Landscape simplification in Lower Saxony: How does it affect human-nature connectedness and relational values?

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Landscape simplification, both globally and locally, has vast impacts on biodiversity. Increasing literature on biodiversity impacts has thrown into the spotlight how biodiversity and ecosystems are affected by landscape simplification, especially through the loss of material and immaterial ecosystem services. Less research has been done on how these changes affect how humans value and use these landscapes, therefore Riechers et al. (2021) analysed the relationship between human-nature connectedness, relational values, and landscape simplification in Lower Saxony.

The authors empirically researched the effects of landscape simplification on different dimensions of human-nature connectedness, such as material, experiential, emotional, cognitive, and philosophical connectedness. To also include the human-human connections mediated by nature, the authors included findings on how human-nature connectedness is linked to relational values.

The authors found that especially rapid landscape simplification could negatively affect human-nature connectedness and relational values, especially social relations, social cohesion and cultural identity. Declining human-nature connectedness could…

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