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A step towards understanding the relationship between species diversity and psychological restoration of visitors in urban green spaces using landscape heterogeneity

Abstract : Studies have demonstrated a relationship between plant species diversity within urban green spaces (UGS) and psychological restoration of visitors. However, the majority of “non ecologist” visitors are not able to perceive all the different plant species present within UGS. More work is thus needed to explore and better understand the underlying processes of this relationship. Recent studies have suggested that “non ecologist” visitors are able to perceive landscape heterogeneity within UGS, which is related to species diversity based on landscape ecology theories. The goal of this study was to test whether landscape heterogeneity can begin to elucidate the relationship between species diversity within UGS and psychological restoration of visitors. Within 13 UGS in Rennes (France) we tested if relationships can be established between i) measured landscape heterogeneity, ii) landscape heterogeneity perceived by visitors, and iii) psychological restoration of visitors. We measured landscape heterogeneity using different landscape-level metrics, and quantified psychological restoration and perception of landscape heterogeneity of 390 visitors using in situ questionnaires. Our results evidenced that within UGS visitors are able to perceive landscape compositional and configurational heterogeneity, and that they gain psychological restoration from landscape configurational heterogeneity. We advise that enhancing landscape configurational heterogeneity within UGS could help designers and managers increase both their environmental and social benefits. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 23, 2020 - 11:59:16 AM
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A. Meyer-Grandbastien, F. Burel, B. Bergerot, Emmanuelle Hellier. A step towards understanding the relationship between species diversity and psychological restoration of visitors in urban green spaces using landscape heterogeneity. Landscape and Urban Planning, Elsevier, 2020, 195, pp.103728. ⟨10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103728⟩. ⟨hal-02442626⟩

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