The influence of landscape context on the production of cultural ecosystem services

Zoeller, Kim C., Gurney, Georgina G., and Cumming, Graeme S. (2022) The influence of landscape context on the production of cultural ecosystem services. Landscape Ecology, 37. pp. 883-894.

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Recent efforts to apply sustainability concepts to entire landscapes have seen increasing interest in approaches that connect socioeconomic and biophysical systems. Evaluating these connections through a cultural ecosystem services lens clarifies how different spatiotemporal scales and levels of organisation influence the production of cultural benefits. Currently, however, the effects of multi-level and multi-scale ecological variation on the production of cultural benefits have not yet been disentangled. Objectives To quantify the amount of variation in cultural ecosystem service provision by birds to birders that is due to landscape-level attributes. Methods We used data from 293 birding routes and 101 different birders in South African National Parks to explore the general relationships between birder responses to bird species and environmental conditions, bird-related observations, the biophysical attributes of the landscape and their effect on bird-related cultural benefits. Results Biophysical attributes (particularly biome, vegetation type, and variance in elevation) significantly increased the percentage of variance explained in birder benefits from 57 to 65%, demonstrating that birder benefits are derived from multi-level (birds to ecosystems) and multi-scale (site to landscape) social and ecological interactions. Conclusions Landscape attributes influence people's perceptions of cultural ecosystem service provision by individual species. Recognition of the complex, localised and inextricable linkage of cultural ecosystem services to biophysical attributes can improve our understanding of the landscape characteristics that affect the supply and demand of cultural ecosystem services.

Item ID: 72472
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-9761
Keywords: Landscape variation, Biophysical attributes, Cultural ecosystem services, Birds
Copyright Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 08:26
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441002 Environmental sociology @ 70%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1304 Heritage > 130404 Conserving natural heritage @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 50%
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