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‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach

Merryn Thomas, Erin Roberts Orcid Logo, Nick Pidgeon Orcid Logo, Karen Henwood Orcid Logo

People and Nature, Volume: 4, Issue: 3, Pages: 804 - 815

Swansea University Author: Merryn Thomas

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DOI (Published version): 10.1002/pan3.10318

Abstract

Saltmarshes are increasingly recognised for the range of benefits they offer, including coastal protection, flood regulation and carbon sequestration. However, much less is known about how people perceive these environments and their importance for non-material aspects of human well-being.As climate...

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Published in: People and Nature
ISSN: 2575-8314 2575-8314
Published: Wiley 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59698
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spelling 2022-07-21T15:53:18.8340363 v2 59698 2022-03-23 ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach 82aca05941f2ff78c16feb32b01acca9 Merryn Thomas Merryn Thomas true false 2022-03-23 PHAC Saltmarshes are increasingly recognised for the range of benefits they offer, including coastal protection, flood regulation and carbon sequestration. However, much less is known about how people perceive these environments and their importance for non-material aspects of human well-being.As climate change and sea-level rise render these environments increasingly vulnerable, there is a need to better understand how saltmarshes are valued. This is because these values influence—and are influenced by—the ways in which people interact with places and therefore gain well-being benefits from them. These values also shape management decisions, which in turn affect the well-being of people and environment.To address this need, we use a multimodal qualitative approach (mobile interviews, photo elicitations, mapping and word association) to explore the values held in connection to saltmarshes at two Welsh case study sites: the Taf Estuary in Carmarthenshire and the Mawddach Estuary in Gwynedd.We find that saltmarshes are ambiguous places, not having one obvious meaning, and being open to more than one interpretation. They are both known and unknown; valued and (literally) overlooked. We suggest that this ambiguousness is related to both the physical characteristics of saltmarshes, which change and shift on short and long time-scales, as well as to the ways in which people (can) relate with them.We discuss how ambiguity renders saltmarshes as places of exclusive, privileged human–nature relationships, and reflect on the implications of our findings for human well-being and the management of threatened environments. We also consider how multimodal, in-depth and place-based methods such as ours provide ways in which to explore the more intangible and changeable values associated with particular habitats. Journal Article People and Nature 4 3 804 815 Wiley 2575-8314 2575-8314 interviews, mobile methods, public perceptions, qualitative research, relational values, salt marshes, well-being 8 6 2022 2022-06-08 10.1002/pan3.10318 COLLEGE NANME Public Health COLLEGE CODE PHAC Swansea University SU Library paid the OA fee (TA Institutional Deal) Natural Environment Research Council, Grant/Award Number: NE/N013573/1 NE/N013573/1 2022-07-21T15:53:18.8340363 2022-03-23T10:45:21.0994224 Faculty of Science and Engineering School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences Merryn Thomas 1 Erin Roberts 0000-0003-4818-2926 2 Nick Pidgeon 0000-0002-8991-0398 3 Karen Henwood 0000-0002-4631-5468 4 59698__23911__97224b72616c4fff941a662a27c2cfad.pdf 59698.pdf 2022-04-25T16:02:59.4272190 Output 1611882 application/pdf Version of Record true © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License true eng http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
title ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
spellingShingle ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
Merryn Thomas
title_short ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
title_full ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
title_fullStr ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
title_full_unstemmed ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
title_sort ‘This funny place’: Uncovering the ambiguity of saltmarshes using a multimodal approach
author_id_str_mv 82aca05941f2ff78c16feb32b01acca9
author_id_fullname_str_mv 82aca05941f2ff78c16feb32b01acca9_***_Merryn Thomas
author Merryn Thomas
author2 Merryn Thomas
Erin Roberts
Nick Pidgeon
Karen Henwood
format Journal article
container_title People and Nature
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publishDate 2022
institution Swansea University
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doi_str_mv 10.1002/pan3.10318
publisher Wiley
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description Saltmarshes are increasingly recognised for the range of benefits they offer, including coastal protection, flood regulation and carbon sequestration. However, much less is known about how people perceive these environments and their importance for non-material aspects of human well-being.As climate change and sea-level rise render these environments increasingly vulnerable, there is a need to better understand how saltmarshes are valued. This is because these values influence—and are influenced by—the ways in which people interact with places and therefore gain well-being benefits from them. These values also shape management decisions, which in turn affect the well-being of people and environment.To address this need, we use a multimodal qualitative approach (mobile interviews, photo elicitations, mapping and word association) to explore the values held in connection to saltmarshes at two Welsh case study sites: the Taf Estuary in Carmarthenshire and the Mawddach Estuary in Gwynedd.We find that saltmarshes are ambiguous places, not having one obvious meaning, and being open to more than one interpretation. They are both known and unknown; valued and (literally) overlooked. We suggest that this ambiguousness is related to both the physical characteristics of saltmarshes, which change and shift on short and long time-scales, as well as to the ways in which people (can) relate with them.We discuss how ambiguity renders saltmarshes as places of exclusive, privileged human–nature relationships, and reflect on the implications of our findings for human well-being and the management of threatened environments. We also consider how multimodal, in-depth and place-based methods such as ours provide ways in which to explore the more intangible and changeable values associated with particular habitats.
published_date 2022-06-08T04:09:18Z
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