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Revealing spatial and temporal patterns of outdoor recreation in the European Alps and their surroundings


  • Schirpke, Uta
  • Meisch, Claude
  • Marsoner, Thomas
  • Tappeiner, Ulrike


Outdoor recreation contributes vitally to human well-being, but spatio-temporal mapping on large scales of this ecosystem service is rarely addressed in a comprehensive manner. In this study, we aim to map recreation supply, demand, and flow, combining different approaches and data sources, including spatially explicit indicators and crowd-sourced information from social media. We analyse spatial and temporal patterns in the European Alps and their surrounding areas (Alpine Space area) and explore societal preferences. Our results indicate that especially mountainous areas provide high ecosystem service supply, while high demand is characteristic of strongly urbanised areas. The spatio-temporal pattern of flow hot spots shows two major trends: recreational landscapes around urban agglomerations are frequented all year round, whereas visitation rates in remote mountain areas depend greatly on the season. By means of a cluster analysis, we identify five types of municipalities, distinguishing municipalities with little importance for recreation, prevailing demand, or supply, and highly used areas. Further, our results suggest that societal preferences can be explained by landscape attributes and tourism infrastructure. In addition to revealing a large-scale spatio-temporal pattern, this study explores methodological possibilities to provide a basis for decision-making and landscape planning regarding recreational ecosystem services.

Suggested Citation

  • Schirpke, Uta & Meisch, Claude & Marsoner, Thomas & Tappeiner, Ulrike, 2018. "Revealing spatial and temporal patterns of outdoor recreation in the European Alps and their surroundings," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 31(PC), pages 336-350.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:31:y:2018:i:pc:p:336-350
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.11.017

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    1. Uta Schirpke & Rocco Scolozzi & Riccardo Da Re & Mauro Masiero & Davide Pellegrino & Davide Marino, 2020. "Enhancing outdoor recreation and biodiversity through payments for ecosystem services: emerging potentials from selected Natura 2000 sites in Italy," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 2045-2067, March.
    2. Uta Schirpke & Lukas Egarter Vigl & Erich Tasser & Ulrike Tappeiner, 2019. "Analyzing Spatial Congruencies and Mismatches between Supply, Demand and Flow of Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(8), pages 1-19, April.
    3. Huber, Lisa & Schirpke, Uta & Marsoner, Thomas & Tasser, Erich & Leitinger, Georg, 2020. "Does socioeconomic diversification enhance multifunctionality of mountain landscapes?," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    4. Fox, Nathan & Graham, Laura J. & Eigenbrod, Felix & Bullock, James M. & Parks, Katherine E., 2021. "Enriching social media data allows a more robust representation of cultural ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    5. Chiara Cortinovis & Grazia Zulian & Davide Geneletti, 2018. "Assessing Nature-Based Recreation to Support Urban Green Infrastructure Planning in Trento (Italy)," Land, MDPI, vol. 7(4), pages 1-20, September.
    6. Claude Meisch & Uta Schirpke & Lisa Huber & Johannes Rüdisser & Ulrike Tappeiner, 2019. "Assessing Freshwater Provision and Consumption in the Alpine Space Applying the Ecosystem Service Concept," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(4), pages 1-16, February.
    7. Lavorel, Sandra & Rey, Pierre-Louis & Grigulis, Karl & Zawada, Mégane & Byczek, Coline, 2020. "Interactions between outdoor recreation and iconic terrestrial vertebrates in two French alpine national parks," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    8. Havinga, Ilan & Bogaart, Patrick W. & Hein, Lars & Tuia, Devis, 2020. "Defining and spatially modelling cultural ecosystem services using crowdsourced data," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    9. Wood, Spencer A & Winder, Samantha & Lia, Emilia & White, Eric & Crowley, Christian & Milnor, Adam, 2020. "Next-generation Visitation Models using Social Media to Estimate Recreation on Public Lands," SocArXiv 4wm97, Center for Open Science.
    10. Maxime Lenormand & Sandra Luque & Johannes Langemeyer & Patrizia Tenerelli & Grazia Zulian & Inge Aalders & Serban Chivulescu & Pedro Clemente & Jan Dick & Jiska van Dijk & Michiel van Eupen & Relu C , 2018. "Multiscale socio-ecological networks in the age of information," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(11), pages 1-16, November.
    11. Egarter Vigl, Lukas & Marsoner, Thomas & Schirpke, Uta & Tscholl, Simon & Candiago, Sebastian & Depellegrin, Daniel, 2021. "A multi-pressure analysis of ecosystem services for conservation planning in the Alps," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 47(C).
    12. Ruiz-Frau, A. & Ospina-Alvarez, A. & Villasante, S. & Pita, P. & Maya-Jariego, I. & de Juan, S., 2020. "Using graph theory and social media data to assess cultural ecosystem services in coastal areas: Method development and application," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    13. Robert Huber & Robert Finger, 2020. "A Meta‐analysis of the Willingness to Pay for Cultural Services from Grasslands in Europe," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 357-383, June.
    14. Taboada, Angela & García-Llamas, Paula & Fernández-Guisuraga, José Manuel & Calvo, Leonor, 2021. "Wildfires impact on ecosystem service delivery in fire-prone maritime pine-dominated forests," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    15. Lorilla, Roxanne Suzette & Kalogirou, Stamatis & Poirazidis, Konstantinos & Kefalas, George, 2019. "Identifying spatial mismatches between the supply and demand of ecosystem services to achieve a sustainable management regime in the Ionian Islands (Western Greece)," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    16. Steiger, Robert & Posch, Eva & Tappeiner, Gottfried & Walde, Janette, 2020. "The impact of climate change on demand of ski tourism - a simulation study based on stated preferences," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C).
    17. Tasser, Erich & Schirpke, Uta & Zoderer, Brenda Maria & Tappeiner, Ulrike, 2020. "Towards an integrative assessment of land-use type values from the perspective of ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 42(C).
    18. Coline Byczek & Pierre-Yves Longaretti & Julien Renaud & Sandra Lavorel, 2018. "Benefits of crowd-sourced GPS information for modelling the recreation ecosystem service," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(10), pages 1-23, October.

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