Probabilistic modeling of the relationship between socioeconomy and ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

A. D. Maldonado, P. A. Aguilera, A. Salmerón, A. E. Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


There is a strong relationship among cultural landscapes, socio-economy and the provision of ecosystem services. The goal of this paper is to study the relationships between socioeconomic changes and the generation of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes in Andalusia (Spain). In order to do that, a causal Object-Oriented Bayesian network (OOBN) approach was carried out. We proposed 3 socioeconomic scenarios: (i) no intervention (rural abandonment); (ii) rural intensification; and (iii) rural development (sustainability). We computed the relative change between the prior and posterior distribution of each variable considered in the model. We also computed the entropy of the ecosystem service variables (ESVs), as a measure of their uncertainty, before and after the introduction of socioeconomic changes. Afterwards, a statistical test was performed in order to find significant differences among the 3 scenarios, regarding the relative change of the state high of the ESVs. Moreover, a t-test was carried out to compare the uncertainty of the prior and posterior distributions of the ESVs. The results showed significant differences among the scenarios. OOBNs are a powerful tool to deal with complex socio-ecological systems. Moreover, the use of Bayesian networks provides a sound way of quantifying uncertainty in a transparent way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-164
Number of pages19
JournalEcosystem Services
Issue numberB
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Ecosystem service
  • Object-Oriented Bayesian network
  • Rural landscape
  • Socioeconomic scenario
  • Uncertainty

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