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Abstract

Nature-based tourism has an influence on ecosystem functioning around watercourses, but this influence lacks scientific evidence. Additionally, strategic and operational management of streams necessitates trade-offs between the recreational activities and values of tourists and riparian zone hospitality services. This paper aims to assist environmentalists and planners by exploring the effects of tourism-based recreational activities on ecosystem functioning along the drawdown zone. The study uses multivariate statistical techniques to delineate the relevant global tourism issues for planners. Kruskal-Wallis tests (p < 0.01) were conducted using quantitative data from 284 transects within the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir in China. The results revealed higher ecosystem function indices than tourism indices. Indicators of tourism contributed both positively and negatively to ecological indicators, with the Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from minor to moderate (r = ̶ 0.24 to 0.38, p < 0.05). Principal component analysis revealed that the critical variables of ecosystem functioning and tourism activities explained 72.26 % of the overall variance. Nevertheless, hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that these indicators responded differently in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sections. Our findings suggest that policymakers should consider the different characteristics of riparian zones in future planning, as doing so will improve both national and global strategic and operational management.

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... Reservoirs serve as holistic resources for the public, and researchers have begun observing their ecology from the perspective of efficiency and required protection measures (Chen et al., 2016;Fernandes et al., 2016;Arif et al., 2022b). The impacts of various factors that affect waterways are economically well understood. ...
... The Pearson correlation was used to assess the relationship between topographical features (riparian buffer width, stream-channel width, slope, and elevation) and ENPs in the rural, urban, and rural-urban transitional zones. This method reflects the relationship between association function and linear regression (Arif et al., 2022b). Finally, hierarchical cluster analyses were performed for these indexes and sub-indexes to investigate their interrelationships. ...
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Topographic features impact the riparian landscape, which shapes reservoir ecosystems. We know little about ecological network parameter (ENP) responses to topographical features (riparian width, stream-channel width, slope, and elevation) from three land-use areas (rural, urban, and rural-urban transitional) in larger dams and reservoirs globally. This study used a field-based approach with 305 transects on an inundated area of 58,000 km² inside the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR) in China. We discovered that topographical features influenced ENPs differently, involving parameters of plant cover, regeneration, exotics, erosion, habitat, and stressors. As per the Pearson correlation (p < 0.05), riparian width had the most significant effect on transitional ENPs and the least impact on urban ENPs. Riparian width showed the most important influence on the parameters of exotics (with r ≤ −0.44) and erosion (r ≤ 0.56). In contrast, stream-channel widths had the greatest effect on rural ENPs and the least on urban and transitional ENPs. The erosion parameters were the most affected (r ≤ −0.26) by stream width. The slope showed relationships with the fewest ENPs in all three areas and influenced the stress (with a range of −0.51 < r < 0.85) and erosion (r ≤ −0.39) parameters. The impact of elevation was higher in urban areas and was positively correlated with the parameters of plant cover (r ≤ 0.70), erosion (r ≤ 0.58), and habitat (r ≤ 0.69). These results justify the policy emphasis on riparian areas that are managed using the same techniques, which generally ignores their topographical features.
... After its impounding in 2003, the TGR area changed from the high water level of the natural rivers in summer to the artificially adjusted high water level in winter. Also, the slowing of the flow rate and the accumulation of nutrients caused by the change in the water level have led to algal blooms in the water bodies in many bays of the reservoir (Chen et al., 2021;He et al., 2021;Muhammad et al., 2022). Water quality in the impoundment has become a prominent issue (Gul et al., 2022). ...
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Urban populations experience the multiple health and well-being benefits of nature predominantly via urban green infrastructure. If this is to be designed and managed optimally for both nature and people, there is an urgent need for greater understanding of the complex relationships between human aesthetic experience, well-being and actual or perceived biodiversity. This integrative study assessed human aesthetic reaction, restorative effect and perceived biodiversity in relation to fine-grained categories of woodland, shrub and herbaceous planting. We surveyed 1411 members of the public who walked through planting of varying structure, species character and percentage flower cover whilst completing a site-based questionnaire. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were then carried out with 34 questionnaire participants. Correlations between perceived attractiveness and perceived biodiversity were identified for three out of four biodiversity indicators. There was a correlation between perceived attractiveness and restorative effect yet this was not strong. Colourful planting with flower cover above a critical threshold (27%) was associated with the highest level of aesthetic preference. Subtle green ‘background’ planting afforded a restorative effect. These results are discussed with reference to the Circumplex Model of Affect. Our findings indicate that people appreciate colourful flowering public planting for the ‘wow factor’, but that green planting outside the narrow flowering season of most species is greatly valued. Planting moderately or most natural in structure was perceived as significantly more restorative than that least natural in structure suggesting that people in the UK may be increasingly accepting of a messier ‘ecological aesthetic’ in urban planting.
