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Does Environmental Interpretation Impact Public Ecological Flow Experience and Responsible Behavior? A Case Study of Potatso National Park, China

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Abstract

Being responsible for ensuring nature preservation, environmental interpretation raises peo�ple’s awareness of nature preservation as a form of public service, and enhance their environmentally responsible behavior. Based on the flow theory, this study proposes a conceptual model of environ�mental interpretation impacts on visit motivation, ecological experience, environmental attitudes, and environmental behaviors. Selecting the users (visitors) of environmental interpretation at Potatso National Park in Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, China, we obtained 568 valid questionnaires and used Amos software to analyze a structural equation model to verify the model. The results indicate that the environmental interpretation plays a significant role in enriching the public’s ecological experience, which is an intermediary variable in which visiting motivation influences environmental attitudes and guides environmentally responsible behavior. The research suggests that national parks should strengthen the environmental interpretation facilities experiential and available, and adjust the configuration of the existing interpretation media in the three-dimensional structure of theme, space, and time, considering the motivation of the public visits, enriching ecological experience, and inspiring service details.
Citation: Tang, T.; Zhao, M.;
Wang, D.; Chen, X.; Chen, W.; Xie, C.;
Ding, Y. Does Environmental
Interpretation Impact Public
Ecological Flow Experience and
Responsible Behavior? A Case Study
of Potatso National Park, China. Int.
J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19,
9630. https://doi.org/10.3390/
ijerph19159630
Academic Editor:
Sigrid Kusch-Brandt
Received: 20 June 2022
Accepted: 3 August 2022
Published: 5 August 2022
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International Journal of
Environmental Research
and Public Health
Article
Does Environmental Interpretation Impact Public Ecological
Flow Experience and Responsible Behavior? A Case Study of
Potatso National Park, China
Tiantian Tang 1, Minyan Zhao 2,*, Dan Wang 3,*, Xiangyu Chen 4, Wuqiang Chen 5, Chunwen Xie 6and Yan Ding 6
1College of Biodiversity Conservation, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China
2Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3School of International Chinese Language Education, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
4School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
5School of Economics and Management, Yunnan Forestry Technological College, Kunming 650224, China
6School of Geography and Ecotourism, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China
*Correspondence: zhaominyan@itpcas.ac.cn (M.Z.); wangdan_1026@126.com (D.W.);
Tel.: +86-010-84097121 (M.Z.); +86-13529012004 (D.W.)
Abstract:
Being responsible for ensuring nature preservation, environmental interpretation raises peo-
ple’s awareness of nature preservation as a form of public service, and enhance their environmentally
responsible behavior. Based on the flow theory, this study proposes a conceptual model of environ-
mental interpretation impacts on visit motivation, ecological experience, environmental attitudes,
and environmental behaviors. Selecting the users (visitors) of environmental interpretation at Potatso
National Park in Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, China, we obtained 568 valid questionnaires and
used Amos software to analyze a structural equation model to verify the model. The results indicate
that the environmental interpretation plays a significant role in enriching the public’s ecological
experience, which is an intermediary variable in which visiting motivation influences environmental
attitudes and guides environmentally responsible behavior. The research suggests that national parks
should strengthen the environmental interpretation facilities experiential and available, and adjust
the configuration of the existing interpretation media in the three-dimensional structure of theme,
space, and time, considering the motivation of the public visits, enriching ecological experience, and
inspiring service details.
Keywords:
ecological flow experience; environmental interpretation; recreational preferences; recre-
ational motivations; environmental education; environmentally responsible behavior; national
park; Potatso
1. Introduction
As an important part of China’s new system of natural protected areas, national parks
have a social function to provide education about nature and an ecological experience. The
ultimate goal of national parks is to promote nature preservation in protected areas. It is
also importance to guide the public in responsible behavior and participation in nature
preservation. National parks, as the main body in China’s natural protected areas system,
would provide environmental interpretation services and activities to improve education
and recreation function. Further clarifying the key points of the interaction among visit
motivation, ecological experience, and environmental behaviors will provide a scientific
basis for improving the nature preservation of national parks and the national well-being.
Environmental interpretation is a new comprehensive product in the field of interna-
tional experience and local exploration; it is a way to communicate information between the
supply side (national parks) and the demand side (the public). Free Tilden (1957) defined
the environmental interpretation as an education activity that aims to bring meaning and
relationship through use of original objectives, by firsthand experience with the resource or
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159630 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 2 of 17
by illustrative media, rather than simply to communicate factual information [
1
]. Dissemi-
nating natural and humanistic knowledge to the public through both non-personnel and
personnel media provides ecological flow experience to guide the public in acting responsi-
bly [
2
]. The establishment of environmental interpretation occurred late in China, so the
arrangement of facilities and services has not been sufficiently scientific, experiential, and
participatory. The reason for this lies in the fact that more attention was paid to the external
form rather than to the content. Most facilities are for display rather than for education and
lack key technology for the management of public behavior [
3
]. As an important protected
area, the development of environmental interpretation in national parks has become the
focus of public participation in parks’ management and protection [
4
]. At present, the role
of the public is actively changing from sightseers to participants, and as an auxiliary tool
in this process, the status and role of environmental interpretation are extremely impor-
tant [
5
]. However, most research on China’s environmental interpretation within national
parks has focused on building an evaluation index system and studying public satisfaction,
while most studies on ecological experience and responsible public behavior are simply
qualitative descriptions, with little quantitative analysis. Published research discussing the
relationship between and mechanisms of public ecological experience and environmentally
responsible behavior is scarce, so there is a strong need to strengthen research in this area
to provide a valuable reference for national park planning and policy making.
2. Research Review and Model Construction
2.1. Flow Theory
The American psychologist Csikszentmihalyi developed the concept of “flow”, which
refers to the subjective experience of public action based on intrinsic motivation, which
appears as high enjoyment, positivity, and all-out effort. The experience of flow can
improve the quality of participation [6] and make public behavior more meaningful [79].
