Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Trade-Offs in Ecosystem Services: Clarifying Concepts and Measuring Severity within the Production Possibility Frontier Framework

Trubins, Renats


Production possibility frontier (PPF) in economics denotes the set of all efficient combinations of the amounts of two or more goods that can be produced from the given resources and within the given technology. In the ecosystem services context, it corresponds to all efficient combinations of the amounts of two or more ecosystem services that can be obtained from the given land area within the given management framework. PPF thus captures the conflict, or trade-off, between the production of different goods or services. However, there is a lack of an agreed understanding of what precisely in a PPF expresses the degree of that conflict. This lack of clarity may greatly confound the discussions on trade-offs. This paper tries to answer the two following questions: (1) what exactly is trade-off in the PPF context? (2) how to effectively measure and compare trade-offs across PPFs? In response to the second question, a quantitative generic measure of trade-off severity is proposed.


trade-off; production possibility frontier; ecosystem services

Published in

2023, Volume: 15, number: 24, article number: 16763Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)