seeing more species at the coast improves well-being: new research underlines benefits of biodiversity
Examples of images of structures (a–c) and close-ups (d–f) used in the survey. Images a–c include variation in the underlying structures, from stepped walls (a) to rip-rap walls (b) and heritage stone walls (c). Images d–e show example close-up images with different underlying structures of rip-rap walls (d and e) and stepped walls (f). Credit: People and Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10330

Seeing a larger number of species on urban coastlines—from marine animals to seaweed—is likely to improve the well-being of local people and visitors, new research from a team at Swansea University has revealed. The findings provide further evidence that biodiversity brings wide-ranging benefits.

Studies of land-based environments such as meadows, woodlands, and city parks have shown that people often find places that contain lots of different types of plant and animal life to be more visually pleasing and interesting, as well as more likely to relieve stress.

However, we know much less about seashore species and whether they generate the same positive feelings that land-based wildlife does, despite almost half of the world’s population living close to the coast.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that people may associate marine life such as seaweeds with unpleasant slimy textures and smells or perceive them to be messy additions to coastlines. As such, having a greater variety of coastal species may not lead to the same positive effects on well-being as are observed on land.

This is important because coastal structures like seawalls are becoming increasingly familiar sights and can be home to many different marine species. Many of them now incorporate measures to conserve or promote biodiversity, such as the Sea Hive project in Mumbles in Swansea, but how these might affect the perceptions and well-being of beach visitors isn’t well understood.

To understand how biodiversity may shape peoples’ views, scientists at Swansea University undertook a research study.

They recruited 937 participants from the U.K. and Ireland. They asked them how appealing, interesting, and calming they found images of seawalls with different numbers of seaweed and animal species on them.

The images included between zero and eight different marine species: comprising of different types of seaweeds, barnacles, limpets, mussels and anemones.

To see whether the type of seawall that seaweeds and animals were growing on changed peoples’ views, images ranged across three different structure types: from regular-shaped concrete walls to more irregular boulder—or “rip-rap”—sea defenses.

They also included two different viewing scales—from the whole structure, to close-up viewing—to see if how people view seawalls affects their perceptions.

The survey found:

Biologically diverse images on irregular structures were rated most favorably;Respondents strongly and positively valued scenes that were seen as diverse, as they were seen as more interesting and calming;The older sea wall and the rip rap were seen as more “natural” and therefore viewed more positively than the more “artificial” regular sea wall;Diversity and naturalness were rated as the most important qualities in participants’ comments;This was especially true with close-up images, which is how people sometimes view coastal habitats, for example exploring or looking at rockpools

Dr. Tom Fairchild of Swansea University, lead researcher, said:

“People found structures that had more species to be more appealing, interesting, and calming to look at. This suggests that high numbers of species provide a range of human benefits, despite occasional negative feelings towards species. This occurred because structures were perceived to be more ‘natural’ and have greater ‘biodiversity’ when they were home to a wide variety of sea life: strongly influencing how we see natural spaces.

As public awareness about human impacts on the natural world increases, projects to conserve or enhance biodiversity are becoming more common. Our study supports the idea that designing seawalls to support biodiversity not only brings benefits to wildlife but can also benefit the lives of people who live by or use our urban coastlines.” More information: Tom P. Fairchild et al, Species diversity enhances perceptions of urban coastlines at multiple scales, People and Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10330. besjournals.onlinelibrary.wile … i/10.1002/pan3.10330 Provided by Swansea University Citation: Seeing more species at the coast improves well-being: New research underlines benefits of biodiversity (2022, May 11) retrieved 11 May 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-species-coast-well-being-underlines-benefits.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

TECH NEWS RELATED

China robot unicorn Hai Robotics eyes international expansion as market for warehouse automation cranks up

Shenzhen-based warehouse robot start-up Hai Robotics, which counts Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com among its clients, is speeding up international expansion with the goal of having half its business coming from outside China this year, the company’s co-founder told the Post in an interview. Hai Robotics, founded ...

View more: China robot unicorn Hai Robotics eyes international expansion as market for warehouse automation cranks up

Xiaomi sold 38.5 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2022

Today, Xiaomi Group officially released its financial report for the first quarter of 2022. According to the financial report, the company’s total revenue in the first quarter reached RMB 73.4 billion ($10.8 billion), down 4.6% year on year. Furthermore, its adjusted net profit hit RMB 2.9 billion ($430 million), down 52.9% ...

View more: Xiaomi sold 38.5 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2022

Reporter’s diary: in the seventh straight week of Shanghai’s lockdown, it feels like I’m living in a parallel universe

The start of another week in Shanghai – the seventh straight one under lockdown – and breakfast this morning was shumai, a traditional dim sum snack. These haven’t been available until recently, so it was a nice change from my usual meal of bread and porridge. As I enjoyed ...

View more: Reporter’s diary: in the seventh straight week of Shanghai’s lockdown, it feels like I’m living in a parallel universe

S. Korea to face 'grave' inflation risk for time being: official

SEJONG, May 20 (Yonhap) — South Korea is expected to face a “grave” risk from rising inflation for the time being, as the recovery of consumption will further add price pressure amid high energy costs, a senior government official said Friday. The government plans to beef up its monitoring of ...

View more: S. Korea to face 'grave' inflation risk for time being: official

GM names new CEO for S. Korean unit amid chip shortage

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) — General Motors Co. on Friday named new presidents for GM Korea Co. and the South Korean unit’s R&D unit GM Technical Center Korea (GMTCK) amid the unprecedented global chip shortage. GM has appointed Roberto Rempel, currently president of GMTCK, as president and CEO of GM ...

View more: GM names new CEO for S. Korean unit amid chip shortage

Huawei AppGallery flaw is allowing users to download paid apps for free

The US ban brought Huawei to places that it has never imagined to be. The company has been caught amidst the most intense struggle between US and China. The ban prevents the company from having direct access to US-related software and hardware solutions. It has managed to stay in the ...

View more: Huawei AppGallery flaw is allowing users to download paid apps for free

Woolworths to expand e-commerce offering with 80% stake in MyDeal

The total value of the acquisition deal is expected to come to an enterprise value of AU$243 million.

View more: Woolworths to expand e-commerce offering with 80% stake in MyDeal

Stranger Things 4 spoilers revealed by Netflix Monopoly game

The seemingly neverending wait for a new season of Stranger Things finally comes to an end on May 27th. Stranger Things 4 will be the longest season to date, with each episode clocking in at over an hour. Creators, Matt and Ross Duffer have also hinted that we’ll get ...

View more: Stranger Things 4 spoilers revealed by Netflix Monopoly game

Crypto exchanges face funding dip amid low trading, high taxes and Terra

Policy framework for data centres ready; to soon go for cabinet approval

Startups reach out to find jobs for the laid-off

Fashion retailer High Street Essentials raises Rs 40 crore in funding from Stride Ventures

Apple's Long-Awaited AR/VR Headset is Almost Complete

1 killed, 9 injured in S-Oil refinery explosion

Controlling stake in Arm China may shift to little-known entity as chip joint venture’s ownership saga drags on

You can silence a Family’s Member iPhone Alarm with your own iPhone

Kia and Rafa Nadal launch ‘Kia Clubhouse’ initiative to inspire next generation of tennis fans

Spanish Dancer Galaxy Twirls Into View – Dark Energy Camera Captures Celestial Phenomena

Canada to ban Huawei and ZTE and tell telcos to rip out 5G and 4G equipment

Conti ransomware shuts down operation, rebrands into smaller units

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News