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The Project

Applying knowledge and methods from ecological research to urban and landscape planning – testing the application of species distribution models and ecosystem services is the goal of the ÖkoService project. To validate this innovation potential the ÖkoService project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


The project team uses computer-based models to calculate the distribution of protected species and ecosystem services in space and to predict consequences of landscape modifications related to urban and landscape planning. The models rely on information on landscapes such as land use and soil types and on knowledge on habitat requirements of species and ecosystem services. For this purpose, scientific ecological knowledge is edited and aggregated in user-optimized databases. 

Cooperating with local partners the scientists apply the models for two examples: models are used for a nature conservation measure in the rural district of Vogelsberg and planning of building areas in Central Hesse (Germany). Predictions from models for protected species and selected ecosystem services are involved in early stages of planning projects and evaluated if predictions add to decisions on planning alternatives. Interviews with users and supporting software modules will pave the way from research to commercial application.