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Place attachment and perceptions of land-use change: cultural ecosystem services impacts of eucalyptus plantation expansion in Ubajay, Entre Ríos, Argentina

Theresa Selfa, Department of Environmental Studies, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA
Victoria Marini, Division of Environmental Science, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA
Jesse B. Abrams, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, USA


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In recent decades, the landscape in northeastern Entre Ríos Province, Argentina has undergone significant changes because of the expansion of eucalyptus plantations. These plantations have generated perceived socioeconomic and environmental impacts and changes in ecosystem services in this traditionally agricultural region of the Argentine pampas. This study draws on the concept of sense of place as a cultural ecosystem service to explore residents’ perceptions of impacts from eucalyptus plantation expansion and to explain how place meanings can change in response to physical landscape change. Although scholars have posited an important link between sense of place and perceptions of land-use change impacts, there has been relatively little empirical work exploring these cultural, emotional, economic, and generational attachments to diverse landscapes, especially to working landscapes that are representative of broad land-use change occurring in many regions in the Global South. In-depth interviews and participatory mapping are used to document the range of place meanings and attachments for residents of the rural municipality of Ubajay, Entre Ríos, and to explore how residents have responded to land-use change. This research shows that sense of place may support community resilience, and thus, that place attachment may enhance adaptation to social-ecological change.

Key words

Argentina; cultural ecosystem services; eucalyptus plantations; Global South; monoculture plantations; participatory mapping; sense of place

Copyright © 2021 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087