Using the natural capital index framework as a scalable aggregation methodology for regional biodiversity indicators

Bálint Czúcz, Zsolt Molnár, Ferenc Horváth, Gergo G. Nagy, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Katalin Török

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


There is an increasing need for aggregated biodiversity indicators to inform policy decisions at all levels from local to global. Despite their similar policy goals, low-level (e.g. local, regional) and high-level (e.g. continental, global) indicator development is generally performed independently, and the resulting indicators are often incompatible both in their structure and data requirements. In this paper we focus on a particularly flexible aggregation framework originally developed for global assessments, the Natural Capital Index. We show that with the use of appropriate fine-scale data, the NCI framework can be applied in low-level policy contexts as well. To support this statement, we show that several established low-level indicators are essentially conforming to the NCI framework, and can be seen as existing low-level NCI implementations. The concept is illustrated with an implementation for Hungary, and the potential advantages and shortcomings of low level NCI implementations are discussed. NCI-based low level indicators can be implemented in any region, where a local indicator of ecological quality is systematically surveyed. Given the recent surge in monitoring activities worldwide, fuelled by global change and reporting obligations, fine-scale NCI implementations can become important additions to existing ecological state indicators useful in a wide range of local and regional policy contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Biodiversity index
  • Ecosystem services
  • Habitat quality
  • Naturalness
  • Vegetation condition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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