Geodiversity Supports Cultural Ecosystem Services: an Assessment Using Social Media

Fox, N., Graham, L., Eigenbrod, F., Bullock, J.M., & Parks, K.E. (2022). Geodiversity Supports Cultural Ecosystem Services: an Assessment Using Social Media. Geoheritage 14 (1) e27. 10.1007/s12371-022-00665-0.

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Geodiversity is under threat from both anthropogenic activities and environmental change which therefore requires active management in the form of geoconservation to minimise future damage. As research on the role of geodiversity on ecosystem service (ES) provision has been limited, there is a need to improve our understanding of which aspects are most important to providing ES to better inform approaches to its conservation. Here, we focus on the cultural ES of hiking in Wales, UK. Harnessing big data from the social media website Flickr, we used the locations of geotagged images of hiking and a range of spatial layers representing geodiversity, biodiversity and anthropogenic predictor variables in habitat suitability models. To gain a deeper understanding of the role of geodiversity in driving the distribution of this cultural service, we estimated the strength and nature of the relationship of each geodiversity, biodiversity and anthropogenic indicator with hiking. Our models show that three geodiversity (distance from coast, range in slope and range in elevation) and two anthropogenic (distance from greenspace access point and distance from road) variables were the most important drivers of hiking. Furthermore, we assessed the content of the images to understand which features of geodiversity people interact with while hiking. We found that people generally take images of geomorphological and hydrological features, such as mountains and lakes. Through understanding the geodiversity, biodiversity and anthropogenic drivers of hiking in Wales, as well as identifying the geodiversity features people interact with while hiking, this analysis can help to inform future geoconservation methods by focusing efforts on these important features.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 14:09
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 14:09

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