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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Does biological quality matter? Direct and reflected appraisal of biodiversity in temperate deciduous broad-leaf forest

Johansson, Maria; Gyllin, Mats; Witzell, Jesper; Küller, Marianne


Using a multilevel approach, this study investigates direct (perceptual, emotional, and physiological responses [qEEG]) and reflected (preference, attitude, and intention to accept conservation measures) appraisal of different levels of biodiversity in temperate deciduous broad-leaf forest biotopes. Thirty-five participants viewed three series of zoomed pictures from biotopes assessed according to biological criteria to be of High, Intermediate, and Low level of biodiversity. Participants’ appraisal differed between the biotopes, and partly between the conceptualisation of appraisal, but overall there was a consistency across direct and reflected levels of appraisal. The most prominent result of the analysis of qEEG was a higher brain activity in the Theta frequency for the Low biotope. The Theta frequency has amongst others been associated with on-set of sleep and in the present context probably indicating that the Low biotope was less stimulating. The Low biotope was perceived to have the lowest degree of biodiversity followed by the Intermediate and the High biotopes. The Intermediate biotope elicited the most positive emotional response, and was rated highest in preference and in importance to conserve, whereas the intention to accept conservation measures did not differ between the biotopes. Thus biodiversity related criteria presently favoured in forest conservation management schemes are notnecessarilyprioritised by the public. Emotional components are likely to be at stake tending to favour the conservation of biotopes of an intermediate level of biodiversity.

Published in

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2014, Volume: 13, number: 1, pages: 28-37

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences
    Applied Psychology

    Publication Identifiers


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