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Recreation and its synergies and trade‑offs with other ecosystem services of Alpine and pre‑Alpine grasslands

Title data

Schmitt, Thomas Michael ; Haensel, Maria ; Kaim, Andrea ; Lee, Heera ; Reinermann, Sophie ; Koellner, Thomas:
Recreation and its synergies and trade‑offs with other ecosystem services of Alpine and pre‑Alpine grasslands.
In: Regional Environmental Change. Vol. 24 (2024) . - 57.
ISSN 1436-378X

Abstract in another language

Alpine and pre-Alpine grasslands provide numerous ecosystem services including provisioning services (e.g. fodder production), regulating services (e.g. soil erosion reduction), and cultural services (e.g. recreation). While intensively managed grasslands specifically target the production of fodder, more extensively used grasslands are known for being hotspots of biodiversity. However, there is a need to better understand the relationship among the supply of ecosystem services, specifically regarding the use of grasslands for cultural ecosystem services such as recreation. In this study, we investigated the synergies and trade-offs of ecosystem services and analyzed underlying variables related to the recreational use of grasslands. We investigated the supply of recreation (indicated by Photo-User-Days from geo-tagged photos on grasslands), fodder production (indicated by yield), and regulating and habitat ecosystem services (indicated by agri-environmental payments), and analyzed their relationship to management-related variables with a Redundancy Analysis. To better explain the recreational use of grasslands, we further analyzed how environmental and infrastructural features influence the occurrence of Photo-User-Days with a hurdle regression. Finally, we conducted spatial analyses to understand the distribution of Photo-User-Days in space. We found a weak but significant negative relationship between Photo-User-Days and yield, which implies that people slightly prefer extensive grassland to intensive grassland for recreation. Our results also show that agri-environmental schemes targeted towards extensive grassland management can positively influence the recreational use. Other factors, such as proximity to touristic features (e.g. castles), presence of infrastructural features (e.g. cable cars), and environmental characteristics (e.g. low share of croplands, distance to forests), also influenced the spatial distribution of photos on grasslands. The importance of these factors underscores the value of grasslands as a component of the cultural landscape for recreational purposes. These results also suggest that cultural ecosystem services of grasslands can be considered to be co-produced by natural, social, and infrastructural components. The study further discusses limitations to the explanatory power of geo-tagged photo analysis to determine the wide range of cultural ecosystem services of grasslands.
We conclude that grasslands play an important role for recreation in (pre-)Alpine landscapes, which can also be effectively supported through targeted agri-environmental payments.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cultural ecosystem services; Geo-tagged photos; Grasslands; Mountains; Synergies and trade-offs
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Ecological Services > Professor Ecological Services - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Köllner
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Ecology and the Environmental Sciences
Research Institutions > Central research institutes > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2024 10:14
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2024 10:14