Lee, Jae-hyuck, Moohan Kim, Byeori Kim, Hong-Jun Park, & Hyuck-soo Kwon (2017, May). Performing ecosystem services at mud flats in Seocheon, Korea: Using Q methodology for cooperative decision making. Sustainability, 9(5), art. 769. (doi:10.3390/su9050769)

Abstract: The concept of ecosystem services, which are the direct and indirect benefits of nature to humans, has been established as a supporting tool to increase the efficiency in decision-making regarding environmental planning. However, preceding studies on decision-making in relation to ecosystem services have been limited to identifying differences in perception, whereas few studies have reported cooperative alternatives. Therefore, this study aimed to present a method for cooperative decision-making among ecosystem service stakeholders using Q methodology. The results showed three perspectives on ecosystem services of small mud flat areas: ecological function, ecotourism, and human activity. The perspectives on cultural services and regulating services were diverse, whereas those on supporting services were similar. Thus, supporting services were considered crucial for the cooperative assessment and management of small mud flat ecosystems as well as for the scientific evaluation of regulating services. Furthermore, this study identified practical implementation measures to increase production through land management, to manufacture related souvenirs, and to link them to ecotourism. Overall, our results demonstrated the ideal process of cooperative decision-making to improve ecosystem services.

Jae-hyuck Lee <ilandscape@nie.re.kr> is with the Bureau of Ecological Research, National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon, Korea.

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