Defining cultural functional groups based on perceived traits assigned to birds

Zoeller, Kim C., Gurney, Georgina G., Heydinger, John, and Cumming, Graeme S. (2020) Defining cultural functional groups based on perceived traits assigned to birds. Ecosystem Services, 44. 101138. pp. 1-9.

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The sustainable delivery of ecosystem services relies on the functional traits that underpin ecosystem service production. Organisms that share functional traits can be grouped together, simplifying questions of management and providing insights into the external drivers that impact ecosystem service provision. Linkages between the functional traits of organisms and provisioning and regulating ecosystem services are well established, but the traits that underpin the benefits derived from cultural ecosystem services are not. To this end we interviewed 401 socio-economically diverse local ecosystem users in South Africa, selected using a mixture of convenience and purposive sampling, to elucidate peoples' perceptions of the traits associated with bird species. Subsequently, we used cluster analysis to examine whether these traits could provide a consistent typology of cultural functional groups. We identified six major cultural functional groups based on scores assigned to bird species: Visual Traits; Negative Visual and Behavioural Traits; Movement and Ecological Traits; Place Association and Abundance Indicators; Common Traits; and Behavioural Traits. Significantly higher scores were assigned to birds with interesting movement and ecology, whereas bird species with perceived negative visual or behavioural traits scored poorly. We additionally show that there are potential synergies between positively perceived cultural functions and ecological functions. Grounding cultural functional traits in a broader typology of functional groups makes components of ecological complexity more interpretable and may be used to predict how the loss of functional traits within a system will impact cultural benefits experienced by local ecosystem users.

Item ID: 64066
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-0416
Keywords: Cultural functional groups, Birds, Cultural ecosystem services, Functional traits
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Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional Information:

A version of this publication was included as Chapter 3 of the following PhD thesis: Zoeller, Kim (2022) Understanding the production of cultural ecosystem services and benefits. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, Percy FitzPatrick Institute, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: NRF Blue Skies grant
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2020 07:45
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180507 Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments @ 100%
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