Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Ecosystem Services at the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve in Finland: A Visitor Perspective

List of Authors: Viirret Elina, Raatikainen Kaisa Johanna, Fagerholm Nora, Käyhkö Niina, Vihervaara Petteri

Publisher: MDPI AG

Place: Basel

Publication year: 2019

Journal: Sustainability

Volume number: 11

Issue number: 2

Number of pages: 18

ISSN: 2071-1050

eISSN: 2071-1050



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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s
(UNESCO’s) Biosphere Reserves aim to be flagships of sustainable
landscapes. Many of them are important locations for tourism and leisure
activities. We explored the perceptions of short-term visitors and
summer residents on ecosystem services (ESs) tied to characteristic
habitats of the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve in Finland. During
holiday season, we conducted structured on-field interviews with 74
Biosphere Reserve visitors. From these data, we gained information on
the visitors’ appreciation of different ESs and the selected habitats.
We also derived habitat-specific ES profiles. Excluding the reedbeds,
most habitats were both highly valued and considered as important
producers of the listed ESs. The derived ES profiles were partially
overlapping and inclined towards appreciation of cultural services, and
the importance of scenery was highlighted. Provisioning services were
not particularly appreciated. We discovered several linkages among
biodiversity, ESs, and recreational land uses. Certain habitats were
found to be in need of protection under high recreational land-use
pressure, but also potential synergies were found. Our method introduces
an important socio-cultural perspective into the region’s land
management that aims to find a balance between the protection of the
Biosphere Reserve’s unique biodiversity and the need to support
sustainable local livelihoods and tourism.

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