use/cover types are forest areas and agriculturally used areas covering 45% and 30% of the total area, respectively (ASTAT, 2013; Department for Forestry, 2016). The agriculturally used areas are composed of pastures (61.1%), permanent meadows (26.9%), arable land (1.8%) and permanent cultures (10.2%), such as apple orchards and vineyards (ASTAT, 2013). South Tyrol is an important tourist destination: In 2014/15, more than 29.000.000 overnight stays were recorded – more than 60% of them during the summer (ASTAT, 2016). A monitoring system including a web GIS called “Sustainability South Tyrol – Indicators for a sustainable development” (EURAC research et al., 2008) currently provides 76 sustainability indicators at the municipal level, which have been available since 2000 and are updated regularly by EURAC research and IER – Institute for Economic Research.

Along with land-use changes, also ecosystem services have changed during the last decades. Whereas provisioning services played a major role in the past, regulating and cultural services have become more important during the last decades. In close collaboration with local and regional stakeholders from South Tyrol, EURAC research aims at testing, evaluating and discussing ecosystem-service indicators in the test region and bringing the results to the stakeholders.


ASTAT (2013). 6. Landwirtschaftszählung / 6° Censimento generale dell’agricoltura 2010 (6th Agricultural census 2010). Bozen/Bolzano.
ASTAT (2016). Tourismus in Südtirol (Tourism in South Tyrol), Retrieved June 28, 2016 from|Tourismus.qvw&client=Ajax
EURAC research, Institute for Economic Research, Environment Agency Bozen/Bolzano – South Tyrol (2008). Sustainability South Tyrol. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from
Forest department, Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano – South Tyrol (2016). Südtirols Wald: Flächen (South Tyrols forests: areas), Retrieved June 28, 2016 from

Promotional material:

Flyer South Tyrol DE , Flyer South Tyrol IT