The theory of flow has been widely used in “experiential” industries [
10
], extending to
education flow [
11
], and group flow [
12
]. Novak has suggested nine factors that create a
positive result and cause flow: skill, control, challenge, arousal, telepresence, time distortion
and exploratory behavior, focused attention, involvement, and interactivity [
13
]. Hamilton
points out that the first five (external) factors that Novak suggests create flow, while the
final four (internal) factors can be seen to represent the experience of flow [
14
]. Chinese
experts have divided these factors into three categories: condition, experience, and result
factors [
10
]. Many studies have shown that the condition of the flow is related to positive
results [
11
,
12
,
15
], and products designed based on the theory of flow can create a better
user experience and yield the best educational guidance effect [16,17].
This study uses the flow theory to explore the ecological flow experience that is created
when external factors for flow are available and is further promoted by the media, which
finally yields a positive result (see Figure 1). The public’s visit motivation corresponds
to the external factors, the media refers to environmental interpretation, and the flow
experience is produced by the internal factors resulting from the combined action of
attitude and behavior. This flow experience promotes the generation of public ecological
engagement and a positive environmental attitude, thus guiding the public in engaging in
responsible behavior.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x 3 of 18
Figure 1. Flow theory.
2.2. Hypothesis
As an external factor, environmental interpretation is a communication activity that is
frequently used as an information channel. Before visiting the park, the public can get in-
formation about various elements of the national park, including natural geographical fea-
tures (e.g., highland ecosystem) and human geographical features (e.g., nationality, cul-
ture, religion). Visitors may tend to be passive in their actual visit [18], so environmental
interpretation can play an important role in creating information exchange with visitors
and arousing their interest. Important measures of an ecological flow experience include
enjoying the beautiful scenery, satisfying ones curiosity, and gaining new knowledge. Af-
ter visiting a national park, ecological experiences can lead the public to pay attention to
environmental issues, support public reflection on these issues, and eventually lead to re-
sponsible behaviors [19]. Studies on flow consider different factors, and the interaction be-
tween an ecological experience guided by environmental interpretation and responsible
behavior is weak. Studies on the interaction of the public’s national park visit motivation
and responsible behavior remain limited, so further studies are needed to test the validity
and necessity of incorporating environmental interpretation in national parks.
Based on the theory of flow, this paper explores ecological experience and outlines
the hypotheses developed in the following sections.
2.2.1. Visit Motivation Enhances the Validity of Environmental Interpretation
Motivation is the factor that prompts the public to visit a place. Based on Dann’s
push–pull theory, the wish to visit is an internal driving factor (push), while the destina-
tion is an external attraction (pull), and the interaction between the two forms the push-
pull motivation [20]. Evasion and pursuit are another two motivating factors [21]. There
are seven types of socio-psychological push motivation, including escaping from a
mundane environment, self-discovery and self-evaluation, relaxation, prestige, return,
enhancing parental relationships, and enhancing one’s social network. In addition to
these, pull motivations can be driven by factors like curiosity, education [22]; less pollu-
tion, noise, and pressure [23]; enjoying the peace and quiet [24]; and spiritual and re-
gional needs [25]. Scholars have suggested that emotional communication [5], personal
hobbies and networking, being close to nature and relaxing [26], and gaining friendship
and knowledge [27] are the main reasons for the public to travel. Additional sources of
motivations can be focused on spiritual and cultural aspects, adventure, leisure [28], lit-
erature [29], film [30] and the arts [31], while a child’s education is often the most im-
portant motivation in parent–child tourism.
Summarizing the previous literature and using the extended model of flow theory,
the internal will to visit motivates the public to take part in environmental interpreta-
tion, which satisfies their curiosity and provides new knowledge. Willingness to partici-
pate and frequency of interaction therefore increase. Enjoyment includes a sense of
freshness or accomplishment, and when one’s expectations are achieved or surpassed,
the experience of flow occurs. Deep involvement promotes ecological experiences that
Figure 1. Flow theory.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 3 of 17
2.2. Hypothesis
As an external factor, environmental interpretation is a communication activity that
is frequently used as an information channel. Before visiting the park, the public can get
information about various elements of the national park, including natural geographical
features (e.g., highland ecosystem) and human geographical features (e.g., nationality,
culture, religion). Visitors may tend to be passive in their actual visit [
18
], so environmental
interpretation can play an important role in creating information exchange with visitors
and arousing their interest. Important measures of an ecological flow experience include
enjoying the beautiful scenery, satisfying one’s curiosity, and gaining new knowledge.
After visiting a national park, ecological experiences can lead the public to pay attention
to environmental issues, support public reflection on these issues, and eventually lead to
responsible behaviors [
19
]. Studies on flow consider different factors, and the interaction
between an ecological experience guided by environmental interpretation and responsible
behavior is weak. Studies on the interaction of the public’s national park visit motivation
and responsible behavior remain limited, so further studies are needed to test the validity
and necessity of incorporating environmental interpretation in national parks.
Based on the theory of flow, this paper explores ecological experience and outlines the
hypotheses developed in the following sections.
2.2.1. Visit Motivation Enhances the Validity of Environmental Interpretation
Motivation is the factor that prompts the public to visit a place. Based on Dann’s
push–pull theory, the wish to visit is an internal driving factor (push), while the destination
is an external attraction (pull), and the interaction between the two forms the push-pull
motivation [
20
]. Evasion and pursuit are another two motivating factors [
21
]. There are
seven types of socio-psychological push motivation, including escaping from a mundane
environment, self-discovery and self-evaluation, relaxation, prestige, return, enhancing
parental relationships, and enhancing one’s social network. In addition to these, pull
motivations can be driven by factors like curiosity, education [
22
]; less pollution, noise,
and pressure [
23
]; enjoying the peace and quiet [
24
]; and spiritual and regional needs [
25
].
Scholars have suggested that emotional communication [
5
], personal hobbies and network-
ing, being close to nature and relaxing [
26
], and gaining friendship and knowledge [
27
]
are the main reasons for the public to travel. Additional sources of motivations can be
focused on spiritual and cultural aspects, adventure, leisure [
28
], literature [
29
], film [
30
]
and the arts [
31
], while a child’s education is often the most important motivation in
parent–child tourism.
