Assessing Relations between Cultural Ecosystem Services, Physical Landscape Features and Accessibility in Central-Eastern Europe: A PPGIS Empirical Study from Hungary

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Despite the growing quantity of ecosystem-services-related research, there is still a lack of deeper understanding on cultural ecosystem services (CES). This is mainly due to the perception of CES, which can vary by geographic location and population. In this study, we present a Public Participation Geographic Information System (PPGIS) method in a Hungarian microregion. Our goal is to increase understanding on how cultural services are perceived in this geographical context and level, and how this relative importance is related to biophysical landscape features. We also consider the influence of accessibility on the perceived landscape and compare our findings with the results of other studies with different sociocultural backgrounds. The research consists of participatory mapping with 184 persons that were digitized and analyzed with GIS and statistical software. During the analysis, we identified CES hotspots and compared CES with landscape features, as well as CES perception with accessibility. Our results showed positive correlation of CES with land covers related to built-up areas, as well as aesthetic and recreational services with water bodies. Compared to other studies, we found different spatial relationships in the case of spiritual services, and higher importance of agricultural land covers during the CES perception, thanks to the Central-Eastern European (CEE) sociocultural background. Our study highlights the effect of accessibility on CES perception; nevertheless, these relationships varied by different infrastructural elements. We conclude by discussing the implications and limitations of our study and encouraging future landscape research to apply the PPGIS method in this geographical context.

TidsskriftSustainability (Switzerland)
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research received no external funding. The publication was supported by Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences—MATE.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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