Base levels for condition and services of the terrestrial ecosystems

Mapping and assessment of the base levels of condition and services


Countrywide mapping and assessment of the of the condition and services of the main natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems was initiated at the end of 2018 and completed in 2020 in the course of the national MAES project ELME [1]. The consortium consisted of scientists (University of Tartu, Estonian University of Life Sciences, University of Tallinn) and government officials from various state institutes.


Firstly, as a crucial part of MAES, appropriate science-based methods and data were prepared considering Estonian specificity of natural conditions and availability of data. Ecological relevance of input as well as output data was crucial, and repeatability of the process was always kept in mind. The selection of services was based the road map, but was also influenced by the actual availability of data as well as by the opinions of the stakeholders (policy-makers). Wide range of data and methods were used, from field to remote sensing data, from expert assessments to modelling.


There were three major large-scale and spatially explicit assessment and mapping outcomes:


  • base map (depicting spatial distribution and extent of ecosystem types),
  • ecosystem condition map,
  • ecosystem services maps – potential supply of 27 ecosystem services (CICES vs 5.1 classification; based on approximately 70 indicators).


This completed part of the ELME project is also called ELME1. See also information of the second, current phase – ELME2







Last modified: 06.02.2023



[1] Project ELME – "Establishment of tools for integrating socioeconomic and climate change data into assessing and forecasting biodiversity status, and ensuring data availability”.