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      Do both habitat and species diversity provide cultural ecosystem services? A trial using geo-tagged photos

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Conservation for both biodiversity and ecosystem services are an important issue worldwide. However, knowledge of their relationship remains limited. As habitat structure is strongly related to regional biodiversity, we studied cultural ecosystem services by using habitat structure as a proxy for biodiversity. Specifically, we used human preference, assessed by using photos with location information (i.e. geo-tagged digital pictures) as an index of a cultural ecosystem service. We conducted nature walks in semi-natural environments for cognitively-impaired students from a local special school and studied the photos they took during the walks. We analysed the habitat preferences inferred from the photo locations and the composition of the photos—whether they were close-up, scenic or landscape views. The results showed that levels of human preference and biodiversity, indicated by habitat structure, had a positive relationship. During spring to autumn, when levels of biological activity are higher, people tended to show more preference in close-up views (i.e. the subject of the photo was the species itself). In winter, they tended to be interested in scenic views that were not strongly influenced by species diversity. Additionally, photos taken in areas with threatened species almost always included close-up views, although not of the threatened species themselves. Areas with high species diversity therefore appeared to be more appealing to the participants. These results suggest that habitat diversity could not only contribute to biodiversity, but also provide cultural ecosystem services. Habitat conservation for semi-natural environments could be synergised for both biodiversity conservation and general human well-being.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Uncovering Ecosystem Service Bundles through Social Preferences

          Ecosystem service assessments have increasingly been used to support environmental management policies, mainly based on biophysical and economic indicators. However, few studies have coped with the social-cultural dimension of ecosystem services, despite being considered a research priority. We examined how ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs emerge from diverging social preferences toward ecosystem services delivered by various types of ecosystems in Spain. We conducted 3,379 direct face-to-face questionnaires in eight different case study sites from 2007 to 2011. Overall, 90.5% of the sampled population recognized the ecosystem’s capacity to deliver services. Formal studies, environmental behavior, and gender variables influenced the probability of people recognizing the ecosystem’s capacity to provide services. The ecosystem services most frequently perceived by people were regulating services; of those, air purification held the greatest importance. However, statistical analysis showed that socio-cultural factors and the conservation management strategy of ecosystems (i.e., National Park, Natural Park, or a non-protected area) have an effect on social preferences toward ecosystem services. Ecosystem service trade-offs and bundles were identified by analyzing social preferences through multivariate analysis (redundancy analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis). We found a clear trade-off among provisioning services (and recreational hunting) versus regulating services and almost all cultural services. We identified three ecosystem service bundles associated with the conservation management strategy and the rural-urban gradient. We conclude that socio-cultural preferences toward ecosystem services can serve as a tool to identify relevant services for people, the factors underlying these social preferences, and emerging ecosystem service bundles and trade-offs.
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            Biodiversity and the Feel-Good Factor: Understanding Associations between Self-Reported Human Well-being and Species Richness

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              Assessing, mapping, and quantifying cultural ecosystem services at community level

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                March 18 2020
                March 18 2020
                : 38
                : 61-77
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.38.36166
                © 2020

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