When cultural services and biodiversity matter most: Gaining a deeper insight into badlands ecosystem services preferences

Journal ar
Land Degradation and Development
  • Fecha: 01 enero 2022
  • ISSN: 1099145X 10853278
  • Tipo de fuente: Revista
  • DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4478
  • Tipo de documento: Artículo
  • Editorial: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
© 2022 The Authors. Land Degradation & Development published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Most dryland ecosystems are characterised by a low ecosystem services (ES) provision, being socially perceived as lacking in cultural and regulating ES. This is the case of the badlands, highly eroded arid ecosystems without vegetation, which have been extensively analysed from a physical point of view, but hardly studied from the point of view of the benefits they provide to society. This paper aimed to determine the social preferences for and the relative importance of the ES provided by badlands. To achieve this objective, a representative sample of the population was taken from the Region of Murcia (Spain), a semiarid Mediterranean area with an abundant presence of these ecosystems. This study area is of additional interest for the provision of ES derived from agroecosystems. The contingent ranking method was used to identify aspects such as the utility provided by the different types of ES and the social well-being derived from different management policies to be implemented. The results show a preference of the population for cultural ES and biodiversity in the badlands. Given that the implementation of badlands ES protection and a management policy based on the maintenance of agricultural ES are the two strategies that yield the highest social well-being, the provisioning and regulating ES derived from agroecosystems in the area should be evaluated simultaneously, given the trade-off that can occur between the two ecosystems. These results provide dryland ecosystem managers with a view of soil erosion management that is different from the traditional one, since it promotes not only its control, but also a greater presence of educational and recreational activities.

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