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  • Isabel Rosa
  • Andy Purvis
    Natural History Museum, London
  • Rob Alkemade
    PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer
    Stanford University
  • Simon Ferrier
    CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra
  • Carlos A. Guerra
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
  • George Uurtt
    University of Maryland
  • Hyejin Kim
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
  • Paul Leadley
    University of Paris-Sud
  • Ines S. Martins
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
  • Alexander Popp
    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Aafke M. Schipper
    PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Detlaf van Vuuren
    PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Henrique M. Pereira
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
Scenario-based modelling is a powerful tool to describe relationships between plausible trajectories of drivers, possible policy interventions, and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Model inter-comparisons are key in quantifying uncertainties and identifying avenues for model improvement but have been missing among the global biodiversity and ecosystem services modelling communities. The biodiversity and ecosystem services scenario-based inter-model comparison (BES-SIM) aims to fill this gap. We used global land-use and climate projections to simulate possible future impacts on terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services using a variety of models and a range of harmonized metrics.

The goal of this paper is to reflect on the steps taken in BES-SIM, identify remaining methodological challenges, and suggest pathways for improvement. We identified five major groups of challenges; the need to: 1) better account for the role of nature in future human development storylines; 2) improve the representation of drivers in the scenarios by increasing the resolution (temporal, spatial and thematic) of land-use as key driver of biodiversity change and including additional relevant drivers; 3) explicitly integrate species- and trait-level biodiversity in ecosystem services models; 4) expand the coverage of the multiple dimensions of biodiversity and ecosystem services; and finally, 5) incorporate time-series or one-off historical data in the calibration and validation of biodiversity and ecosystem services models. Addressing these challenges would allow the development of more integrated global projections of biodiversity and ecosystem services, thereby improving their policy relevance in supporting the interlinked international conservation and sustainable development agendas.


  • Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Ensemble projections, Models, Policy support, Scenarios
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00886
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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