Limits...
Protected Area Tourism in a Changing Climate: Will Visitation at US National Parks Warm Up or Overheat?

Fisichelli NA, Schuurman GW, Monahan WB, Ziesler PS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Warming-mediated increases in potential visitation are projected for most months in most parks (67-77% of months; range across future scenarios), resulting in future increases in total annual visits across the park system (8-23%) and expansion of the visitation season at individual parks (13-31 days).Although very warm months at some parks may see decreases in future visitation, this potential change represents a relatively small proportion of visitation across the national park system.A changing climate is likely to have cascading and complex effects on protected area visitation, management, and local economies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Natural Resource Science and Stewardship, US National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Climate change will affect not only natural and cultural resources within protected areas but also tourism and visitation patterns. The U.S. National Park Service systematically collects data regarding its 270+ million annual recreation visits, and therefore provides an opportunity to examine how human visitation may respond to climate change from the tropics to the polar regions. To assess the relationship between climate and park visitation, we evaluated historical monthly mean air temperature and visitation data (1979-2013) at 340 parks and projected potential future visitation (2041-2060) based on two warming-climate scenarios and two visitation-growth scenarios. For the entire park system a third-order polynomial temperature model explained 69% of the variation in historical visitation trends. Visitation generally increased with increasing average monthly temperature, but decreased strongly with temperatures > 25°C. Linear to polynomial monthly temperature models also explained historical visitation at individual parks (R2 0.12-0.99, mean = 0.79, median = 0.87). Future visitation at almost all parks (95%) may change based on historical temperature, historical visitation, and future temperature projections. Warming-mediated increases in potential visitation are projected for most months in most parks (67-77% of months; range across future scenarios), resulting in future increases in total annual visits across the park system (8-23%) and expansion of the visitation season at individual parks (13-31 days). Although very warm months at some parks may see decreases in future visitation, this potential change represents a relatively small proportion of visitation across the national park system. A changing climate is likely to have cascading and complex effects on protected area visitation, management, and local economies. Results suggest that protected areas and neighboring communities that develop adaptation strategies for these changes may be able to both capitalize on opportunities and minimize detriment related to changing visitation.

No MeSH data available.


Third-order polynomial glm relationship of historical (1979–2013) monthly mean temperature and monthly park visitation (proportion of annual).Mean (black circles) and error bars (+/- twice the standard error) from observed data are based on 2.5°C bins. Model estimate (dark gray solid line) ± 1 standard error (light gray shaded area), R2 = 0.69.
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pone.0128226.g001: Third-order polynomial glm relationship of historical (1979–2013) monthly mean temperature and monthly park visitation (proportion of annual).Mean (black circles) and error bars (+/- twice the standard error) from observed data are based on 2.5°C bins. Model estimate (dark gray solid line) ± 1 standard error (light gray shaded area), R2 = 0.69.

Mentions: Across the national park system, monthly historical visitation (mean proportion of annual visits) and temperature were strongly associated (Fig 1). The third-order polynomial model of temperature was the best fit (ΔBIC > 100), all temperature parameters were strongly significant (P-values ≤ 0.001), and the model had an R2 = 0.69 (S3 Table). This model fits the data well, though overestimates visitation at very high temperatures.


Protected Area Tourism in a Changing Climate: Will Visitation at US National Parks Warm Up or Overheat?

Fisichelli NA, Schuurman GW, Monahan WB, Ziesler PS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Third-order polynomial glm relationship of historical (1979–2013) monthly mean temperature and monthly park visitation (proportion of annual).Mean (black circles) and error bars (+/- twice the standard error) from observed data are based on 2.5°C bins. Model estimate (dark gray solid line) ± 1 standard error (light gray shaded area), R2 = 0.69.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4470629&req=5

pone.0128226.g001: Third-order polynomial glm relationship of historical (1979–2013) monthly mean temperature and monthly park visitation (proportion of annual).Mean (black circles) and error bars (+/- twice the standard error) from observed data are based on 2.5°C bins. Model estimate (dark gray solid line) ± 1 standard error (light gray shaded area), R2 = 0.69.
Mentions: Across the national park system, monthly historical visitation (mean proportion of annual visits) and temperature were strongly associated (Fig 1). The third-order polynomial model of temperature was the best fit (ΔBIC > 100), all temperature parameters were strongly significant (P-values ≤ 0.001), and the model had an R2 = 0.69 (S3 Table). This model fits the data well, though overestimates visitation at very high temperatures.

Bottom Line: Warming-mediated increases in potential visitation are projected for most months in most parks (67-77% of months; range across future scenarios), resulting in future increases in total annual visits across the park system (8-23%) and expansion of the visitation season at individual parks (13-31 days).Although very warm months at some parks may see decreases in future visitation, this potential change represents a relatively small proportion of visitation across the national park system.A changing climate is likely to have cascading and complex effects on protected area visitation, management, and local economies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Natural Resource Science and Stewardship, US National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Climate change will affect not only natural and cultural resources within protected areas but also tourism and visitation patterns. The U.S. National Park Service systematically collects data regarding its 270+ million annual recreation visits, and therefore provides an opportunity to examine how human visitation may respond to climate change from the tropics to the polar regions. To assess the relationship between climate and park visitation, we evaluated historical monthly mean air temperature and visitation data (1979-2013) at 340 parks and projected potential future visitation (2041-2060) based on two warming-climate scenarios and two visitation-growth scenarios. For the entire park system a third-order polynomial temperature model explained 69% of the variation in historical visitation trends. Visitation generally increased with increasing average monthly temperature, but decreased strongly with temperatures > 25°C. Linear to polynomial monthly temperature models also explained historical visitation at individual parks (R2 0.12-0.99, mean = 0.79, median = 0.87). Future visitation at almost all parks (95%) may change based on historical temperature, historical visitation, and future temperature projections. Warming-mediated increases in potential visitation are projected for most months in most parks (67-77% of months; range across future scenarios), resulting in future increases in total annual visits across the park system (8-23%) and expansion of the visitation season at individual parks (13-31 days). Although very warm months at some parks may see decreases in future visitation, this potential change represents a relatively small proportion of visitation across the national park system. A changing climate is likely to have cascading and complex effects on protected area visitation, management, and local economies. Results suggest that protected areas and neighboring communities that develop adaptation strategies for these changes may be able to both capitalize on opportunities and minimize detriment related to changing visitation.

No MeSH data available.