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Depellegrin D.,Mykolas Romeris University | Depellegrin D.,Klaipeda University | Pereira P.,Mykolas Romeris University | Misiune I.,Mykolas Romeris University | Egarter-Vigl L.,European Academy Research EURAC
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology | Year: 2016

This research presents a geographic information systems (GIS)-based method for ecosystem services (ES) potential assessment in a case study for the Lithuanian national territory. The ES potential was assessed for 31 CORINE land-cover classes (CLC2006) together with 31 ES categorized into regulating, provisioning and cultural ES. An expert-based ranking approach using a two-dimensional ES matrix and a geospatial analysis was applied to determine total ES potential, spatial patterns and relations among multiple ES. Results showed that forest areas had the highest potential for ES delivery whereas ES potential in urban areas was lowest. The spatial autocorrelation of regulating and cultural ES were dispersed while provisioning ES were significantly clustered. The principal component analysis (PCA) identified five factors with distinctive geospatial distribution: Factor 1 – forest areas, Factor 2 – aquatic environments, Factor 3 – livestock farming and energy production, Factor 4 – agricultural food production and Factor 5 – mineral extraction sites. The plotting of Factors 1 and 2 accounted for 72.81% of variance and identified three ES bundles composed by specific ES types: Bundle 1 – forest ecosystems, Bundle 2 – marine and freshwater ecosystems and Bundle 3 – mixed provisioning ecosystems. Trade-offs occur between regulating and cultural ES against the provisioning ES crop production and livestock farming. We conclude that the presented ES assessment can support decision-makers in the development of strategies for natural resources management at national and regional level, support the identification of trade-offs and synergies among ES types and foster ES research in Lithuania. © 2016 Taylor & Francis

Depellegrin D.,Klaipeda University | Blazauskas N.,Coastal Research and Planning Institute CORPI | Egarter-Vigl L.,European Academy Research EURAC
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2014

Visual impacts belong to the most common concerns about wind energy development projects in Europe. In methodological terms, visual impact assessments are lacking in objective valuation systems capable to provide planners and decision makers with scientific - based solutions for the estimation of visual interference of offshore wind facilities with seascapes. The aim of this study is to present a GIS based model for visual sensitivity assessment from human induced landscape changes based on a case study in the Lithuanian sea, where Offshore Wind Energy (OWE) parks are under Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and included into the national MSP implementation process as potentially emerging future use of the sea space. The approach is composed of two models: The first model is a land-sea visibility model (LS-VisM), which assesses the cumulative viewshed of landward key observation points such as beach access points, residential and non-residential buildings and most important visitor aggregation areas in the coastal zone. In addition the model assesses environmental and socio-economic assets at highest visual impact risk from coastal and marine landscape change. The second model is a scenario based sea-land visibility model (SL-VisM), which addresses cumulative visual impacts of turbines within a wind park on the coastal zone. Both model components support decision makers on the analysis of visual impacts from any sea based infrastructure on the coastline and coastal hinterland. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Depellegrin D.,Klaipeda University | Blazauskas N.,Klaipeda University | Vigl L.E.,European Academy Research EURAC
Ocean: Past, Present and Future - 2012 IEEE/OES Baltic International Symposium, BALTIC 2012 | Year: 2012

Landscapes are essential for society, tourism industries and local communities. The development of tools capable to assess their environmental and socioeconomic importance are fundamental to preserve their aesthetic integrity, especially in coastal areas facing strong anthropogenic pressure. Online photo databases enable users to localize their images via GPS coordinates and share their photo albums with other users, constituting a powerful tool for (1) spatiotemporal investigation of visitor loads in recreational areas, (2) visitor flow definition and (3) aesthetic value characterization of natural and artificial landscape attributes undergone by visitors through shared images in the database. The research presents a framework for aesthetic value characterization in coastal zones using geotags from a webbased photosharing service named Panoramio as data source. A GIS tool for visitor hot spot detection in Lithuanian coastal areas was developed. At selected visitor hot spots, an expert based image content analysis was applied and indicators for the aesthetic value characterization were developed. In total over 63 visitor hot spots were detected along Lithuania's mainland coast and the northern tip of the Curonian Spit. Around 73% of all hot spots cover landscapes in proximity of water bodies. Aesthetic values assessment in hot spots are determined by the variety of anthropogenic and natural landscape attributes in the coastal zone. We conclude that the application of webbased photosharing services and the modeling for aesthetic value characterization can serve for tourism activity planning such as scenic pathways identification, landscape attribute based trip advisory, assessment tool for landscapes changes due to intensive tourism activity and invasive construction projects. © 2012 IEEE.

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