Residents’ valuation of ecosystem services in a Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystem: The case of the Ritoque dunes in central Chile

Pablo Díaz-Siefer, Paulina Weishaupt, Rocío A. Pozo, Carlos Huenchuleo, Rodrigo Guerrero-Rojas, Stefan Gelcich, Juan L. Celis-Diez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Coastal dunes provide a variety of cultural and ecological ecosystem services to local communities. However, most of these ecosystems are globally threatened by anthropic factors. Chile is home to important dune ecosystems such as the emblematic Ritoque coastal dunes located in the hotspot for biodiversity conservation in central Chile where there is a delicate relationship between conservation and human development interests, among local communities and authorities. Here, we performed a choice experiment study to determined willingness to implement conservation measures in the Ritoque dunes. In particular, we assessed residents’ preferences for improvements of the current state of local ecosystem services such as scenic beauty, biodiversity and archaeological sites. Residents showed preferences for improvements in Ritoque coastal dunes’ ecosystem services, and a high willingness to pay for protecting biodiversity and archeological sites, rather than for recreational infrastructure. Our study highlights the importance of place-based research that specifically addresses residents and stakeholders’ conservation priorities, which could be used to design and implement effective conservation management strategies for coastal ecosystems and coastal cities near them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126446
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Biodiversity valuation
  • Choice experiment
  • Coastal dunes
  • Ecosystem services

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