Ecosystem services in European protected areas: Ambiguity in the views of scientists and managers?
Protected Areas are a key component of nature conservation. They can play an important role in counterbalancing the impacts of ecosystem degradation. For an optimal protection of a Protected Area it is essential to account for the variables underlying the major Ecosystem Services an area delivers, and the threats upon them. Here we show that the perception of these important variables differs markedly between scientists and managers of Protected Areas in mountains and transitional waters. Scientists emphasise variables of abiotic and biotic nature, whereas managers highlight socio-economic, cultural and anthropogenic variables. This indicates fundamental differences in perception. To be able to better protect an area it would be advisable to bring the perception of scientists and managers closer together. Intensified and harmonised communication across disciplinary and professional boundaries will be needed to implement and improve Ecosystem Service oriented management strategies in current and future Protected Areas.
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