Summarizing the previous literature and using the extended model of flow theory,
the internal will to visit motivates the public to take part in environmental interpretation,
which satisfies their curiosity and provides new knowledge. Willingness to participate
and frequency of interaction therefore increase. Enjoyment includes a sense of freshness or
accomplishment, and when one’s expectations are achieved or surpassed, the experience of
flow occurs. Deep involvement promotes ecological experiences that lead to a change in
perception and positive outcomes. Accordingly, we developed Hypothesis 1 and 2:
Hypothesis 1 (H1). Visit motivation will have a positive effect on ecological flow experience.
Hypothesis 2 (H2). Visit motivation will have a positive effect on responsible behavior.
2.2.2. Environmental Interpretation Promotes the Ecological Flow Experience
The ecological experience is an important component that could further influence
memory, including nature knowledge, local culture, entertainment, and relaxation [32,33].
There is already agreement on the importance of connecting resources and the public’s
psychological experience, and environmental interpretation is trying to connect the two in
different ways, which is an important way for the public to enhance cognition, enrich their
ecological experience, and improve satisfaction. A satisfactory ecological experience greatly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 4 of 17
enhances public perception [
27
], and public perception directly influences responsible
behavior. Higher satisfaction, perception, and participation could promote a public sense of
environmental protection and lead to responsible behavior [
28
]. Environmental interpreta-
tion is used to deepen the public’s perception and appreciation of natural and socio-cultural
resources, as well as improving their experience and influencing their thinking and be-
havior [29,30]. Environmental interpretation can be regarded as the core of leisure system
planning, as it enriches the ecological experience [
31
], promotes a stable ecological ethical
concept, and influences behavior [34]. Based on this idea, Hypothesis 3 is proposed:
Hypothesis 3 (H3). Ecological flow experience will have a positive influence on responsible behavior.
2.2.3. Ecological Flow Experience Improves Environmental Attitude
Environmental attitude is a psychological concept [
35
] that reflects an individual’s con-
cern for the environment, dependence on terrestrial resources, and humanity’s behavior and
power to transform the environment [
36
]. Effective environmental interpretation adds an
emotional component to interpretation, making it possible for the public to be satisfied with
the landscape learning experience and building an emotional connection with the landscape,
which leads to local attachment and a desire to ensure environmental protection [
37
,
38
],
thus raising awareness of resource conservation [
39
]. This educational function improves
the public’s thinking and the quality of ecological experience, as well as effectively leading
and managing public behavior [40,41]. Based on these ideas, Hypothesis 4 is proposed:
Hypothesis 4 (H4).
Ecological flow experience will have a positive effect on environmental attitude.
2.2.4. Environmental Attitude Promotes Responsible Behavior
According to the theory of reasoned action, attitudes can consciously influence indi-
vidual behavior. After participating in an environmental interpretation activity, 79% of
the public have a positive attitude change, and responsible behavior can be seen in 50%
of them [
42
]. This suggests that focused interpretation can effectively change attitudes
and intentions related to protective behavior [
43
]. The environmental attitude involves
belief and emotion [
44
], which makes it a long-term psychological reaction. Environmental
attitude can, to some extent, affect responsible behavior [
45
]. Accordingly, Hypothesis 5 is
put forward:
Hypothesis 5 (H5). Environmental attitude will have a positive effect on responsible behavior.
2.2.5. Ecological Flow Experience Mediates Motivation, Attitude, and Behavior
Environmental interpretation can enrich the ecological flow experience and have a
positive effect on environmental attitudes, while also decreasing adverse environmental
behaviors [
46
,
47
]. The ecological flow experience is affected by environmental interpreta-
tion media, how well the interpretation content is understood, and the interaction between
environmental attitude and willingness to engage in responsible behavior [
3
]. The interpre-
tative content related to the environmental experience could indirectly affect the public’s
environmental attitude and behavioral tendency, which confirms that environmental in-
terpretation services can promote the development of ecological experience [
48
52
]. Thus,
two hypotheses are put forward:
Hypothesis 6 (H6).
Ecological flow experience will mediate the influence of visiting motivation on
responsible behavior.
Hypothesis 7 (H7).
Ecological flow experience will mediate the influence of visiting motivation on
environmental attitudes and guiding responsible behaviors.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 5 of 17
2.3. Conceptual Structure Model
Based on a review of the relevant literature and flow theory, we consider four variables—
visiting motivation, ecological flow experience, environmental attitude, and responsible
behavior—under the premise that environmental interpretation in a national park is in ef-
fect. Seven hypotheses were proposed, and a model for the concepts was built (see Figure 2).
The solid lines in the figure indicate the five direct relationships hypothesized, and the
dashed lines indicate the two hypothesized mediation relationships. Among the Hypothe-
ses, H1 and H5 have already been confirmed, while the theoretical
Hypotheses 2, 3, and 4
and mediation effect Hypotheses 6 and 7 are the focus of this study.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x 5 of 18
2.2.5. Ecological Flow Experience Mediates Motivation, Attitude, and Behavior
Environmental interpretation can enrich the ecological flow experience and have a
positive effect on environmental attitudes, while also decreasing adverse environmental
behaviors [46,47]. The ecological flow experience is affected by environmental interpre-
tation media, how well the interpretation content is understood, and the interaction be-
tween environmental attitude and willingness to engage in responsible behavior [3]. The
interpretative content related to the environmental experience could indirectly affect the
public’s environmental attitude and behavioral tendency, which confirms that environ-
mental interpretation services can promote the development of ecological experience
[48–52]. Thus, two hypotheses are put forward:
Hypothesis 6 (H6). Ecological flow experience will mediate the influence of visiting motivation
on responsible behavior.
Hypothesis 7 (H7). Ecological flow experience will mediate the influence of visiting motivation
on environmental attitudes and guiding responsible behaviors.
2.3. Conceptual Structure Model
Based on a review of the relevant literature and flow theory, we consider four vari-
ables—visiting motivation, ecological flow experience, environmental attitude, and re-
sponsible behavior—under the premise that environmental interpretation in a national
park is in effect. Seven hypotheses were proposed, and a model for the concepts was
built (see Figure 2). The solid lines in the figure indicate the five direct relationships hy-
pothesized, and the dashed lines indicate the two hypothesized mediation relationships.
Among the Hypotheses, H1 and H5 have already been confirmed, while the theoretical
Hypotheses 2, 3, and 4 and mediation effect Hypotheses 6 and 7 are the focus of this
study.
Figure 2. Conceptual model.