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There is currently a lack of evidence surrounding changes in the health of riparian zones under different land‐use patterns within mega‐reservoirs and around dams. Scientific evidence for the quantitative effects of stress indicators is vague and varies significantly among reservoirs and dams worldwide. In this study, we used a field‐based approach to evaluate riparian health changes—influenced by pressure indicators—across 274 transects from three land‐use areas (rural, rural–urban transitional, and urban) in the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR) in China during 2019. Multivariate statistical techniques were applied to test for riparian zone changes under these variant land‐use patterns. Our results showed that 13 pressure indicators significantly influenced 27 health indicators (including parameters for habitat, plant cover, regeneration, erosion, and exotics) of the riparian zones from the three land‐use areas differently. Our results also showed that parameters for plant cover, erosion, and exotics were major contributors within the selected riparian health indicators, whereas land‐use designs, farming systems, and pollutant activity variables were the pressure indicators with the strongest impact. Pearson correlation (with r ranging from ‐0.731 to 0.989) showed that urban transects exhibited the strongest comparative interaction, whereas rural–urban transitional transects formed the weakest association. Furthermore, the agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis revealed similarities between rural and rural–urban transitional sites while confirming substantial dissimilarity in urban locations. These comprehensive and relevant results provide essential information for reservoir administrators to implement functional changes suited to TGDR land‐use scenarios. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Although environmental illiteracy threatens the functioning of landscapes throughout the world, it is frequently ignored. The traditional wisdom assumes that suspicions will evaporate when the public and government authorities are provided with new information. Despite significant efforts to enhance riparian corridor output, limited data are available on the effect of environmental literacy metrics (ELMs) on clean production elements (CPEs) across various streams (e.g., main rivers and tributaries) within impoundments. This study examined such effects within the China Three Gorges Dam Reservoir area (TGDRA) by collecting 336 transects that assessed the breadth of effects on 58,000 km² in 2019. The network visualization revealed 7234 papers published over the last 121 years, each of which focused on themes such as plant cover, regeneration, exotics, erosion, habitat, and stressors. The bar graph showed that the general public lacked understanding of environmental literacy (e.g., knowledge, attitudes, and behavior), which influenced plant cover elements most in tributary zones but had little direct effect on regeneration. Locals' environmental literacy had the greatest impact on CPEs, with Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from −0.69 < r < 0.96 in the main river zones. Moreover, public employees' environmental literacy had a stronger correlation with CPEs (−0.58 < r < 0.83) within the main river regions. Farming systems, exposed soil, dominant grass regeneration, and instream structures, including pollution, were among the most notable CPEs within the TGDRA. According to hierarchical approaches, CPEs and ELMs change substantially across stream types. CPEs and ELMs vary significantly around main rivers and tributaries, requiring efforts to raise the public understanding of the worldwide impacts of stream health on humans.
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Ecosystem service value (ESV) is influenced by land use and land cover (LULC), and is closely related to natural conditions and human activities. However, the interactions between human and natural systems and ESV remain unclear, especially concerning widely discussed meteorological and socioeconomic factors. In this study, three periods of LULC patterns (2000, 2010, and 2020) in the Haihe River Basin, northern China, were collected to determine the relationship between changes in LULC and ESV over time. Natural and socioeconomic data associated with ESV were obtained and the structural equation model was used to decouple interactions between these factors. Results showed that the total value of regional ecosystem services has decreased as cultivated land shrunk and artificial surfaces increased over the past two decades. The ESV was significantly decreased in the middle of the basin. The direct effects of meteorological factors and socioeconomic factors on ESV were positive (0.094) and negative (−0.203), respectively. The indirect effect of socioeconomic factors on ESV through meteorological and LULC factors was 0.149. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that under the dominance of LULC, interactions between natural and socioeconomic factors affected ESV in a complex manner. These results implied that identifying the direct and indirect effects of economic development and human activities on ESV could guide and implement effective land management policies.
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Assessing the spatial and temporal changes in ecosystems is essential to account for natural capital contribution to human well-being. However, various methods to quantify these changes challenge the development of reliable values which can be integrated into national statistical accounts. Following the international system of environmental-economic accounting framework, which recently adopts an ecosystem accounting standard. We present a novel approach to develop an ecosystem extent account from existing ecosystem classifications. This study shows the spatial and statistical extent account of 26 ecosystems (i.e. forests, grasslands, croplands, and urban, among others) between 1970 and 2015 at the national scale. Extent accounts were developed at a resolution of 25 m and provided reliable information on how ecosystem types have changed over time in Spain. Our results reflect three main patterns in the extension account: (i) an increase in forest ecosystems, (ii) a considerable decrease in agroecosystems (especially annual croplands), and (iii) substantial development of urban areas. To the best of our knowledge, this method is the first attempt to develop a robust methodology to measure the extent of ecosystems at the national level. The proposed approach is crucial for a strong knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and their implications for ecosystem conditions and services at a national level. This has potential applications in urban planning, green infrastructure development, and multiple uses for territory management and policies, integrating natural capital into official statistics and mainstreaming ecosystems into national-level planning and monitoring processes.
