A Bayesian approach to ecosystem service trade-off analysis utilizing expert knowledge

Solveig Höfer, Alex Ziemba, Ghada El Serafy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of ecosystem services is gaining attention in the context of sustainable resource management. However, it is inherently difficult to account for tangible and intangible services in a combined model. The aim of this study is to extend the definition of ecosystem service trade-offs by using Bayesian Networks to capture the relationship between tangible and intangible ecosystem services. Tested is the potential of creating such a network based on existing literature and enhancement via expert elicitation. This study discusses the significance of expert elicitation to enhance the value of a Bayesian Network in data-restricted case studies, underlines the importance of inclusion of experts’ certainty, and demonstrates how multiple sources of knowledge can be combined into one model accounting for both tangible and intangible ecosystem services. Bayesian Networks appear to be a promising tool in this context, nevertheless, this approach is still in need of further refinement in structure and applicable guidelines for expert involvement and elicitation for a more unified methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment Systems and Decisions
Volume40 (2020)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bayesian Network
  • Curonian Lagoon
  • Ecosystem services
  • Expert elicitation


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