Two research goals are proposed: first, to test the hypothesis that environmental in-
terpretation can enrich public ecological flow experiences and have a positive effect on
promoting environmental attitudes and responsible behaviors; second, based on ques-
tionnaire data, to use a structural equation model (SEM) to test the interaction among
Figure 2. Conceptual model.
Two research goals are proposed: first, to test the hypothesis that environmental inter-
pretation can enrich public ecological flow experiences and have a positive effect on pro-
moting environmental attitudes and responsible behaviors; second, based on questionnaire
data, to use a structural equation model (SEM) to test the interaction among public visit
motivation, ecological flow experience, environmental attitude, and responsible behavior.
3. Research Methods
3.1. Case Study
Potatso National Park, Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, is located at the core hinterland
of the “three parallel rivers” natural world heritage site, which is the location of one of
the trails for China’s national park system (see Figure 3). The park covers a total area of
602.1 square kilometers, combining mountain meadows, lakes, snow-covered mountains,
primeval forests, and geological relics. It features folk customs, a distinctive religious
culture, biodiversity, landscape diversity, and cultural diversity as a whole, and is famous
for its uniqueness, which gives the park a very high protection and display value.
There are two reasons Potatso National Park was chosen for the case study. First, the
planning and building of environmental interpretation in the park started early around 2006,
and the related facilities and services have been gradually implemented. Various media
have been included in the park at present, and the public has praised the available service.
Environmental interpretation in the park involves both personnel and non-personnel in-
terpretation. Personnel interpretation mainly appears in the ecological science exhibition
area and along the shuttle bus trail, including pictures, sand tables, freehand sketching,
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 6 of 17
video, and real-item reproductions. Non-personnel interpretation includes visitor centers,
interpretive panels, narrative brochures, videos, navigation maps, and smartphone applica-
tions. The visitor center provides easy-travel brochures, which concentrates the content of
other narrative brochures, including public notices, a park overview, traffic advice, infor-
mation on Lake Shudu lake, Militang, Bitahai lake, recommendations for visiting in the
four different seasons, and an introduction to the plants and animals in the park. All kinds
of signs in the park are relatively complete, with video and audio commentary always
on display, and the studio is regularly open. Second, after a preliminary investigation,
Potatso National Park opened Lake Shudu to the public starting on 3 September 2017,
and to enhance public experience, five new routes were built around the lake. Under this
condition of limited open resources, making full use of environmental interpretation to
support natural education, promote the public ecological experience, and guide responsible
behavior has become the key challenge and goal of Potatso national park.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x 6 of 18
public visit motivation, ecological flow experience, environmental attitude, and respon-
sible behavior.
3. Research Methods
3.1. Case Study
Potatso National Park, Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, is located at the core hinter-
land of the “three parallel rivers” natural world heritage site, which is the location of one
of the trails for Chinas national park system (see Figure 3). The park covers a total area
of 602.1 square kilometers, combining mountain meadows, lakes, snow-covered moun-
tains, primeval forests, and geological relics. It features folk customs, a distinctive reli-
gious culture, biodiversity, landscape diversity, and cultural diversity as a whole, and is
famous for its uniqueness, which gives the park a very high protection and display val-
ue.
Figure 3. Geographical location of Potatso National Park.
There are two reasons Potatso National Park was chosen for the case study. First,
the planning and building of environmental interpretation in the park started early
around 2006, and the related facilities and services have been gradually implemented.
Various media have been included in the park at present, and the public has praised the
available service. Environmental interpretation in the park involves both personnel and
non-personnel interpretation. Personnel interpretation mainly appears in the ecological
science exhibition area and along the shuttle bus trail, including pictures, sand tables,
freehand sketching, video, and real-item reproductions. Non-personnel interpretation
includes visitor centers, interpretive panels, narrative brochures, videos, navigation
Figure 3. Geographical location of Potatso National Park.
3.2. Questionnaire Design and Distribution
The questionnaire design was divided into three stages. In stage one, the test ques-
tionnaire was designed and distributed, which yielded the initial questionnaire after an
initial adjustment to and deletion of some of the original questions. After different routes
were investigated and visitors were interviewed, the questionnaire was then adjusted a
second time. Three managers from Potatso National Park and three scholars in the field
were then invited to analyze the suitability of the questions. In stage two, 100 copies of the
revised questionnaire were distributed and collected in the park in a pilot study. Based on
the actual feedback from the public, the content of the questionnaire was further revised
and the final version of the questionnaire was established. In stage three, the four-month
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 7 of 17
questionnaire survey was launched. In addition, three scholars who specializing in envi-
ronmental interpretation and park recreation were invited to revise and improve items of
the questionnaires.
The questions were grouped into two parts. The first part included visit motiva-
tion, ecological flow experience, environmental attitude, and responsible behavior, with
47 questions
in total. A third of the items were drawn from the existing literature (see
Table 1). Other choices, especially those choices referring to environmental interpretation,
were designed according to the actual conditions in the park. The second part gathered
information on nine demographic characteristics: gender, age, residence, province, educa-
tion, nationality, religion, career, and income. Questions on the visit characteristics were
also included, including the mode of visiting, time of visit, whether the respondent has
ever worked as a volunteer, how many visits have been made, and whether the respondent
has visited other national parks. The questions were answered on a five-point Likert scale,
ranging from 1, fully consistent, to 5, completely inconsistent.
Table 1. Reference list for questionnaire items.
Reference Author Reference Choice
ZHAO Minyan (2019) [2]AQ12 Learn about the natural environment
AQ15 Socialize
LIU Chuanan (2016) [53]AQ13 Enhance emotional communication with relatives
and friends
SONG Qiu (2008) [5] AQ14 Work requirement
LIU Weifeng (2011) [54]
CQ1 More environmental interpretations are important
CQ6 Polluting the environment is immoral
CQ8 Biodiversity and wildlife depend on human awareness of
environmental protection
DQ1 I am willing to participate in environmental interpretation
DQ7 I will not throw trash in the park
YU Yong (2010) [55]CQ2 The ecological environment is vulnerable
CQ3 Humanity is part of the natural ecological environment
LUO Fen (2011) [56]CQ4 Human activities do not have much effect on the
natural environment
HONG Xueting (2018) [34]CQ5 Animals, plants, and humans can coexist harmoniously
in nature
LI Hongjun (2018) [57]DQ4 I will encourage others to take actions that are good for the
park environment
DONG Xin (2018) [58] DQ10 I will not smoke in non-smoking areas of national parks
3.3. Data Collection
The questionnaire was conducted with visitors of Potatso National Park via conve-
nience sampling. Two points were set up in the park and at the shopping rest area outside
the park for questionnaire collection. The respondents were sampled through a systematic
sampling method that chose one out of every 20 visitors. The questionnaire was distributed
to any member of the public who was willing to fill out the questionnaire; all respondents
were given appropriate instructions. Completed questionnaires were collected on site.