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Understanding environmental driver-response relationships is critical to the implementation of effective ecosystem-based management. Ecosystems are often influenced by multiple drivers that operate on different timescales and may be nonstationary. In turn, contrasting views of ecosystem state and structure could arise depending on the temporal perspective of analysis. Further, assessment of multiple ecosystem components (e.g., biological indicators) may serve to identify different key drivers and connections. To explore how the timescale of analysis and data richness can influence the identification of driver-response relationships within a large, dynamic ecosystem, this study analyzed long-term (1969–2018) data from Lake Erie (USA–Canada). Data were compiled on multiple biological, physical, chemical, and socioeconomic components of the ecosystem to quantify trends and identify potential key drivers during multiple time intervals (20 to 50 years duration), using zooplankton, bird, and fish community metrics as indicators of ecosystem change. Concurrent temporal shifts of many variables occurred during the 1980s, but asynchronous dynamics were evident among indicator taxa. The strengths and rank orders of predictive drivers shifted among intervals and were sometimes taxon-specific. Drivers related to nutrient loading and lake trophic status were consistently strong predictors of temporal patterns for all indicators; however, within the longer intervals, measures of agricultural land use were the strongest predictors, whereas within shorter intervals, the stronger predictors were measures of tributary or in-lake nutrient concentrations. Physical drivers also tended to increase in predictive ability within shorter intervals. The results highlight how the time interval examined can filter influences of lower-frequency, slower drivers and higher-frequency, faster drivers. Understanding ecosystem change in support of ecosystem-based management requires consideration of both the temporal perspective of analysis and the chosen indicators, as both can influence which drivers are identified as most predictive of ecosystem trends at that timescale.
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Human interventions such as tunnel construction have caused groundwater depletion, which substantially affected the functions of forest tree species and their communities. However, the extent to which tunneling-induced groundwater depletion (TIGD) degrades their function levels at various spatial-temporal scales under varying climate conditions remains still unclear. Researchers used stand-scale dendrological records to track and extract the effects of TIGD associated with a single or series of tunneling events (three tunneling events between 1999 and 2001, 2006–2008, and 2010–2013) on short- and long-term growth levels of two dominant drought-tolerant tree species across (karst and non-karst) landscapes affected by tunnel construction and landscapes not subjected to tunnel construction in a mountainous forest ecosystem located in the southwest of China. The results showed that growth responses of both trees stand to TIGD, and the TIGD-linked water losses of other available water sources were negative and widespread across tunnel-affected landscapes, particularly in the karst landscapes known as delicate landscapes. Tree stands with faster (more vigorous) growth rates showed more significant adverse growth levels in response to either tunneling-induced or drought-induced water stresses. Also, they showed the highest recovered growth levels in response to favorable climatic conditions. Moreover, the growth level in the tunnel-affected forest never fully recovered during six years of very wet weather (2012–2018) after the construction of the final (third) tunnel in 2010–2013. Current research shows that tunnel construction has a cumulatively detrimental impact on the long-term survival of the forest. Even with the mediation of long-term very wet circumstances, it can substantially restrict the development dynamics of the forest compared to drought.
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Nowadays, a variety of methodologies are available to assess local, regional and global impacts of human activities on ecosystems, which include Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) and Ecosystem Services Assessment (ESA). However, none can individually assess both the positive and negative impacts of human activities at different geographical scales in a comprehensive manner. In order to overcome the shortcomings of each methodology and develop more holistic assessments, the integration of these methodologies is essential. Several studies have attempted to integrate these methodologies either conceptually or through applied case studies. To understand why, how and to what extent these methodologies have been integrated, a total of 110 relevant publications were reviewed. The analysis of the case studies showed that the integration can occur at different positions along the cause-effect chain and from this, a classification scheme was proposed to characterize the different integration approaches. Three categories of integration are distinguished: post-analysis, integration through the combination of results, and integration through the complementation of a driving method. The literature review highlights that the most recurrent type of integration is the latter. While the integration through the complementation of a driving method is more realistic and accurate compared to the other two categories, its development is more complex and a higher data requirement could be needed. In addition to this, there is always the risk of double-counting for all the approaches. None of the integration approaches can be categorized as a full integration, but this is not necessarily needed to have a comprehensive assessment. The most essential aspect is to select the appropriate components from each methodology that can cover both the environmental and socioeconomic costs and benefits of human activities on the ecosystems.
