Public preferences for multiple dimensions of bird biodiversity at the coast : insights for the cultural ecosystem services framework
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Biodiversity is valuable to society, including through its contribution to cultural benefits: “the non-material benefits people obtain from biodiversity and ecosystem services through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences”. Biodiversity encompasses numerous measures, but the distinct values of these measures have been little studied. We conducted a discrete choice experiment to elicit respondents’ (n = 3,000) willingness to pay for increases in four measures of bird diversity in UK coastal ecosystems: number of bird species (species richness), number of individual birds (abundance), probability of seeing rare or unusual bird species, and probability of seeing large flocks of birds (wildlife spectacles). Respondents had a positive willingness to pay (through one-time voluntary donations) for increases in all four measures (mean £3 to £5 per household). However, using latent class analysis we found considerable heterogeneity of preferences, identifying four classes of respondents with strikingly different levels of marginal willingness to pay for the four measures. Income, age, environmental activity, visits to environmental settings, and gender were important determinants of class membership. While focusing on birds, our results demonstrate the importance of a multi-dimensional conceptualisation of biodiversity in broader ecosystem management, rather than focussing on a single aspect such as species richness or abundance. Our findings also highlight the implications of heterogeneous public preferences for biodiversity for conservationists, planners, shoreline managers and developers. These need to be considered in the development of new frameworks for ecosystem services, and when planning and funding conservation actions so that the cultural benefits will accrue across a range of social groups.
Boeri , M , Stojanovic , T A , Wright , L J , Burton , N H K , Hockley , N & Bradbury , R B 2020 , ' Public preferences for multiple dimensions of bird biodiversity at the coast : insights for the cultural ecosystem services framework ' , Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , vol. In press , 106571 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2019.106571
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2019.106571
DescriptionThis work was funded by the NERC Research project Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (CBESS) project Grant NE/J015644/1 with support from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme. BESS is a six-year programme (2011–2017) funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the UK's Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme.
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