Terms used in the Tool

Agricultural land use

Agricultural land-use type where “cultivated grassland” is monoculture or mixed culture grassland sawn in arable lands, fertilized, ploughed at least once in five years; “permanent grassland” have not been ploughed at least 5 years and species composition include natural species; “semi-natural grassland” is species rich permanent grassland with biotope code; “arable” is non grassland agricultural land use used as reference for land-use change.

Bundles and tradeoffs

Bundles of ecosystem services are defined as a set of associated ecosystem services that are linked to a given ecosystem and usually appear together repeatedly in time and/or space. The increase of one service in the bundle usually means also increase of other services belonging to the bundle. "LIFE Viva Grass" analysis revealed 3 bundles of ecosystem services for grasslands:
- “Production” bundle represent fields, where such services as “reared animals and their output”, “fodder”, “biomass based energy sources” and “weathering process” are having supply potential values above average (from 3 to 5);
- “Habitats” bundle represent fields where such services as “herbs for medicine”, “maintaining habitats”, “global climate control” and “pollination and seed dispersal” are having supply potential values above average (values from 3 to 5);
- “Soil” bundle represent fields where such services as “control of erosion rates”, “chemical conditions of freshwaters”, “bio-remediation” and “filtration/storage/accumulation by ecosystems” are having supply potential values above average (values from 3 to 5).

Interactions between ecosystem services occur as interactions between bundles. Tradeoff is the situation when values of ecosystem services in one bundle negatively impact values of ecosystem services in other bundle. “Tradeoff in benefit of production” represent the fields where high values in “Production” bundle occur simultaneously with low values in “Habitats” bundle. “Tradeoff in benefit of habitats” represent the fields where high values in “Habitats” bundle occur simultaneously with low values in “Production” bundle. A clear example in the context of grasslands is the tradeoff between biomass production and biodiversity & habitats: increasing productivity of a grassland usually requires a certain degree of intensification through fertilization, ploughing and reseeding with a mix of selected species. These intensification practices in turn simplify grasslands’ structure and decrease the number of grassland species, leading to a loss of habitats for birds and arthropods.

Classifications

The Classification widget is a specially dedicated functionality in the Planner module of the “Viva Grass tool”. It allows the user to classify selected agricultural land use blocks or user uploaded data, using selected attributes and their values. The sequence of the process is described below:
1. Click “New classification”;
2. Click “Add…”;
3. Write an expression by selecting a field (for example “Maintaining habitats”), min and max values and operation, which will describe your wanted class. For example: habitm < 3 AND habitm < 5 and click “Test”. If the expression is correct, next to the “Test” button you will see how many blocks belong to your defined class; 4. Give the class a Name and Display color; 5. Press “Ok”; 6. Repeat everything from step “2” to create as much classes as you want; 7. See the results displayed on the map. Please note that blocks belonging to one class cannot at the same time belong to another class. This can be done by changing or modifying your expression. When you are done with classification, you can download results as zipped shapefile (“Download”). Polygon shapefile with additional “CLASS” attribute will be generated. You can change the defined classes and their expressions and territory (spatial filter), save and update an already saved analysis. Note, that saved analysis is displayed for all members of your organization. Saved analysis includes only class definitions and expressions, but does not include real data or territory definition (spatial filter). If you or other member of organization have already configured the classes and saved a classification rule, you can select this configuration from the list in first step. Configured classes will be provided. When you click “Open”, you will be directed to classification results page (step 7) with applied classes to your territory (spatial filter).

District heating plants

The current location of existing district heating plants. District heating plants are central boiler plants that distribute heat among households within a certain district. An exceptional case is the Lihula boiler plant in Estonia, which is able to use hay left from mowing semi-natural meadows in Matsalu National Park to produce heat.

Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are all benefits that an ecosystem provides to humans. They include provisional (goods that can directly be used by human), regulating (benefits gained from processes in nature) and cultural (non-material) services. The legend shows supply potential of a selected ecosystem service expressed in a relative scale from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high), where 0 stands for no service provided. The services were evaluated by expert based ranking approach.