Visitors who were members of a group should not take up more than one-third of the total
number of respondents. As Potatso is located in the Tibetan Plateau, where it is snowy
during the other months of the year, visitors are not allowed to enter the national park
from October to May. The survey lasted from June to September 2019, when visitors were
allowed to enter the national park. The visiting hours for Potatso National Park are 9:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. The average time spent in the park varies between 1 and 3 h depending on the
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 8 of 17
route chosen. The survey period was therefore set as: 10:30–12:30 a.m. and
14:00–18:00 p.m.
July and August form the peak season, during summer vacation. In total, 750 question-
naires were distributed, and 630 were actually collected. A total of
568 questionnaires
were
valid, with an effective response rate of 90% (see Table 2).
Table 2. Sample demographic characteristics.
Item Category Number Percentage (%) Item Category Number Percentage (%)
Gender Male 228 40.1
Career
Student 224 39.4
Female 340 59.9 Teacher/Technician 94 16.6
Age
18 and below 146 25.7 Official 28 4.9
19–30 193 34 Public service 47 8.3
31–45 172 30.3 Company employee 93 16.4
46–60 50 8.8 Farmer/worker 15 2.6
More than 60 7 1.2 Retired 7 1.2
Residence
Big cities 238 41.9 Other 60 10.6
Small and
medium-sized cities 291 51.2
Income
<3000 74 13
Rural area 39 6.9 3000–5000 211 37.1
Province
Yunnan 64 11.3 5000–10,000 146 25.7
Outer Yunnan 470 82.8 10,000–15,000 97 17.1
Overseas 34 5.9 15,000–20,000 14 2.5
Education Junior high and below 123 21.6 >20,000 26 4.6
Senior high/Secondary
school 94 16.6 Time of travel Winter/summer
vacation 408 71.8
Junior col-
lege/Undergraduate 291 51.2 Labor Day holiday 38 6.7
Postgraduate and
above 60 10.6 National Day holiday 30 5.3
Nationality
Han 438 77.1 Spring Festival 20 3.5
Tibetan 10 1.8 Other 72 12.7
Other 120 21.1 Mode of travel Alone 42 7.4
Religion
Buddhism 102 18 With family 357 62.8
Christian 10 1.7 With colleagues 118 20.8
Other 17 3 Package tour 51 9
None 439 77.3 Ever visited
other national
parks
Yes 448 78.9
Number of
visits
The first time 506 89.1 No 120 21.1
The second time 57 10 Ever worked
as a volunteer
Yes 201 35.4
More than twice 5 0.9 No 367 64.6
4. Research Result and Analysis
4.1. Reliability and Validity Analysis
4.1.1. Reliability Analysis
As shown in Table 3, the data from the scale of how environmental interpretation in
the national park promotes public experience and responsible behavior met the ideal fitting
standard, and the overall fit is good, which proves that the division into four dimensions is
reasonable, the design of measurement items is reasonable and effective, and the internal
consistency of the scale is high. The necessary conditions for validity analysis are thus met.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 9 of 17
Table 3. Overall adaptability of the scale.
Fitness Index c2/df GFI AGFI NFI TLI CFI RMSEA SRMR
Fitting standard 30.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.08 0.05
Test model 2.245 0.908 0.886 0.85 0.897 0.91 0.05 0.051
Fitting situation Ideal Ideal Fairly ideal Fairly ideal Fairly ideal Ideal Ideal Fairly ideal
Note: goodness of fit index (GFI), adjusted goodness of fit index (AGFI), normed fit index (NFI), Tucker–Lewis
index (TLI), root mean square error approximation (RMSEA), standardized root mean square residual (SRMR).
4.1.2. Validity Analysis
For confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test the four dimensions, see Table 4. All
dimensions have a composite reliability (CR) between 0.6 and 0.8; when CR is larger than
0.6, the validity is believed to be high. The standard level for factor loading is >0.5; the
ideal figure is >0.7, and 75% of factor loadings in the parameter list are higher than 0.7,
showing good aggregation among the four dimensions. All dimensions have an average
variance extracted (AVE) higher than 0.5, indicating good convergent validity. The validity
for the four dimensions meets the standards for research.
Table 4. Confirmatory factor analysis of four dimensions.
Dimension Parameter Standard Load
Coefficient Reliability Cronbach’s Alpha CR AVE
Visit motivation Curiosity of nature 0.626 0.392 0.742 0.709 0.555
Experience nature 0.847 0.717
Ecological experience flow
Participatory experience
0.580 0.336 0.699 0.695 0.542
Reflective experience 0.865 0.748
Environmental attitude Human 0.823 0.677
Environmental
protection 0.912 0.832 0.791 0.860 0.755
Responsible
behavior
General behavior 0.776 0.602
Specific behavior 0.768 0.590 0.819 0.747 0.596
Note: Composite reliability (CR); average variance extracted (AVE).
As shown in Table 5, the standard load coefficients for all items are between 0.5 and
0.91, showing good aggregation, so each item reflects its dimension well. It is generally
considered reliable when the Cronbach’s alpha is higher than 0.6, and according to the
table, these are from 0.69 to 0.9 for all items, while all items have a CR from 0.7 to 0.9,
indicating high reliability for the items. For five items, the AVE is greater than 0.4, which is
rather low, and three are between 0.55 and 0.92, but the AVE of the second order variables
is higher than 0.5 and shows a fairly good fit to the model. The validity level of each item
in the judgment scale meets the research requirements.
Table 5. Parameters of item confirmatory factor analysis.
