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Free Content Linking Ecosystem Services with Cultural Landscape Research

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The concept of ecosystem services facilitates the valuation of the multiple services from ecosystems and landscapes, the identification of trade-offs between different land use scenarios, and also informs decision making in land use planning. Unfortunately, cultural services have been mostly neglected within the ecosystem services framework. This could result in trade-off assessments which are biased and mislead ecosystem management and landscape planning. However, cultural landscape research approaches have proven valuable in the assessment of different nonmaterial landscape values and cultural services. In this paper, we compare the objectives, approaches, and methodologies adopted by ecosystem services research and cultural landscape research through a bibliographic research. Both research communities investigate the human dimension of ecosystems and landscapes and, hence, study the same object. A closer link between the two research communities would enrich and possibly sharpen both approaches. In particular, landscape research on cultural services such as aesthetics or cultural heritage could provide valuable results and methods for a comprehensive assessment of ecosystem services.

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Keywords: CULTURAL LANDSCAPE; CULTURAL SERVICES; DECISION MAKING; ECOSYSTEM SERVICES; HUMAN WELL-BEING; LANDSCAPE AESTHETICS; LANDSCAPE PLANNING; SOCIAL VALUES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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