Grassland blocks: Biomass potential

Biomass potential is understood as the yield of herbaceous biomass measured as dry weight. Each semi-natural grassland type is assigned a unique value of average biomass potential after sampling several grasslands throughout Estonia. Samples were collected from June to August, mostly in the first half of July. More information on the methodology and data can be found in Melts (2014).

Grassland blocks: Bioenergy potential

The Bio Energy potential is calculated based in the calorific value of total biomass and the dry weight of different functional groups in semi-natural grassland types. The Bio Energy potential of grasslands is then understood as the potential for energy production through combustion. Each semi-natural grassland type is assigned a unique value of average Bio Energy potential. More information on the methodology and data can be found in Melts (2014).

Grassland blocks: Recommended grazing pressure

Grazing pressure depends on the characteristics of the meadow, soil fertility, humidity and may vary from one year to another. Adequate or recommended grazing pressure increases a meadow’s natural value as well as the feed value of plants. The recommended grazing pressures are given as unique values per semi-natural grassland type. It must be kept in mind however, that these are only orientative values, as the characteristics within a meadow type vary geographically and from year to year. This recommended grazing pressure values have been compiled from several sources, mainly habitat management recommendations and management plans of protected areas.

Hotspots and coldspots

“Hot-spots” are fields with great variety of ecosystem services provided at values above average (from 3 to 5), possible synergies between “Habitats” and “Production” bundles occur. “Cold-spots” are fields with low or very low (below 3) values at majority of ecosystem services provided and designate degrading/inappropriate management of agricultural land.

Prioritization

The Prioritization widget is a specially dedicated functionality in the "Viva Grass Planner" module of the “Viva Grass tool”. It allows the user to prioritize selected agricultural land use blocks or user uploaded data, using selected attributes and defining weight of each attribute. The sequence of the process is described below:
1. Click “New prioritization”.
2. Select numeric attributes, participating in ranking and click “Next”.
3. Define weight of each attribute, while total sum of weights is equal to 100.
4. Weight indices and ranks are calculated automatically, when weight sum is equal to 100. Prioritization results divided into 5 groups are displayed on the map. Rank label displayed on each ranked polygon.

When you are done with prioritization, you can download results as zipped shapefile (“Download”). Polygon shapefile with selected weighting attributes, additional “RANK” and “INDEX” attributes will be generated.

You can change weighted attributes, weights and territory (spatial filter), save and update already saved analysis. Note, that saved analysis is displayed for all members of your organization. Saved analysis includes only attribute weight configuration, but does not include real data or territory definition (spatial filter).
If you or other member of organization have already configured prioritization weights and saved prioritization rule, you can select this configuration from the list in first step. Configured prioritization weights will be provided. When you click “Open”, you will be directed to prioritization results page (step 4) with applied weights to your territory (spatial filter).

Recommendations

Short overall information of suggestions for management options which highlighting important ecosystem services based on their values and bundle information. The recommendations give overall environmental understanding and characterize benefits of land blocks.

Settings

The Settings widget contains data management tools that can be used in "Viva Grass Planner" module to configure organizational data. The tools are as follows:
1. User attributes - allows the user to add 20 custom attributes to the Grassland Block layer, which later can be used running the Prioritization or Classification widgets;
2. Upload - allows the user to upload the downloaded Viva Grass basemap (see tool “Download data from basemap”) data or upload own data to the "Viva Grass Planner" module;
3. Download data from basemap - allows the user to download data from the Viva Grass basemap by selecting a certain area. The downloaded data can initially be uploaded (see tool “Upload”) into the Planner module or configured on desktop software and then uploaded into the "Viva Grass Planner" module;
4. Layer settings - allows the user to configure what organization’s layers should be viewed in the "Viva Grass Planner" module. It also allows the user to add external layers into the module.

Widgets: Bio-energy demands

The Bio Energy demands layer is aggregated in a 1sq km grid. Bio Energy demands are understood as the demand for energy used in district heating. The Bio Energy demands layer is calculated based on the number of flats using district heating and the average district heat demands per flat.