Parameter Standard Load
Coefficient Reliability Cronbach’s Alpha CR AVE
Curiosity of nature 0.716 0.722 0.467
How Tibetan herdsmen make a living in
the park 0.669 0.448
Watch life scenes of Tibetan herdsmen 0.762 0.581
Observe unique plateau animals and plants 0.609 0.371
Experience nature 0.692 0.706 0.448
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 10 of 17
Table 5. Cont.
Parameter Standard Load
Coefficient Reliability Cronbach’s Alpha CR AVE
Enjoy mysterious highland scenery 0.713 0.508
Experience primeval forest on plateau 0.725 0.526
Feel the virgin forest without pollution 0.556 0.309
Participatory experience 0.718 0.727 0.405
The explanatory brochure gave me an
overview of Potatso (geology, flora and fauna,
ecosystem, transportation, scenic
spot information)
0.629 0.396
Popular science helped me understand how
the park formed and evolved, biodiversity
information, traditional Tibetan cultural life,
and religious ideas
0.788 0.621
Interpreters introduced the functions and
development of the national park, the concept
of protection, the meaning of the name of the
scenic spot and resource types, animal and
plant information, fairy tales, and tour routes
0.540 0.292
The explanatory board informed me about the
scenic area animal and plant information,
route instructions, scenic spot overview, guide
protection behavior, and
environmental knowledge
0.558 0.311
Reflective experience 0.706 0.719 0.464
The park has beautiful scenery
and precious resources 0.594 0.353
The new knowledge satisfied my curiosity. I
was impressed by the ecological environment
and biological information in the park
0.783 0.613
I have merged into nature, and feel the
harmony between humanity and ecology 0.652 0.425
Human 0.731 0.737 0.484
Environmental awareness promotes
sustainable development 0.755 0.570
Environmental pollution affects
human development 0.644 0.415
Destroying the environment is not good for
human development 0.683 0.466
Environmental protection 0.734 0.736 0.582
Primeval forests need to be protected 0.765 0.585
Human awareness of environmental
protection is conducive to promoting
biodiversity and protecting wildlife
0.761 0.579
General behavior 0.749 0.786 0.553
I am aware of people around me destroying
the environment 0.676 0.457
I encourage others to take actions that are
good for the environment 0.849 0.721
I am willing to promote wildlife protection
to others 0.693 0.480
Specific behavior 0.9 0.904 0.826
I won’t throw litter in the park 0.911 0.830
I won’t hurt the plants in the park 0.906 0.821
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 11 of 17
4.2. Theoretical Hypothesis Verification
4.2.1. Model Fit Test
The structural equation model of second-order factors was established according to the
theoretical model for the influence process of national park environmental interpretation on
the promotion of public experience and responsible behavior. The data from the
568 valid
questionnaires were imported into the model, and standardized path coefficients were
calculated, as shown in Figure 4.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x 12 of 18
Figure 4. Final structural model.
Experience nature (standardized path coefficient 0.85) is the most significant factor
for visit motivation, and curiosity about nature is the second. The stronger the motiva-
tion to experience nature, the more willing the public is to appreciate the mysterious
primeval forest scenery and breathe unpolluted air, so they are thus more likely visit the
park. The more curious they are about nature, the more willing they are to watch the
lives of herdsmen who live in harmony with nature and observe rare animals and plants
on the plateau.
Reflective experience (standardized path coefficient 0.86) is the most significant fac-
tor for ecological experience, and participatory experience is the second. The higher the
efficiency of environmental interpretation, the more obvious the public’s experience of
the beautiful scenery, precious resources, new knowledge, and the harmony between
humanity and ecology in the national park. The higher the usage of environmental in-
terpretation, the more the public can gain related to national park geology and geomor-
phology, biodiversity information, Tibetan culture and religion, and other physical geo-
graphical and human geographical knowledge.
Environmental protection (standardized path coefficient 0.91) is the most significant
factor for responsible behavior, and specific behavior is the second. Not littering or pick-
ing plants in national parks are the most notable examples of responsible behavior. The
public has become more sensitive to actions that damage the environment, and their
willingness to promote the protection of wildlife and encourage others to act responsibly
has increased significantly.
As shown in Table 6, the overall fit of the final model is acceptable, as shown by the
following criteria: goodness of fit index (GFI) = 0.919, adjusted goodness of fit index
(AGFI) = 0.898 0.9, normed fit index (NFI) = 0.885 0.9, Tucker–Lewis index TLI =
0.921, comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.932; three of these are higher than the average re-
quirements, showing that the model obtained is ideal and has a good degree of fit. Fur-
ther demonstration should not separate the path coefficients for visit motivation, ecolog-
ical experience, environmental attitude, and responsible behavior. Rather, public visit
motivation should join curiosity about nature, in combination with their willingness to
experience nature; public ecological experience should be formed with participatory ex-
perience combining reflective experience. Public environmental attitude should be
formed with environmental protection combining human development, and public re-
sponsible behavior should be formed with specific behavior combining general behav-
ior.
Figure 4. Final structural model.
Experience nature (standardized path coefficient 0.85) is the most significant factor
for visit motivation, and curiosity about nature is the second. The stronger the motivation
to experience nature, the more willing the public is to appreciate the mysterious primeval
forest scenery and breathe unpolluted air, so they are thus more likely visit the park. The
more curious they are about nature, the more willing they are to watch the lives of herdsmen
who live in harmony with nature and observe rare animals and plants on the plateau.
Reflective experience (standardized path coefficient 0.86) is the most significant factor
for ecological experience, and participatory experience is the second. The higher the
efficiency of environmental interpretation, the more obvious the public’s experience of the
beautiful scenery, precious resources, new knowledge, and the harmony between humanity
and ecology in the national park. The higher the usage of environmental interpretation, the
more the public can gain related to national park geology and geomorphology, biodiversity
information, Tibetan culture and religion, and other physical geographical and human
geographical knowledge.
Environmental protection (standardized path coefficient 0.91) is the most significant
factor for responsible behavior, and specific behavior is the second. Not littering or picking
plants in national parks are the most notable examples of responsible behavior. The
public has become more sensitive to actions that damage the environment, and their
willingness to promote the protection of wildlife and encourage others to act responsibly
has increased significantly.
