Landscape heterogeneity correlates with recreational values: a case study from Swedish agricultural landscapes and implications for policy

Author(s): Hahn, T., Heinrup, M., Lindborg, R.
In: Landscape Research, doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2017.1335862
Year: 2017
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Landscapes
Link to centre authors: Hahn, Thomas
Full reference: Hahn, T., Heinrup, M., Lindborg, R. 2017. Landscape heterogeneity correlates with recreational values: a case study from Swedish agricultural landscapes and implications for policy. Landscape Research, doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2017.1335862

Summary

Agri-environmental schemes are often targeted at heterogenic landscapes to support several ecosystem services besides food production. The question is whether heterogenic landscapes also support recreation values. Previous studies suggest this but statistical analysis of the relation between heterogeneity and recreation is lacking. To assess this, we used a quantitative Landscape Heterogeneity Index (LHI), developed for biodiversity conservation. We asked five different user groups to score 12 photographs of landscapes depicting different LHI. All user groups, especially conservationists and hunters, preferred the heterogeneous landscapes and this difference was statistically significant for all groups except farmers. Accessibility, in terms of roads, had no obvious impact on the recreational value conveyed by the photos. The paper provides evidence that the recreational value amplifies biodiversity-based values of heterogeneous landscapes and argues that such landscapes also provide resilience and insurance value buffering against unexpected risks. Implications for policy are discussed.

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