Comparing the social values of ecosystem services in US and Australian marine protected areas

Dana N. Johnson, Carena J. van Riper, Maria Chu, Sophia Winkler-Schor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spatially explicit models for conservation planning often rely on environmental and economic indicators to prioritize management decisions. Consideration of social values in relation to landscape metrics is less common, especially across different biophysical contexts. In this paper, we compare social values mapped by outdoor recreationists who visited Santa Cruz Island within Channel Islands National Park, USA, and Hinchinbrook Island National Park, Australia using a Social Values for Ecosystem Services mapping tool that interfaced with Maximum Entropy modeling. Specifically, we determine the relative importance of 12 social values and evaluate how the relationship between three highly rated social values (Aesthetic, Biological Diversity, and Recreation) and four biophysical metrics (distance to the coast, distance to management infrastructure, slope, and elevation) differed between two marine protected areas. Our results provide insight into the spatial dynamics of social-ecological data to identify high and low priority locations in protected areas as well as enable resource management agencies to make more informed decisions about how best to engage with stakeholders. This research also supports public involvement in policy-making about land and seascapes in the USA and Australia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100919
JournalEcosystem Services
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Ecosystem services
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Recreation
  • Social values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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