As shown in Table 6, the overall fit of the final model is acceptable, as shown by
the following criteria: goodness of fit index (GFI) = 0.919, adjusted goodness of fit index
(AGFI) = 0.898
0.9, normed fit index (NFI) = 0.885
0.9, Tucker–Lewis index TLI = 0.921,
comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.932; three of these are higher than the average requirements,
showing that the model obtained is ideal and has a good degree of fit. Further demonstra-
tion should not separate the path coefficients for visit motivation, ecological experience,
environmental attitude, and responsible behavior. Rather, public visit motivation should
join curiosity about nature, in combination with their willingness to experience nature;
public ecological experience should be formed with participatory experience combining
reflective experience. Public environmental attitude should be formed with environmental
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 12 of 17
protection combining human development, and public responsible behavior should be
formed with specific behavior combining general behavior.
Table 6. Overall fitting index of the second-order factor model.
Fitting Index c2/df GFI AGFI NFI TLI CFI RMSEA SRMR
Fitting standard 30.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.08 0.05
Test model 2.264 0.919 0.898 0.885 0.921 0.932 0.05 0.057
Fitting condition Ideal Ideal Fairly ideal Fairly ideal Ideal Ideal Ideal Fairly ideal
Note: goodness of fit index (GFI), adjusted goodness of fit index (AGFI), normed fit index (NFI), Tucker–Lewis
index (TLI), root mean square error approximation (RMSEA), standardized root mean square residual (SRMR).
4.2.2. Direct Effect Test
The standardized path coefficients were calculated by importing the valid question-
naire data. The interactions among visit motivation, ecological flow experience, environmen-
tal attitude, and responsible behavior were tested, as shown in Table 7.
Hypothesis 1, 4 and 5
were supported, while Hypothesis 2 and 3 were not.
Table 7. Second-order factor model normalization path.
Hypothesis Estimate SE CR pResult
Hypothesis 1 (H1). Visit motivation will have a positive
effect on ecological flow experience.0.473 0.084 5.631 *** True
Hypothesis 2 (H2). Visit motivation will have a positive
effect on responsible behavior.0.256 0.362 0.153 0.147 False
Hypothesis 3 (H3). Ecological flow experience will have a
positive influence on responsible behavior.0.037 0.248 0.141 0.88 False
Hypothesis 4 (H4). Ecological flow experience will have a
positive effect on environmental attitude.0.773 0.137 5.651 *** True
Hypothesis 5 (H5). Environmental attitude will have a
positive effect on responsible behavior.0.635 0.081 7.818 *** True
Note: Standard error (SE),Critical ration (CR), Significance (P), p< 0.001 (***).
Hypothesis 1 is supported: visit motivation has a significant and positive effect
on ecological flow experience. The estimated path coefficient is 0.473, indicating that
an increase of visiting motivation by 1 unit can directly promote the improvement of
environmental interpretation of the ecological flow experience by 0.473 units.
Hypothesis 2 is not supported: the p-value is 0.147, and the estimated path coefficient is
0.256, showing that visit motivation does not have a significant impact on public responsible
behavior, which means that visit motivation does not directly affect public responsible
behavior.
Hypothesis 3 is not supported: the p-value is 0.88, which is greater than 0.05, and
the estimated path coefficient is 0.037, showing that ecological flow experience does not
have a significant impact on public responsible behavior, which means that ecological flow
experience does not directly affect public responsible behavior.
Hypothesis 4 is supported: the p-value is smaller than 0.05, and the estimated path
coefficient is 0.773, indicating that ecological flow experience has a significant and posi-
tive effect on public environmental attitude, and an increase of 1 unit of ecological flow
experience can directly improve environmental attitude by 0.773 units.
Hypothesis 5 is supported: public environmental attitude has a significant and pos-
itive effect on responsible behavior. The estimated path coefficient is 0.635, indicating
that a 1-unit increase in environmental attitude promotes an increase of 0.635 units of
responsible behavior.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 13 of 17
4.2.3. Mediating Effect Test
This study hypothesized two mediating effects: Hypothesis 6, ecological flow experi-
ence mediates the influence of visit motivation on responsible behavior; and Hypothesis
7, ecological flow experience mediates the influence of visit motivation on environmental
attitudes and guiding responsible behaviors. The analysis verified that Hypothesis 6 is not
supported, while Hypothesis 7 is supported, as shown in Table 8.
Table 8. Intermediate effect test.
Estimate SE Lower Upper pResult
Hypothesis 6 (H6).Visit
motivation—ecological flow
experience—responsible behavior.
0.018 0.331 0.631 0.417 0.903 False
Hypothesis 7 (H7).Visit
motivation—ecological flow
experience—environmental
attitude—responsible behavior.
0.232 0.074 0.137 0.442 0.000 True
Note: Standard error (SE), significance (P).
Hypothesis 6 is not supported: the p-value is 0.903, indicating ecological flow expe-
rience cannot be a mediating variable for the influence of visit motivation on responsible
behavior. In other words, visit motivation does not influence public responsible behavior
through ecological experience.
Hypothesis 7 is supported: the pvalue is 0.000, which is smaller than 0.05. The mediat-
ing effect path is valid, and the ecological flow experience is the mediating variable for the
influence of visit motivation on environmental attitude and responsible behavior. This con-
clusion proves that, under the influence of visit motivation, environmental interpretation in
the national park is necessary and indispensable to enrich the public ecological experience
and stimulate the public’s environmental attitude and responsible behavior. Overall, envi-
ronmental interpretation enriches the public ecological flow experience, leading to changes
in environmental attitude, which in turn affects the public’s responsible behavior.
5. Discussion and Conclusions
5.1. Discussion
According to the survey, the public thinks that environmental interpretation is im-
portant, and they are willing to engage with it as a service. Managers should consider
personnel and non-personnel environmental interpretation mediums. To further enrich the
public ecological experience, the park should promote the effective use of APP, integrating
manuals, environmental interpretation content from popular science areas, and interpre-
tative activities, as well as condensing the theme on the structure of nature, humanity,
and behavior. This would allow the deepening of the interpretative focus on how human
activities affect the earth’s ecological environment and sustainable development, which
would promote the formation of public environmental attitudes in a multi-dimensional
way within a limited time and space. Park managers should strengthen the cultivation of
public ecological awareness, as well as the distinction between environmentally damaging
and responsible behaviors. The research suggest that managers could promote a public
platform that is regularly updated with short videos and pictures to publicize activities
for science popularization and environmental education. This could include, for example,
appealing wildlife scenes (e.g., staff in Potatso National Park helped a wild bear living
in a primitive forest in August 2019) or interesting videos in the park. This would create
positive memories and provide the public a chance to reflect and establish place attachment.
