Evaluation of cultural ecosystem services using GIS

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: This master project has been carried out in collaboration with a research project named “Valuation of cultural ecosystem services based on contributions to quality of life” at Lund University. In this thesis, Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) are evaluated from people’s own perceptions. The very aim of the study is to develop a method to assess CES non-monetarily by using a bottom-up perspective. People’s direct emotional response and CES are connected to locations and land cover classes. Gullåkra mosse, located close to Staffanstorp, was used as study site. A smart phone application was developed for collecting data. It registers answers from participants, GPS coordinates and participants direction of view. All data was analysed statistically and spatially. 18 people participated in the study and each participant was asked to choose three locations which were special and positive according to their own perceptions. Four types of questions were asked regarding physical elements, environmental qualities, activities and emotional response. The questions capture CES and the affective well-being of the participants. The location and view direction of each participant were obtained from the registered answers. The CES and its qualities were connected to specific land cover classes. Qualities of CES most closely related to affective well-being where established by selecting the area with the highest perceived affective well-being. A CES index, which makes it possible to rank CES, was developed. The conclusion is that CES can be evaluated by considering people’s own perceptions. It suggests that it should be possible, with more research, to rank ecosystems in terms of CES on the basis of land cover classes.

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