Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0166950
Title (Primary) Water quality is a poor predictor of recreational hotspots in England
Author Ziv, G.; Mullin, K.; Boeuf, B.; Fincham, W.; Taylor, N.; Villalobos-Jiménez, G.; von Vittorelli, L.; Wolf, C.; Fritsch, O.; Strauch, M. ORCID logo ; Seppelt, R.; Volk, M.; Beckmann, M. ORCID logo
Source Titel PLOS ONE
Year 2016
Department OEKON; CLE; UPR
Volume 11
Issue 11
Page From e0166950
Language englisch
UFZ wide themes RU6
Abstract Maintaining and improving water quality is key to the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems, which provide important benefits to society. In Europe, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) defines water quality based on a set of biological, hydro-morphological and chemical targets, and aims to reach good quality conditions in all river bodies by the year 2027. While recently it has been argued that achieving these goals will deliver and enhance ecosystem services, in particular recreational services, there is little empirical evidence demonstrating so. Here we test the hypothesis that good water quality is associated with increased utilization of recreational services, combining four surveys covering walking, boating, fishing and swimming visits, together with water quality data for all water bodies in eight River Basin Districts (RBDs) in England. We compared the percentage of visits in areas of good water quality to a set of null models accounting for population density, income, age distribution, travel distance, public access, and substitutability. We expect such association to be positive, at least for fishing (which relies on fish stocks) and swimming (with direct contact to water). We also test if these services have stronger association with water quality relative to boating and walking alongside rivers, canals or lakeshores. In only two of eight RBDs (Northumbria and Anglian) were both criteria met (positive association, strongest for fishing and swimming) when comparing to at least one of the null models. This conclusion is robust to variations in dataset size. Our study suggests that achieving the WFD water quality goals may not enhance recreational ecosystem services, and calls for further empirical research on the connection between water quality and ecosystem services.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Ziv, G., Mullin, K., Boeuf, B., Fincham, W., Taylor, N., Villalobos-Jiménez, G., von Vittorelli, L., Wolf, C., Fritsch, O., Strauch, M., Seppelt, R., Volk, M., Beckmann, M. (2016):
Water quality is a poor predictor of recreational hotspots in England
PLOS One 11 (11), e0166950 10.1371/journal.pone.0166950