Park managers should also define the spatial dimension structures of point, line, plane,
and net, and refine the time dimension structures of peak and low peak periods to better
oversee public visits.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 14 of 17
5.2. Limitation
Field work and a survey were carried out in Potatso National Park in this study, and
the data were analyzed using structural equation modeling in AMOS software. Important
results were obtained, but there are still some areas that could be further improved. First,
the survey was carried out during one year, and a comprehensive survey of the public in
several years may be sound to understand visitors’ motivation and experience. Second,
reduced space was available for visiting because Potatso National Park was in a pilot reform
period and had been affected by COVID-19, and some interpretive points were closed at
the time of the survey. The service scope of environmental interpretation was passively
reduced, and the opportunity for ecological experience was slightly decreased. Future
studies could undertake public surveys in different seasons to track the upgrading of the
environmental interpretation facilities and services over a wider area, providing a valuable
reference for the construction of Potatso National Park. Third, similar studies should be
conducted on environmental interpretation in other national parks, and the moderating
effects of different classification variables on the promotion of public ecological experiences
and responsible behavior should be analyzed.
5.3. Conclusions
This study proposes seven theoretical hypotheses and establishes theoretical models
of the variables of visiting motivation, ecological flow experience, environmental attitude,
and responsible behavior, under the premise that environmental interpretation in a national
park is in effect. The data were collected from 568 visitors at Potatso National Park during
four months in 2019. The structural equation modeling findings reveal the key factors and
effect paths of promoting visitors’ ecological flow experience and impact on environmental
attitude and responsible behavior at the national park. The results presented the total
impact on the promotion of the public’s responsible behavior including the direct impact
and indirect impact. Based on the above analysis, we could reach three conclusions.
First, visit motivation directly improves the ecological flow experience, but does not
directly stimulate responsible behavior. The public have obvious motivation to visit based
on a desire to experience the natural views and culture in the national parks, and they
have a clear intention to experience the primitive forest scenery and local Tibetan life
in Potatso National Park. Some visitors come with tour groups, some come because of
the recommendation of their relatives, and some know about the park through media.
The motivation to visit is a direct driver for them to find more channels for experience,
thus yielding opportunities to enrich their own ecological experience. Visit motivation
alone cannot, however, fully promote responsible behavior, but can only be treated as a
prerequisite. This study suggests that the managers of Potatso National Park pay more
attention to the public’s experience needs and desires, and provide more diversified and
secure channels for the public to enjoy the plateau’s virgin forest scenery. Tibetan villagers
should be fully motivated to show their true lifeways to the public. The national park
should try to focus on the plateau’s primitive forest scenery and the living conditions of
the Tibetans, while inviting the public to experience the deeply combined natural and
cultural scenery.
Second, environmental interpretation plays a significant role in enriching the public
ecological experience and guiding attitudes about environmental protection. Environmen-
tal interpretation conveys scientific knowledge, on topics such as geography, ecology, and
history, as well as humanistic knowledge, in areas such as nationality, culture, and religion,
to satisfy public curiosity and reflect the human impact on the ecological flow environ-
ment. It can also make the public realize the significance of environmental protection and
encourage the public’s thoughts about human development. The service also guides the
public to realize the difficulty of maintaining the beautiful landscape and being actively
integrated into the ecological environment. Gaining knowledge and enjoying the physical
and emotional enjoyment of beautiful scenery stimulates the public’s emotions and makes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 9630 15 of 17
them feel the charm of the oriental philosophy of harmony between man and ecology, thus
enriching their visit to the national park.
Third, visit motivation promotes ecological flow experience, and ecological flow expe-
rience affects environmental attitude, ultimately leading to responsible behavior. Environ-
mental interpretation stimulates environmental attitudes and guides responsible behavior
by enriching the public’s ecological experience. The shift in environmental attitude can be
seen directly in the public consciously protecting the environment in the park (e.g., by not
throwing trash, not picking plants, and not harming wild animals). It can appear indirectly
as the public’s acute awareness of environmentally damaging and responsible behavior,
and a desire to protect wildlife. In other words, “environmental attitude” is the determin-
ing factor for whether the public engages in responsible behavior. If this attitude is not
changed, responsible behavior will not appear. Environmental interpretation is an effective
method to enrich the public’s ecological flow experience and promote the necessary shift in
environmental attitudes, which is an important discovery of the present research.
In conclusion, environmental interpretation in national parks plays an important
role in enriching the public’s ecological flow experience. The service is thus important
and necessary for arousing the public’s environmental attitude and spurring responsible
behavior. Such environmental interpretation should thus be established as the main method
for promoting the public’s positive environmental attitude, strengthening cooperation
among organizations, adding natural education programs, and providing environmental
knowledge to the public. In view of the lifting of restrictions at the park, strengthening
the environmental interpretation facilities and methods on the newly added routes and
adjusting the configuration of the existing interpretation media in the three-dimensional
structure of theme, space, and time are recommended. This research provides evidence that
environmental interpretation in national parks plays an indispensable role in promoting
the ecological flow experiences and responsible behavior of the public.
Author Contributions:
Conceptualization, methodology and funding acquisition, M.Z.; writing and
editing, T.T. and M.Z.; investigation and formal analysis, D.W.; investigation W.C. and C.X.; visualiza-
tion, X.C. and Y.D. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
Funding:
This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant num-
bers 41801220 and 42011530079), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant
number 2021M703179).
Institutional Review Board Statement: Not applicable.
Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable.
Data Availability Statement:
The data presented in this study are available on request from the
corresponding authors.
Acknowledgments:
This research was supported by Xiao Hu and Lian Duan of Southwest Forestry
University, China and Yao Li, Jinlong Zhang and Yunzhi Deng of Potatso National Park Service. The
authors would also like to express our sincere gratitude to volunteers for their data survey assistance.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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