عنوان مقاله [English]
Ecosystems provide a variety of services to human communities and other organisms, directly or indirectly. Trees, as one of the key elements of the environmental landscape of rural areas, provide a wide range of cultural, supply, regulation, and support services in ecological, social, cultural, and economic dimensions for humans, creatures, and rural environments. Also, trees play a vital role in providing timber and crops such as fruit, providing shelter for living organisms, creating biodiversity, reducing the effects of natural hazards, absorbing carbon dioxide, protecting soil health, regulating climate, and consequently reducing environmental pressures. They also provide different socio-cultural services to rural communities by providing a fresh perspective for recreation and human well-being. In general, the ecosystem services of trees can play an essential role in creating a thriving and healthy ecosystem, improving mental and physical health, promoting the welfare of rural citizens, and increasing the sustainability and viability of rural settlements. In recent years, due to the increasing human activities in rural settlements, the economic dimension is preferred to the ecosystem services, which can lead to reducing ecosystem services and the destruction of favorable rural landscapes. This problem can be seen in the rural settlements of tourism destination in Binalood city of Razavi Khorasan province. So, performing human activities in this area (such as the expansion of tourism infrastructure) and the lack of basic land management have led to the neglect of the many values of trees.
Therefore, with the increasing trend of environmental degradation in recent decades, the evaluation of services has grown in importance. In this regard, rural communities, as a major group of stakeholders, have interacted with nature for decades or centuries. Since the historical interaction between socio-cultural and natural systems has influenced the formation of valuation and attitude of rural stakeholders towards trees, it is necessary to evaluate the ecosystem services of trees and focus on understanding and valuing rural stakeholders toward the ecosystem services of trees. So, understanding local priorities and perspectives on tree ecosystem services has always been a concern for related rural managers and decision-makers. In this regard, this study aims to analyze the ecosystem services of rural landscape trees based on the perception of local communities in Binalood city of the Razavi Khorasan province.
The present research is descriptive-analytical and applied in terms of methodology. The goal of this research is the evaluation of ecosystem services of rural landscape trees based on the perception of local communities in rural areas of Binalood city. To achieve the research goal, the data was collected through the documentary and survey methods. In this regard, the questionnaire was completed in the form of 5 indicators and 16 items with a Likert scale, and related data was analyzed by SPSS software (Friedman, Yeoman-Whitney, and Pearson statistical tests). To operationalize the research, the sample size was calculated by Cochran's formula. The statistical population of the current research includes 183 people from rural households in 6 rural settlements of Binalood city. Therefore, the level of analysis of the present study is the village and the unit of analysis is the rural households.
Results and discussion
According to the results of this study, among the participants, 15 people were in their 20s, 46 people were in their 30s, 46 people were in their 40s, and the remainder were above 50. In terms of occupation, 13.5% were housewives, 23.7% were workers, 56.3% were farmers, and 6.5% had retail jobs. Regarding education, 24% were illiterate and elementary, 55.2% had a diploma, and 20.8% had a bachelor's degree or higher.
The results of the research indicated that the valuation of tree ecosystem services by local communities in the study area has varied based on the views and needs of local people and some variables including gender, occupation, level of education, and monthly income. The results of the Pearson correlation test showed that there was a positive correlation relationship between the job variables of the participants and the indicators of "supply products", "aesthetic value", and "sense of place" due to the significance level of alpha (below 0.05), and according to the type of their job, their attitude and valuation of tree ecosystem services was different. In addition, there is a positive correlation between the average annual income of participants and the indicators of "supply products ", "aesthetic value", "recreational performance", and "sense of place". Also, there is a significant relationship between the age variable of participants and the indicators of "quality of environmental resources" and "recreational performance", and there is a positive correlation between the gender variable and the indicators of "aesthetic value" and "recreational performance". Finally, the variables of education level and "aesthetic value" have a positive correlation. This means that with the increase in the level of education of the local people, in the rural settlements of Torghabeh district, the value of trees in terms of aesthetics also increases, and rural educated people believe more in the role of landscape trees in beautifying the rural environment.
Moreover, according to the results, the highest average indices of tree ecosystem services were allocated to Kang and Azghad villages in the Torghabeh district of the Razavi Khorasan province. Also, there is a significant difference between farmers and Tourism employees of sample villages in terms of the valuation of tree ecosystem services. Farmers evaluated the trees' ecosystem services in the field of "maintaining the quality of environmental resources", "creating a sense of spatial belonging", and "aesthetic value of trees". Finally, women have a higher average rank than men in the sample villages of the research. Therefore, the group of women allocated a higher value to the trees compared to men.
There is no funding support.
Authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work declaration of competing interest none.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.