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Ecosyst Serv. 2018;31:289-295. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2018.04.011.

Assessment and valuation of recreational ecosystem services of landscapes.

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Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute for Environmental Planning.
ORISE Fellowship Participant, US EPA, Office of Research and Development.
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology.
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research ZALF.
University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
University of Kassel, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences.
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen.
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.


Recreational ecosystem services (RES), understood as the numerous benefits people obtain from landscapes and the natural environment, are a topical area of policy, research and society. This Editorial introduces the current state of RES research, provides an overview of the 21 contributions comprising this Special Issue of Ecosystem Services, and outlines opportunities for further research. This issue's publications employ diverse methods for assessing and valuing RES at different scales in Europe and beyond. The papers present advancements in mapping and valuation, provide evidence for the contributions of biodiversity and landscapes to the generation of RES and human well-being, and shed light on distributional effects across different beneficiaries. Taken together, contributions emphasize that RES may be a prime vehicle for reconnecting people with nature with positive effects on societal well-being. The diversity of approaches currently applied in RES research reflects much creativity and new insights, for example by harnessing georeferenced social media data. Future research should aim towards harmonizing datasets and methods to enhance comparability without compromising the need for context-specific adaptations. Finally, more research is needed on options for integrating RES information in decision making, planning and management in order to enhance actual uptake in public and private decisions.

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