Understanding relational values in cultural landscapes in Romania and Germany

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Relational values recently emerged as a concept to comprehensively understand and communicate the many values of nature. Relational values can be defined as preferences and principles about human–nature relationships and focus both on human–nature connections and well as human–human connections. Here, drawing on 819 face-to-face questionnaires, we analysed relational, intrinsic and instrumental values across a total of six agricultural landscapes in Transylvania (Romania) and Lower Saxony (Germany). The landscapes described a gradient of land use intensity, within and across the countries. Our results suggest a bundling of values into four groups: those concerned with individual cognition (including intrinsic values), those that focus on nature as a place for social interaction and relaxation, those that capture cultural identity and spiritual values and one bundle that only includes instrumental values. These different values, in turn, were strongly related to (a) respondents’ attitudes towards environmental conservation and the (b) frequency with which respondents used nature as a resource. Instrumental values have the tendency to be inversely related to relational values and were found to increase with the land use intensity of the focal landscapes. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.

ZeitschriftPeople and Nature
Seiten (von - bis)1036-1046
Anzahl der Seiten11
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 10.2021

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
The authors thank the respondents for their collaboration. This research was supported by the Volkswagenstiftung and the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (Grant Number A112269). The research draws on work undertaken in a large transdisciplinary research project (Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation). The authors acknowledge and thank all project members for their ideas and input in the early stages of this work, even where they are not listed as authors. A.B. also contributed to a project supported by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation (CCCDI–UEFISCDI): ERA‐FACCE‐STACCATO‐3 (BiodivERsA‐FACCE2014‐47).

Diese Publikation wurde gefördert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. People and Nature published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society