Institution: aForest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg (FVA) – Germany; bGeorg-August-Universität Göttingenb – Germany

Contact: tina.gerstenberg@web.de

Keywords: Spatial Behaviour, Landscape Characteristics, Public Participation GIS (PPGIS), Machine Learning, Cultural Ecosystem Services

An increasing number of scientific papers describe and explain the connections between natural landscape features and hotspots of cultural ecosystem services, values, and preferences. The results help environmental planning and decision making with prioritising and balancing management objectives. However, there is a lack of knowledge on associations between physical landscape attributes that characterise used routes and individual background features as well as activities of outdoor recreationists (e.g., cycling, dog walking, jogging, walking). In order to address this research question, we applied Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) to assess spatial behaviour, i.e., way usage, in urban woodlands of city dwellers from three densely populated regions in Germany’s Southwest. Respondents also stated their activities for mapped routes, sociodemographic backgrounds, and perceived cultural ecosystem services. In order to characterise each mapped route according to physical landscape features, we used a 50m buffer around each route and measured area sizes (in m²) of land cover classes represented within this buffer, e.g., water bodies, broadleaved, coniferous and mixed species dominated stands, meadows, and human-made infrastructure. Data on these features were derived from Open Street Map, inventory maps, high resolution LiDAR satellite imagery, and forest function maps of the provinces’ forestry administration. For data analysis, we use Getis-Ord Gi statistics and machine learning techniques. We present linkages of individual background information, perceived cultural ecosystem services, and activities to mapped routes’ characteristics. If applied in urban forest management, this knowledge may contribute to visitor-centred planning and decision-making as well as development of visitor guidance concepts for urban woodlands.

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