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The construction of dams has caused riparian habitat degradation and ecosystem service loss globally. It is critical to assess the response of riparian plant communities to inundation gradients for their conservation. Recent evidence suggests that plant community assemblages are governed by flooding stress, soil nutrient availability, climate (environmental filtering) and dispersal, speciation, local extinction (dispersal filtering), but it remains unclear which dominates the riparian ecosystem regulated by a dam. Thus, this article aims to elucidate the relative importance of environmental and dispersal filtering to variations in plant communities to understand community assembly mechanisms in riparian ecosystems. Here we used plant community data related to four elevations in the riparian zone of the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir in China to show that species richness and diversity, community height, and the cover of total, annual, and exotic plant categories decreased, while the cover of perennial and native plant groups increased under higher flooding stress. Community composition varied substantially with elevation, and species composition tended to converge with increased inundation, characterized by flood-tolerant species. The community composition underwent stronger environmental filtering at low elevations and stronger dispersal filtering at high elevations, with stronger environmental filtering across riparian ecosystems. Therefore, we conclude that dam inundation drives community assemblages of riparian plants by the combined effects of environmental and dispersal filtering. Still, their relative contribution varies between elevations, and environmental filtering is more important in shaping community assembly. This study is the first to confirm that plant community assembly in the dam-regulated riparian area is determined by both niche-based and stochastic processes. Thus, we highlighted the importance of considering inundation intensity, propagule sources, and river connectivity when implementing restoration projects.
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The preservation of water resources is a worldwide goal that requires continuous research to support the action of decision-makers. The learning about water quality is paramount in that regard to assess the complex interactions between surface waters and pollution sources. To assess the impact of diffuse pressures, many authors established nexus between landscape metrics and surface water quality. The present study used that approach in a Portuguese urban catchment, the Ave River Basin. The relation between landscape metrics and eight surface water quality parameters was studied during 26 hydrological years, based on the Spearman's rank correlation analysis. The correlation analysis exposed strong relationships between water quality and parameters that describe land use composition or configuration. During the studied period, even in recent years, the water quality parameters reached concentrations above the legally recommended limits. The most concerning parameters were ammoniacal nitrogen, chemical oxygen demand and total orthophosphate. Among the analysed metrics, Shannon's diversity index, percentage of urban areas, and the percentage of agricultural edges that are shared with artificial areas were the most preoccupying land use characteristics that indicate degradation of water resources. Besides the correlations, the study calculated the variation rates of land use maps relative to the years of 1995, 2007, 2010, 2015 and 2018. The results of correlation analysis and land use changes identified actions for the short-term that could improve water quality in the Ave River, namely a reduction in agricultural fields and an increase of forest edges density. In the long-term, water quality improvements could be accomplished through the decrease of artificial surfaces, the increase of forested areas and edges surrounding agricultural fields.
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The purpose of this study is to find the key factors of influence for the use and acceptance of Virtual Reality (VR) by tourists visiting National Parks in Costa Rica. The aim is to find whether tourists are willing to use VR to contribute to the eco-friendly performance of the area they visit and to determine whether they are willing to use VR in environmental tourism to protect flora and fauna. This study is quantitative and uses the theoretical Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) Model and a survey as the research instrument to obtain data. Data analysis was carried out using a PLS-SEM statistical analysis. The data collection procedure consisted of 50 people being surveyed in the initial pre-test phase and later 455 tourists in the fieldwork phase with national or foreign people over the age of 18 who visit or have visited the national parks of Costa Rica. The results show that there is a positive relationship between eco-friendly performance and the intention to use VR technology, as well as the actual use of VR for the benefit of the environment. The UTAUT2 model was used to find the effect of eco-friendly performance on the intention to use VR, as well as the use of this technology during visits to tourist destinations. The originality of the work is in answering the question of how to develop sustainable tourism in Costa Rica with the use of VR devices and applications that also allow the conservation of flora and fauna.
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Riparian buffer width and stream channel width have different impacts on ecological networks (e.g., plant cover, regeneration, exotics, erosion, habitat, and stressors) and provide various ecosystem services. The protection of riparian zones of increasing widths for higher-order streams and connected tributaries alongside mega-reservoirs and around dams is of great global significance. However, it remains unclear which protection strategies are most effective for such zones. By applying a rapid field-based approach with 326 transects on an inundated area of 58,000 km² within the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR) in China, we found that riparian buffer areas were influenced differently by broad-ranging widths. The riparian buffer width of 101.84 ± 72.64 m (mean ± standard deviation) had the greatest impact on the main waterway, whereas the stream channel width of 99.87 ± 97.10 m was most influential in tributaries. The correlation coefficient strengths among ecological and stress parameters (independently) were relatively greater in the main waterway riparian zones; the highest value was r = 0.930 using Pearson correlation (p < 0.05). In contrast, stress parameters revealed substantial and strong relationships with ecological parameters in tributaries, with the highest value being r = 0.551. Riparian width had the strongest influence on buffer vegetation scales, high-impact exotics, and bank stability. In comparison, channel width had the greatest effect on tree roots, dominant tree regeneration, and agricultural farming. These parameters showed distinctive responses in the shapes of indexing in higher-order streams and connected tributaries. These observations confirm the urgent need for research on regional-based extended riparian areas managed by the same administration strategies. Revised guidelines are needed to protect massive dam and reservoir ecosystems from further deterioration.
