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Open AccessArticle

Social Perception of Ecosystem Services in a Coastal Wetland Post-Earthquake: A Case Study in Chile

Department of Territorial Planning, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and EULA Chile Center, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepción 4089100, Chile
Department of Statistics, Faculty of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Universidad de Concepción, Concepcion 4089100, Chile
Department of Geography, Faculty of Architecture, Urban Planning and Geography, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción 4089100, Chile
Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Ballaterra 08193, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1983;
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
Natural disasters can cause abrupt disturbances in coastal wetlands, affecting the social perception of ecosystem services (ES). The Tubul-Raqui coastal wetland is one of the most important wetlands in south-central Chile. Rich in biodiversity, these wetlands provide ES to a population of 2238 inhabitants. The recent MW = 8.8 earthquake of 2010 caused a coastal uplift of 1.4 m and substantial morphological, social, and environmental changes. This paper analyzes the social perceptions of the inhabitants of the village of Tubul-Raqui following a large earthquake disturbance with regards to ES provision frequency and their future changes. A statistically representative semi-structured survey was conducted (175 valid surveys) and the data interpreted through factor analysis and statistical tests for independent categorical variables. The perception of cultural and regulating services was significantly greater than that of provisioning services, which were probably the most affected by the earthquake. Residents identified habitat for species, recreation, and hazard regulation as the most important ES. Perception was influenced by the categorical variables of gender, age, and ethnicity; for example, hazard regulation services varied strongly by gender. According to the respondents, the availability of ES will remain stable (50%) or decrease (40%) in the next 50 years, mainly due to anthropogenic drivers; the effect of natural disasters was not mentioned among the main drivers of change. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; social perception; earthquake; abrupt disturbances; wetland; Chile ecosystem services; social perception; earthquake; abrupt disturbances; wetland; Chile
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Rojas, O.; Zamorano, M.; Saez, K.; Rojas, C.; Vega, C.; Arriagada, L.; Basnou, C. Social Perception of Ecosystem Services in a Coastal Wetland Post-Earthquake: A Case Study in Chile. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1983.

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