|Publication type:||Conference other|
|Type of review:||Editorial review|
|Title:||Soundscapes in nature parks : how they contribute to recreation|
|Proceedings:||The 11th MMV Conference: Behavioural changes of outdoor and landscape recreational consumption in Global Green Deal context : Book of abstracts|
|Conference details:||11th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas (MMV11), Jūrmala, Latvia, 19-22 September 2022|
|Publisher / Ed. Institution:||Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences|
|Subjects:||Soundscape; Nature parc; Recreation; Noise|
|Subject (DDC):||306.48: Free time and tourism |
333.7: Land, natural recreational areas
|Abstract:||Introduction: Sounds are strongly connected with environmental quality, as Carson (1962) describes with the absence of morning bird songs and insect sounds in her famous book ’Silent Spring‘. Since that time, anthropogenic sounds have multiplied in many mountain regions with more traffic, motorized outdoor activities and the use of machinery for agriculture contributing to noise pollution in mountain areas including the European Alps. It can be assumed that the decrease of natural sounds in connection with the increase in anthropogenic sounds will have consequences for recreational quality in mountain areas. Natural sounds not only serve as an indicator of how well the environment is doing, they are also a decisive factor in how people value spending time in nature and how refreshed they feel (Aletta et al. 2018). However, the question of how much anthropogenic sound a mountain area can tolerate is still largely unresolved. It is therefore important to analyse how people perceive and evaluate soundscapes in the European Alps, and especially in Protected Area such as Regional Nature Parks. A soundscape describes the interplay of all sounds perceived at a specific place and time (Schafer 1977). Sounds within a soundscape are classified according to their origin, being either anthropogenic or natural. Methods: Our study was carried out in summer 2021 in the two RNP, Beverin and Parc Ela in the eastern Swiss Alps. Out of a pre-study with noise modelling, we chose four study areas with a soundtransect with high, medium and low sound levels and ten sites in total. The high-level sites were mainly affected by main alpine transit routes. As an additional aspect, the sites were situated in a similar natural landscape regarding view, grassland and nearby forests. At these sites we provided a questionnaire to 277 passing hikers. Respondents rated the individual 17 sound types on a 5-point Likert scale (from not at all  to strongly ) or on a 7-point Likert scale (from very negative [-3] to neutral  to very positive ). Parallel to the questionnaires we measured sound pressure levels (dBA) on site with the sound level meter UNI-T UT333-BT. For statistical analyses we used the R software, version 4.1.2 with the lme4 package. To analyse the sound level’s effect on recreation we used Linear Mixed Models (LMM) with variables sound level, gender and residential location, as well as date, nested within area and survey respondent codes as random effects to correct for dependencies in the data. Results: The average age of the respondents was 51 years, ranging from 16 to 87 years, and with a preponderance of female participants (55.6 %) over male participants (44.0 %.). Regarding the current motives for hiking, the three most common answers were enjoying nature/landscape, finding tranquillity/recreation and being active and doing something for one's health. The sites with high (mean: 44.6 dBA), medium (mean: 38.6 dBA) and low (mean: 33.7 dBA) sound levels differed significantly from each other, but there were no significant differences between the four areas and the two RPNs. Overall, natural sounds were rated more positively by RNPs visitors than anthropogenic sounds. All negatively rated sounds were of anthropogenic origin and therefore called noise. The sounds of motorbikes or quad bikes were rated worst, followed by cars, trucks or buses. Across all areas, visitors in the RNPs generally underestimated road traffic noises on sites with high sound level. It was found that the deviation between expectation and perception of the specific sound type influenced its rating (regression coefficient=0.69, 95% CI=0.64 to 0.76, F=759.3 df=1 and p=<0.001). Unexpected sounds in Alpine nature parks were more likely to be rated negatively by visitors. Regarding the question about how recreation was affected by noise, it was found that sound level was the most important factor (relative importance = 1). At high sound level sites, noise had a stronger negative effect on recreation compared to sites with low sound levels. The best LMM-models further contained the variables gender, residential location and the interaction between gender and sound level. The relative importance of those factors was however considerably lower than the effect of sound level (gender=0.36, gender: sound level=0.17, residential location=0.12). Discussion and conclusion: Our findings that only anthropogenic sounds were perceived negatively are in line with other studies (e.g. Li et al. 2018). Regarding the question about how sound level influenced RNPs visitors' recreation quality in Alpine areas, our study was able to provide new insights. In close proximity to anthropogenic sound sources and correspondingly in sites with high sound levels, visitors assessed noise as having a stronger negative effect on recreation. Noise had a clearly weaker negative effect on recreation in sites with low sound levels, compared to sites with both medium and high sound levels. There was no significant difference in the effect sounds had on recreational quality between sites with medium and high sound levels, indicating that there might be a threshold level of noise (between 33.7 - 38.6 dBA), and if the overall noise exceeds it, sounds start having a strong negative effect on the recreational quality. Natural soundscapes are an essential part of park experiences and play a key role in deciding where people choose to spend leisure time in nature. It is therefore important for RNPs to take measures to preserve the integrity of natural soundscapes.|
|Fulltext version:||Published version|
|License (according to publishing contract):||Licence according to publishing contract|
|Departement:||Life Sciences and Facility Management|
|Organisational Unit:||Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)|
|Appears in collections:||Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management|
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Rupf, R., Ferrari, R., & Reutz, B. (2022). Soundscapes in nature parks : how they contribute to recreation [Conference presentation]. The 11th MMV Conference: Behavioural Changes of Outdoor and Landscape Recreational Consumption in Global Green Deal Context : Book of Abstracts, 41–43. https://www.mmvconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MMV11_abstract_book_2022.pdf
Rupf, R., Ferrari, R. and Reutz, B. (2022) ‘Soundscapes in nature parks : how they contribute to recreation’, in The 11th MMV Conference: Behavioural changes of outdoor and landscape recreational consumption in Global Green Deal context : Book of abstracts. Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, pp. 41–43. Available at: https://www.mmvconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MMV11_abstract_book_2022.pdf.
R. Rupf, R. Ferrari, and B. Reutz, “Soundscapes in nature parks : how they contribute to recreation,” in The 11th MMV Conference: Behavioural changes of outdoor and landscape recreational consumption in Global Green Deal context : Book of abstracts, Sep. 2022, pp. 41–43. [Online]. Available: https://www.mmvconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MMV11_abstract_book_2022.pdf
Rupf, Reto, et al. “Soundscapes in Nature Parks : How They Contribute to Recreation.” The 11th MMV Conference: Behavioural Changes of Outdoor and Landscape Recreational Consumption in Global Green Deal Context : Book of Abstracts, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, 2022, pp. 41–43, https://www.mmvconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MMV11_abstract_book_2022.pdf.
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