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Cumulative impact assessments can inform ecosystem-based management by mapping human pressures and assessing their intensity on ecosystem components. However, its use to inform local management is scarce, largely due to the need for fine-grained spatial data representing ecosystem threats that can assess impacts at a local scale. Here, we applied the cumulative impact assessment framework to Moorea's coral reef, French Polynesia to inform the ongoing revision of the island-wide marine spatial management plan. We combined high spatial resolution data on 11 local anthropogenic pressures and four ecological components with expert vulnerability assessments. Results revealed that the entire reef is impacted by at least four pressures: coral reef fisheries, agriculture, land use change and urbanization. These activities together contribute to 87% of the overall cumulative impact. Most importantly, land-based activities contribute to more than half (52%) of the overall impact. Other high-impact activities, such as reef-based tourism, remain very localized and contribute little to the overall human impact. These findings show that by focusing solely on reef-based activities, the current management plan misses critical sources of impact. Not considering land-based activities in the management may lead to decisions that could fail to significantly lower cumulative human impact on the reef. This study demonstrates how operationalizing the cumulative human impact framework at a local scale can help managers identify key leverage points likely to yield improved ecological outcomes.
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Adverse changes in environmental conditions due to unprecedented industrialization have been attracting the attention of policymakers, researchers, and activists. For developing nations like Pakistan, sustainability issues become even more severe because of unplanned growth and lack of resources. In this study, we have applied the QARDL model to analyze the impact of renewable energy, institutional quality, tourism, and GDP on the ecological footprint in Pakistan from 1995 to 2017. The results of this study suggest that increased utilization of renewable energy and tourism improve the environment in Pakistan, whereas institutional quality and GDP are positive and significant at all quantiles, revealing that upsurge in GDP and institutional quality are directly related to environmental conditions at all the quantiles. These results also validate the presence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Pakistan. The government of Pakistan can play a notable part in attaining sustainability by efficient management of the environment through promoting sustainable tourism, utilization of renewable energy, and enhancement of institutional quality.
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Nearly half large dams of China have been built in the Yangtze River Basin (YRB) and the eco-environmental impacts of existing dams remain elusive. Here we present a spatio-temporal approach to measuring the eco-environmental impacts of dams and its long-term changes. We also develop a new metric, the dam eco-environmental effect index (DEEI), that quickly identifies the eco-environmental impacts on dams over 36 years. Underlying the analysis are the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE), the generalized boosted regression modeling (GBM), the generalized linear model (GLM), stepwise multiple regression, trend analysis, soil erosion and sediment yield balance equation, and sample entropy used to identify the eco-environmental impacts of dams on yearly timescales. We find that the accumulated negative environmental effects of constructed dams have increased significantly and has led to large-scale hydrophysical and human health risk affecting the Yangtze River Basins downstream (i.e. Jianghan-Lushui-Northeastern Hubei, Dongting Lake District, Yichang-Jianli, and Qingjiang) and reservoir areas (i.e. Wanxian-Miaohe, Miaohe-Huanglingmiao, and Huanglingmiao-Yichang). We also provide observational evidence that dam construction has reduced the complexity of short-term (1-12 months) in runoff and sediment loads. This spatial pattern seems to reflect a filtering effect of the dams on the temporal and spatial patterns of runoff and sediment. Three Gorges Dam (TGD) has a significant impact on the complexity of the runoff and sediment loads in the mainstream of the Yangtze River. This enhanced impact is attributed to the high trapping efficiency of the dam and its associated large reservoir. This assessment may underestimate the cumulative effect of the dam because it does not consider the future effects of the planned dam. Our study provides a quantitative methodology for finding the relative change rate of eco-environmental impact on dams, which is the first step towards addressing the extent, process, and magnitude of the dam-induced effects.
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The Vilariça River (located in the northeast of Portugal) is inserted in an agricultural basin and it was chosen to replace the spawning grounds for fish, that was lost due to the construction of dams in the Sabor River. Thus, it is essential to study the effect of agricultural practices on water quality and in the health status of fish. The barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei) and Douro nase (Pseudochondrostoma duriense) were the selected species and the work was developed in two seasons (Summer 2016 and Winter 2017). For that, the histopathological changes of fish gill were used as biomarkers, through a semi-quantitative approach that considers the injuries severity. And the water quality assessment criteria followed the methodologies proposed for classifying the status of surface water bodies from Portugal. The current study showed severe histopathological changes in both species and both seasons, and the water was classified as polluted and extremely polluted in Summer and Winter respectively. The pollution in Summer was due to high temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and major concentration of As and Mn, and in Winter is due to the high concentration of Total Suspended Solids, nitrites and Cd. The increase of values of physico-chemical parameters on the water was caused by the less streamflow and excessive agricultural fertilization in Summer which arrive the river by irrigation, and by the erosion of soil particles with heavy metals associated in Winter. Also, the canonical analysis showed that physico-chemical parameters concentrations in Summer justify the major prevalence of aneurism in barbel and exudate in nase and Winter the major prevalence of hypertrophy in barbel. In conclusion, the study showed that the gill injuries of barbel and Douro nase was correlated with the water quality and it is influenced by seasonal agricultural practices and the flow regime.
