Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Comparison of ecosystem services from mixed against monospecific forests in the Southwest Germany: A survey on public perception

Version 1 : Received: 26 June 2018 / Approved: 26 June 2018 / Online: 26 June 2018 (15:48:31 CEST)

How to cite: Almeida, I.; Rösch, C.; Saha, S. Comparison of ecosystem services from mixed against monospecific forests in the Southwest Germany: A survey on public perception. Preprints 2018, 2018060429 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0429.v1). Almeida, I.; Rösch, C.; Saha, S. Comparison of ecosystem services from mixed against monospecific forests in the Southwest Germany: A survey on public perception. Preprints 2018, 2018060429 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0429.v1).

Abstract

Scientific studies had shown that mixed forests of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provide higher ecosystem services than monospecific forests. Mixed forests are known for their high resilience to climate change impacts and superior biodiversity compared to monospecific forests. In many countries, promotion of mixed forests in forest management is becoming a government policy since they can contribute to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nation, respectively Goal 13 and 15. However, not much is known about public perceptions on mixed forests compared to monoculture forests. Our study on ecosystem services provided by mixed and monospecific forests in southwest Germany fill this gap. Based on a survey with 520 valid responses we analyzed people’s perception on 18 different supporting, cultural, regulating and provisioning ecosystem services measured by Likert scale. Stepwise regression analyses show relations between social profiles (gender, age, education, profession) and preferences on respondents’ perceptions. Our findings show that people perceive that mixed forests provide better cultural, regulating and supporting ecosystem services than monospecific forests of fir and beech whereas provisioning services were perceived as being equally or better provided by monospecific forests. Significant effects towards a positive perception on ecosystem services provided by mixed forests were mainly influenced by the perceived abundance of old trees, feeling of pleasantness in mixed forests, age, profession, and education. Our findings indicate that there is a high public support for the promotion of silver fir and beech mixed forests in Southwest Germany.

Subject Areas

Mixed forests; Questionnaire Survey; Ecosystem Services; Stepwise Regression; Climate Change

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