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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Using cultural ecosystem services to inform restoration priorities in the Laurentian Great Lakes

Authors:

David Allan

Sigrid Smith

Peter McIntyre

Christine Joseph

Caitlin Dickinson

Adrienne Marino

Reuben Biel

James Olson

Patrick Doran

Edward Rutherford

Jeffrey Adkins

Adesola Adeyemo

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2015
Secondary Title:
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
ISSN:
1540-9295
DOI:
10.1890/140328
Pages:
418-424
Volume:
13
Year:
2015
Date:
10/2015
URL:
https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1890/140328

Abstract

Ecological restoration programs often attempt to maintain or enhance ecosystem services (ES), but fine-scalemaps of multiple ES are rarely available to support prioritization among potential projects. Here we use agencyreports, citizen science, and social media as data sources to quantify the spatial distribution of five recreationalelements of cultural ES (CES) – sport fishing, recreational boating, birding, beach use, and park visitation –across North America's Laurentian Great Lakes, where current restoration investments exceed US$1.5 billion.These recreational CES are widely yet unevenly distributed, and spatial correlations among all except park vis-itation indicate that many locations support multiple CES benefits. Collectively, these five service metrics cor-relate with tourism gross domestic product, indicating that local economies benefit from ecosystem conditionsthat support CES. However, locations of high recreational CES delivery are often severely affected by environ-mental stressors, suggesting that either ecosystem condition or human enjoyment of these recreational CES isresilient even to substantial levels of stress. Our analyses show that spatial assessments of recreational CES arean informative complement to ecosystem stress assessments for guiding large-scale restoration efforts.