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Tourism development is crucial for economic growth in Small Island Developing States, but its management involves trade-offs between ecosystem services and social and cultural identities. This paper aims to contribute to the debate around the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through an investigation of the sustainable management of tourism and coastal ecosystem services. The paper presents a choice experiment and latent factor analysis to disentangle relevant aspects of sustainable tourism in Small Island Developing States for potential visitors. Willingness to pay is reported for the different factors revealing preferences variability for previous and prospective visitors. Pro-environmental attitudes influence individual tastes and policy makers should consider these traits in order to attract visitors and private funding. Our findings show that prospective tourists are interested in the wider aspects of the tourism experience which in turn require the careful management of social and environmental resources in Small Island Developing States.
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The marketisation of higher education has emerged as a global trend with a focus on using metrics to assess performance. This has led to the closer scrutiny by government in assessing value for money and effectiveness of research outcomes in national allocations of research funding. This paper focuses on one controversial strand of assessing research outcomes - the area of research impact. The paper examines the experiences of the UKs Research Assessment Exercise in 2014 and the tourism impact case studies developed as part of institutional submissions on research impact. The paper examines the case studies using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), which is a set-theoretic method, to identify what a high quality impact case study looks like from a range of criteria. The paper derives a wider range of implications for tourism scholars that has wider application across other areas in which Tourism is located.
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One of the impacts of tourism activities on national scenic spots in western China is that local residents have lost some of their rights to benefit from natural resources. The establishment of reasonable ecological compensation standards is an important means of addressing the contradicting interests of stakeholders. Using the ecological footprint (EF) method, the compensation standard for local residents is determined based on a measurement of the touristic ecological footprint (TEF) of the Taibai Mountain scenic spot (TMSS) and the EF of Tangyu Town. The results show that the TEF of the TMSS in 2015 was 13,803.66 ha, the EF and the biological capacity (BC) of Tangyu Town were 83,879.71 ha and 61,722.96 ha, respectively. Thus, the per capita ecological compensation standard is USD 465.76. This study proposes measures to reduce the TEF, improve the implementation of the compensation mechanism and effectively raise funds for ecological compensation.
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Water resources and tourism need to be thought of in an integrated way, in order to provide urban planners and tourism managers with tools to promote water security and water equity. The objective of this paper was to apply an index capable of identify problems at the water-tourism interface, based on a spatial approach in GIS, meant to support the management of groundwater quality in tourist destinations. This index was applied to a tourist destination in northeastern Brazil, which uses groundwater to maintain its tourism infrastructure. The geographic phenomenon analyzed showed a spatial pattern between water use and tourism, with probable influences in hydrochemistry of groundwater. We suggest that the use of the propose index associated to GIS may be part of strategic planning efforts contemplating the interaction between tourism, urban management and water security, thus guaranteeing the infrastructure essential to strengthening the economy of a tourist destination.
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Tourist destinations in developed regions constitute a complex production model of social vulnerability to natural hazards. On the one hand, the high geographical exposure of tourist areas, the volatility of demand or the tourists' lack of knowledge of the local culture of risk/disaster generate sensitivity. On the other hand, the socio-economic dynamism of the tourism industry, the quality of the urban infrastructure or the protection of the institutional framework generate adaptive capacity. The interaction of these two opposing forces gives rise to highly complex adaptive situations that require far-reaching conceptual frameworks. Several researchers have indicated that the mainstream approach to social vulnerability to natural hazards does not have this quality due to its descriptive, quantitative and synchronous nature. The objective of this study is to propose and apply a methodological approach directed at deciphering the complexity of the processes that generate social vulnerability of tourist destinations in developed regions. We select seismic risk of the coastal area of the province of Alicante (SE Spain) as case study. In order to construct and apply the methodological approach, we carried out desk research on the region of study and consulted local experts. This approach articulates a causal structure able to systematise the deep origin and driving forces of the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of the region. Key factors of sensitivity include: occupation of hazardous areas by tourists, low economic diversification, large residential area without earthquake-resistant regulations, lack of seismic culture or non-compliance of seismic risk management plans. Key factors of adaptive capacity include: cooperative relationships between long-stay tourists, multiplying effect of tourism activities, transport infrastructure, welfare state policies or rapid response mechanisms in emergencies. Findings offer an in-depth and holistic view of the generative process of social vulnerability, which is particularly useful for enhancing risk management tools.
