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Spatially explicit perceptions of ecosystem services and land cover change in forested regions of Borneo

Spatially explicit perceptions of ecosystem services and land cover change in forested regions of Borneo

Spatially explicit information on local perceptions of ecosystem services is needed to inform land use planning within rapidly changing landscapes. In this paper we spatially modelled local people’s use and perceptions of benefits from forest ecosystem services in Borneo, from interviews of 1837 people in 185 villages. Questions related to provisioning, cultural/spiritual, regulating and supporting ecosystem services derived from forest, and attitudes towards forest conversion. We used boosted regression trees (BRTs) to combine interview data with social and environmental predictors to understand spatial variation of perceptions across Borneo. Our results show that people use a variety of products from intact and highly degraded forests. Perceptions of benefits from forests were strongest: in human-altered forest landscapes for cultural and spiritual benefits; in human-altered and intact forests landscapes for health benefits; intact forest for direct health benefits, such as medicinal plants; and in regions with little forest and extensive plantations, for environmental benefits, such as climatic impacts from deforestation. Forest clearing for small scale agriculture was predicted to be widely supported yet less so for large-scale agriculture. Understanding perceptions of rural communities in dynamic, multi-use landscapes is important where people are often directly affected by the decline in ecosystem services.

Authors: Abram, N. K.; Meijaard, E.; Ancrenaz, M.; Runting, R. K.; Wells, J.A.; Gaveau, D.L.A.; Pellier, A.S.; Mengersen, K.

Topic: oil palm, questionnaires, spatial analysis, spatial data, regression analysis

Geographic: Borneo

Publication Year: 2013

ISSN: 2212-0416

Source: Ecosystem Services 7: 116–127

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2013.11.004

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