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Monday, April 9 • 4:00pm - 4:15pm
SYMPOSIA-06: Social Demand and Cross-Scale Interactions in a Riverine Social-Ecological System

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AUTHORS: Jason P. Julian*, Russell Weaver, Graham Daly – Texas State University

ABSTRACT: Central Texas is the fastest growing region in the USA. Caught in the middle of this emerging mega-region is the San Marcos River watershed, which provides a suite of ecosystem services to one of the fastest growing cities in the USA, a rapidly growing University student population, and millions of tourists each year. In order to assess the supply and demand of ecosystem services provided by the San Marcos River and its watershed, we conducted 3,193 surveys among these stakeholder groups. Answers from our 49-question survey revealed that there were five distinct stakeholder groups: Non-student Residents, Student Residents, Regional Students, Regional Tourists, and Non-regional Tourists. One key variable emerged that significantly differentiated these groups with respect to their use, preference, and value of ecosystem services: mobility, particularly in terms of the individual’s origin and how often they visit the river. This mobility and its effect on social demand creates cross-scale interactions that can lead to negative and positive feedbacks in this social-ecological system. In our system, a positive feedback occurred where as individual use of the river increased, so did their value and preference of particular ecosystem services. We also found that as temporal use of the river increased at the global scale, a negative feedback occurred where people at the regional scale avoided the river, even more so than at the local scale. Overall, our findings demonstrate that within this social-ecological system, actors at the individual, stakeholder, regional, and global scales interact to define the supply and demand of ecosystem services.

Monday April 9, 2018 4:00pm - 4:15pm CDT
Grant Park Parlor