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Understanding spatial patterns of visitation and benefits accrued to different types of natural and cultural heritage tourists may have important implications for the sustainable management of their destinations. We investigate cultural services accrued to local, domestic and international visitors to the Usumacinta floodplain, a coastal region with one of the highest biological and cultural diversities in Mexico. We combine analysis of social media photographs and high-resolution land cover mapping to identify different cultural services and their association with specific ecosystem and land cover types. Hotspots for international tourists are spatially restricted to well-known and accessible sites. Locals are 2.2–2.5 times more likely than international visitors to be associated with aesthetic appreciation and birdwatching. Locals upload more photographs of coastal lagoons, mangroves, beach and sea. Results are analyzed in light of land cover changes in the region and provide valuable information to decision makers for improved tourism management and conservation strategies.
Article
In this study, a land use suitability analysis was conducted for rural tourism in the Yenice district, located in the north-west of Turkey. As part of the research process involved dividing the area in question into landscape units using GIS and RS techniques. A suitability rating for tourism activities in each landscape unit was obtained by following through the steps of the ELECTRE method, individually repeated for each landscape unit. It is considered that the 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-degree suitable activities were most relevant in the rating of the nine different tourism activities. Therefore assessments were made on the basis of these first three ranks. As a result of the analysis, from the 1st-degree suitable activities identified, the first three were found to be mountaineering, trekking and wildlife observation. From the 2nd-degree suitable activities, the first three were flora observation, trekking and hiking, and from the 3rd-degree suitable activities, the first three trekking, orienteering and mountaineering.
Article
Here we test an application, based on the analysis of the metadata of geotagged photographs, to investigate the provision of recreational services by the network of wetland ecosystems in the state of Kerala, India. We estimate visitation to individual wetlands state-wide and extend, for the first time to a developing region, the emerging application of recreational ecosystem services (ES) modelling using data from social media and environmental quality data. The impacts of restoration of wetland areal extension and water quality improvement are explored as a means to inform sustainable management strategies. Findings show that improving water quality to a level suitable for the preservation of wildlife and fisheries could increase annual recreational visits by 13% (350,000) to wetlands state-wide. Results support the notion that passive crowdsourced data from social media has the potential to improve current ecosystem service analyses and environmental management practices also in the context of developing countries.
Article
In mountainous torrents of the Mediterranean environment the riparian vegetation is strongly influenced by the presence of engineering control works, since these structures bring heavy modifications in channel geometry, hydraulic regime and bed sediment size. Previous investigations have shown high linear correlations between physical (section shape, profile slope, specific discharge, surface and subsurface size of the channel bed) and vegetation (development, structure and biodiversity) indicators in headwater channels with check dams of Calabrian (Southern Italy) torrents. Based on these findings, this study applies multivariate statistical techniques (Principal Component Analysis and Partial Least Square Regression) to identify in the same study headwaters new synthetic explanatory variables, representative of the different transects (upstream, downstream or intermediate, compared to the check dam location) and develop predictive models of riparian vegetation characteristics. The Principal Component Analysis has provided a simple parameter (the first Principal Component, explaining about 60% of the total variance), which is able to discriminate the physical and vegetal characteristics of the different transects close to check dams, thus reducing the large number of factors influencing the fluvial processes. Moreover, cover, height and transversal variability of riparian vegetation have a very high influence (loadings over 0.73) on this component, while its biodiversity is correlated to the second Principal Component (loadings over 0.63). The Partial Least Square Regression has shown that it is possible to estimate with fair accuracy (minimum r2 of 0.70) the development, structure as well as transversal variability of the riparian vegetation, starting from the physical features of the channel. These models may be important in the planning steps of new check dams, since their effects on the development and growth of vegetation upstream and downstream can be forecasted before their installation, at least for the quantification of the order of magnitude of the check dam impacts on torrent ecology.
Article
Community leaders and tourism authorities in Las Vegas have suggested the promotion and development of medical tourism to improve the economy and quality of life for residents. The present study uses social exchange theory with spillover theory as the conceptual framework to examine factors of economic performance of medical tourism, overall community satisfaction, health care satisfaction and attitudes toward medical tourism; these factors influence on residents' perceptions of medical tourism's impact on community wellbeing, which in turn affects willingness to pay higher taxes and support for medical tourism development. The findings revealed that the greater the economic performance of medical tourism, the more positive the impact of medical tourism to community wellbeing was perceived. Similarly, attitudes toward medical tourism and overall community satisfaction positively influenced the perceived impact of medical tourism on community wellbeing. Finally, community wellbeing positively influenced residents' willingness to pay higher taxes and support medical tourism development.
