Preferences elicitation can be a challenging exercise for citizens participating in assessment surveys. It is even more challenging when it comes to complex and unfamiliar ecosystems and the threatened ecosystem services they provide. Making people aware of the characteristics of the ecosystem services being valued is determinant for the assessment process. We investigated the impact of familiarity and academic information supply on people’s preferences for twenty selected ecosystem services of French Mediterranean coastal lagoons. The results show that regardless of familiarity and information supply, there is a strong consensus about the highest importance of regulation and maintenance ecosystem services as well as environmental education and research opportunity ecosystem services. By contrast, nine of the cultural ecosystem services, together with two provisioning ecosystem services showed heterogeneous preferences among the different citizen groups. Using a combination of descriptive and inferential statistics these eleven ecosystem services split up into three clusters characterized as (i) contemplative leisure, (ii) heritage, and (iii) consumptive activities. Familiarity and academic information supply had a strong impact on the preferences for these three clusters of ecosystem services.
The impact of academic information supply and familiarity on preferences for ecosystem services
27 January 2021