Dr Stoyan Nedkov
Mountain ecosystems provide a number of vital services for people and society, such as biodiversity, water resources, carbon sequestration, and recreation. However, they are extremely vulnerable to different kinds of impact therefore their future capability to provide these services is determined by changes in socio-economic characteristics, land use and climate. Differences in exposure to these changes may lead to widely varying causes of their vulnerability across different landscapes. Here we use a combination of different bio-geophysical GIS data, model estimates of climate change and expert assessment to evaluate the supply of ecosystem services by landscapes and their vulnerability to climate changes in the future. The case study area (Seven Rila Lakes) is located in one of the most spectacular parts of Rila Mountain and includes lake ecosystems which are very fragile to any kind of impact therefore they can be used as an indicator to climate changes. On the other hand, the area is under increasing anthropogenic impact in recent years which leads to increasing awareness of the environmentalists and caused serious discussions on the landscape management of the area. Our study will provide data on the vulnerability of the ecosystem services supply in the area and further support sustainable management.