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Although many forested landscapes are used for both wood production and outdoor recreation, intensive forest management can negatively impact the recreational value of forests, including in Sweden, a country with rich forest resources and a strong forest industry. In Sweden, urbanization has increased the importance of, and demand for, urban and peri-urban recreational green areas such as forests. It is the responsibility of the local government – i.e., the municipalities – to provide a good living environment for its inhabitants, including recreational areas. However, most of the forest areas in Sweden are owned by private individuals and companies, which have a large degree of freedom in their forest management decisions. Municipalities can make formal agreements with forest owners to protect forests with high recreational values, but this requires financial resources, which are often scarce. Thus, tools are needed to identify the forest areas that should be prioritized for the use of forest management strategies that maintain or increase the recreational value of forests. In this study, we elaborate an approach that balances economic and recreational forest values within a forest decision support system (DSS) and test the approach for a case study area in southern Sweden. The recreation model included in the forest DSS links locational aspects, such as population density and proximity to water, with forest structure aspects, which are simulated over time under different management strategies. Our results suggest that the model could be useful for more efficient planning of the recreational potential of forests at the landscape level. The results from the case study indicate that substantial increases in the recreational value of a forest landscape can be achieved with relatively small overall economic losses, for example, by extending rotation periods in forests close to densely populated areas.
Article
Protected area management can be highly contentious. Information about the acceptability of conservation actions can help environmental authorities design policies that are accepted locally, and identify potential areas of conflict between land users and conservation objectives. In this study, we implemented a spatially-explicit method for eliciting public preferences for land use and conservation policy (web-based public participation GIS; PPGIS). We invited randomly selected local residents in two mountainous regions in Norway to map their preferences for consumptive resource use, motorized use, land development and predator-control. We assessed whether local communities favored or opposed these human activities in nearby protected areas using mixed-effects logistic regression and controlling for landscape characteristics, accessibility and demographics. Local residents strongly favored consumptive resource use and predator control regardless of protected area status, and were more likely to oppose than favor land development inside protected areas. These preferences are largely consistent with the present protected area policy in Norway and Europe that promotes traditional consumptive use and the maintenance of cultural landscapes, but restricts land development. Our results suggest that use-based framing of conservation is more likely to resonate with these communities than narratives tied to the preservation of pristine nature and emerging conservation ideas of the rewilding of nature. Mapped community preferences can be a valuable tool for policy makers and stakeholders representing community interests in participatory processes, and for assessing the local acceptance of alternative management actions within protected areas.
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The study examines the relationship between nature management and land use planning in order to balance nature protection and tourism development within and outside national park borders. Applying theory about local networks and social learning, we highlight how responsible actors coordinate in order to strike a balance between protection and tourism. Based on this study of a Norwegian coastal national park, we state that competent key individuals are crucial preconditions for fulfilling the management and planning objectives in a wider regional context. In our case study, such personnel within the national park management and municipal land use planning system serve as bridge builders between nature protection and tourism. However, we argue that the existing management system is very vulnerable, and an important implication of our study is that the present local network should be more firmly institutionalized in order to become sufficiently robust and resistant to changes.
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Spatial social data collected through participatory mapping are increasingly used to assess social dimensions for land use planning and management. However, there has been limited research to evaluate alternative approaches to identify potential land-use conflict. Using data from Queensland, Australia, we applied multiple approaches (land-use preferences, weighted preferences, combined place values and land-use preferences, and value compatibility scoring to identify land-use conflict potential and to assess these methods for four different land uses (residential development, tourism development, mining, and conservation). The performance of these approaches were evaluated using selected reference sites in the study area to determine which spatial attributes and methods were most predictive of conflict potential. Weighted preferences, and combined place values and land-use preferences were most effective for all land use types. The conflict mapping results for mining and conservation were sensitive to the number of place value and land-use preference points available for analysis and the number of individuals participating in the mapping process. To determine the inferential quality of conflict mapping results, we operationalised confidence levels based on the number of unique participants that mapped preferences in a given location. Overall, the highest confidence in mapped results was observed for tourism development, followed by mining, conservation, and residential development. Confidence levels varied across the study area and by reference sites. The findings of this study increase the external validity of preference-based conflict mapping methods while demonstrating a means to assess the inferential quality of conflict mapping results. The generation of confidence levels can assist in the prioritization and allocation of planning resources to places with both high conflict potential and high confidence.
Article
Methods have been proposed for identifying land use conflict potential using participatory mapping data and models. In a case study from Finland, we extend conflict mapping research by evaluating the capacity for participatory mapping to identify conflict for land uses that include mining, tourism development, commercial forestry, recreation, and nature protection. We evaluated two conflict models using reference sites where conflict was expected, and assessed whether conflict potential was influenced by participant social group (resident, visitor, holiday home owner). The conflict models correctly identified the locations of current and proposed mining projects and major tourism locations (ski areas) in the region, while conflict for commercial forestry and reindeer herding was spatially distributed. Preferences for land use by social group were more similar than different across the study region. Identification of conflict potential using participatory mapping can provide a useful planning diagnostic but would benefit from additional research for validation