Spatial Differentiation of Landscape Values in the Murray River Region of Victoria, Australia

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Zhu, X, Pfueller, S, Whitelaw, Paul A and Winter, C (2010) Spatial Differentiation of Landscape Values in the Murray River Region of Victoria, Australia. Environmental Management, 45 (5). pp. 896-911. ISSN 0364-152X (print) 1432-1009 (online)


This research advances the understanding of the location of perceived landscape values through a statistically based approach to spatial analysis of value densities. Survey data were obtained from a sample of people living in and using the Murray River region, Australia, where declining environmental quality prompted a reevaluation of its conservation status. When densities of 12 perceived landscape values were mapped using geographic information systems (GIS), valued places clustered along the entire river bank and in associated National/State Parks and reserves. While simple density mapping revealed high value densities in various locations, it did not indicate what density of a landscape value could be regarded as a statistically significant hotspot or distinguish whether overlapping areas of high density for different values indicate identical or adjacent locations. A spatial statistic Getis–Ord Gi* was used to indicate statistically significant spatial clusters of high value densities or “hotspots”. Of 251 hotspots, 40% were for single non-use values, primarily spiritual, therapeutic or intrinsic. Four hotspots had 11 landscape values. Two, lacking economic value, were located in ecologically important river red gum forests and two, lacking wilderness value, were near the major towns of Echuca-Moama and Albury-Wodonga. Hotspots for eight values showed statistically significant associations with another value. There were high associations between learning and heritage values while economic and biological diversity values showed moderate associations with several other direct and indirect use values. This approach may improve confidence in the interpretation of spatial analysis of landscape values by enhancing understanding of value relationships.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1007/s00267-010-9462-x
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0602 Ecology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Tourism and Services Research (CTSR)
Keywords ResPubID21728, landscape value, hotspot, spatial analysis, GIS, place
Citations in Scopus 62 - View on Scopus
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