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Assessing and quantifying offered cultural ecosystem services of German river landscapes

Julia Thiele, Christian Albert, Johannes Hermes and Christina von Haaren

Ecosystem Services, 2020, vol. 42, issue C

Abstract: River landscapes offer diverse cultural ecosystem services. Providing more information on the quantity that river landscapes provide in terms of offered cultural ecosystem services could contribute to river landscape planning. Offered cultural ecosystem services are ecosystem contribution that may provide benefits to humans. The aim of this study is to apply an indicator framework for spatially assessing offered cultural ecosystem services in German river landscapes. Our indicator framework ‘CulturAl Ecosystem Services of River landscapes’ (CAESaR) quantifies offered cultural ecosystem services at national and local scale, with adapted sets of sub-indicators with regard to the required level of detail and available spatial data. The indicator framework considers opportunities for water-related and non water-related activities, landscape aesthetic quality, and heritage. Our results show that the highly rated river landscape areas have an above-average proportion of river courses and active floodplains. Historical floodplains provide lower offered cultural ecosystem services scores overall. The land cover classes pasture, broad-leaved forest and water courses receive high offered cultural ecosystem services scores, whereas non-irrigated arable land characterizes river landscapes with low indicator scores. We conclude that the proposed indicator framework proved applicable at various scales and can be transferred to cases with a similar context.

Keywords: River landscapes; River landscape planning; Cultural ecosystem services; Indicator development; Spatial modeling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101080

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