Wetlands

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 65–81 | Cite as

What Can Photo-Elicitation Tell Us About How Maritime Farmers Perceive Wetlands as Climate Changes?

Article

Abstract

Wetlands provide numerous public and private benefits, cushioning our vulnerability to climate change, yet wetlands are increasingly subject to land-use conversion. In Nova Scotia, land drainage has become as much a cultural practice as a production activity in the almost four centuries since Acadians started draining coastal marshes for farming. Nonetheless, many farmers have begun reintroducing and restoring wetlands. We undertook an exploratory photo-elicitation study with livestock farmers in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, to understand what their farm landscape values suggested about their perceptions of wetlands and climate change without disclosing these specific interests. Farm landscapes evoked three general themes for farmers: pragmatic and immediate issues related to short-term economic viability; longer-term stewardship of ecosystem services, albeit an incomplete set of them; and, sense of place and identity. Many farmers clearly valued wetlands—and were having them constructed—largely to improve and regulate water quality. Climate change was not, however, a significant component of any narratives, much less those related to wetlands, potentially because of the visual methods employed to elicit them.

Keywords

Atlantic Provinces Agriculture Constructed wetlands Cumberland County Ecosystem services Landscape values Livestock farming systems Nova Scotia Photovoice 

References

  1. Amezaga JM, Santamaría L, Green AJ (2002) Biotic wetland connectivity—supporting a new approach for wetland policy. Acta Oecologica 23:213–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atari DOA, Yiridoe EK, Smale S, Duinker PN (2008) What motivates farmers to participate in the Nova Scotia environmental farm plan program? Evidence and environmental policy implications. Journal of Environmental Management 90:1269–1279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austen E, Hanson A (2007) An analysis of wetland policy in Atlantic Canada. Canadian Water Resources Journal 32:163–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bain PG, Hornsey MJ, Bongiorno R, Jeffries C (2012) Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers. Nature Climate Change 2:600–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barr N, Cary J (2000) Influencing Improved Natural Resource Management on Farms. Australian Government Bureau of Rural Sciences, Kingston, ACT, p 44Google Scholar
  6. Beckley TM, Stedman RC, Wallace SM, Ambard M (2007) Snapshots of what matters most: using resident-employed photography to articulate attachment to place. Society and Natural Resources 20:913–929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beilin R (2005) Photo-elicitation and the agricultural landscape: ‘seeing’ and ‘telling’ about farming, community and place. Visual Studies 20:56–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bleakney JS (2004) Sods, soil, and spades: the Acadians at Grand Pré and their Dykeland Legacy. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, QCGoogle Scholar
  9. Bootsma A, Gameda S, McKenney DW (2005) Impacts of potential climate change on selected agroclimatic indices in Atlantic Canada. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 85:329–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bowker GC, Starr SL (1999) Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. MIT Press Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  11. Boyd J, Wainger L (2002) The economics of wetland ecosystem restoration and mitigation: landscape indicators of ecosystem service benefits. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 84:1371–1378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brauman KA, Daily GC, Duarte TK, Mooney HA (2007) The nature and value of ecosystem services: an overview highlighting hydrologic services. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 32:67–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brinson MM, Malvárez AI (2002) Temperate freshwater wetlands: types, status, and threats. Environmental Conservation 29:115–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brosofske KD, Chen J, Naiman RJ, Franklin JF (1997) Harvesting effects on microclimatic gradients from small streams to uplands in western Washington. Ecological Applications 7:1188–1200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bryant CR, Smit B, Brklacich M, Johnston TR, Smithers J, Chjotti Q, Singh B (2000) Adaptation in canadian agriculture to climatic variability and change. Climatic Change 45:181–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Secretariat (2011) Municipal Climate Change Action Plan Guidebook. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Halifax NS, and online at http://www.nsinfrastructure.ca/uploads/MCCAP%20Guidebook-final%20draft%202011.pdf
  17. Castelle AJ, Johnson AW, Conolly C (1994) Wetland and stream buffer size requirements—a review. Journal of Environmental Quality 23:878–882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Castleden H, Garvin T, Huu-ay-aht First Nation (2008) Modifying photovoice for community-based participatory indigenous research. Social Science & Medicine 66:1393–1405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Climate Change Nova Scotia (2005) Adapting to a Changing Climate in Nova Scotia: Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Options. Climate Change Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS and online at http://www.climatechange.gov.ns.ca/files/02/77/Adapting_to_a_Changing_Climate_in_NS.pdf
  20. Close A, Zammit C, Boshier J, Gainer K, Mednis A (2009) Ecosystem Services: Key Concepts and Applications. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra, Australia, and online at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/ecosystem-services.html
  21. Collier M (2001) Approaches to analysis in visual anthropology. In: Van Leeuwen T, Jewitt C (eds) Handbook of visual analysis. SAGE Publicatoins Ltd, London, UK, pp 35–60Google Scholar
  22. Cooper P (2009) What can we learn from old wetlands? Lessons that have been learned and some that may have been forgotten over the past 20 years. Desalination 246:11–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Devanney M, Reinhardt F (2010) An Overview of the Nova Scotia Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/agri/AO0102-2010-NS-Ag-Overview-w-Appendices.pdf
  24. Dunne EJ, Culleton N, O’Donovan G, Harrington R, Olsen AE (2005) An integrated constructed wetland to treat contaminants and nutrients from dairy farmyard dirty water. Ecological Engineering 24:219–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Environics Research Group (2006) National survey of farmers and ranchers: ecological goods and services. Environics Research Group Ltd., Toronto, ONGoogle Scholar
  26. Erwin K (2009) Wetlands and global climate change: the role of wetland restoration in a changing world. Wetlands Ecology and Management 17:71–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Euliss NH Jr, Gleason RA, Olness A, McDougal RL, Murkin HR, Robarts RD, Bourbonniere RA, Warner BG (2006) North American prairie wetlands are important nonforested land-based carbon storage sites. Science of the Total Environment 361:179–188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Findlay CS, Houlahan J (1997) Anthropogenic correlates of species richness in southeastern Ontario wetlands. Conservation Biology 11:1000–1009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gagné S, Fahrig L (2007) Effect of landscape context on anuran communities in breeding ponds in the National Capital Region, Canada. Landscape Ecology 22:205–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gerakis A, Kalburtji K (1998) Agricultural activities affecting the functions and values of Ramsar wetland sites of Greece. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 70:119–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gobster PH, Nassauer JI, Daniel TC, Fry G (2007) The shared landscape: what does aesthetics have to do with ecology? Landscape Ecology 22:959–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Government of Nova Scotia (2000) Agricultural Marshland Conservation Act. Acts of the Nova Scotia Legislature Halifax, NS and online at http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/agricmar.htm
  33. Graham J (2011) Communicating about Coastal Erosion with Northumberland Strait Property Owners. Ecology Action Centre, Halifax, NS, and online at http://www.ecologyaction.ca/files/images/file/Coastal_Erosion.pdf
  34. Greenland-Smith S (2012) Wetlands and farming in Nova Scotia: Studying the overlap. Atlantic Farm Focus, August: 4–5Google Scholar
  35. Gren I-M (1995) Costs and benefits of restoring wetlands: two Swedish case studies. Ecological Engineering 4:153–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Harrison J, Sarre P (1975) Personal construct theory in the measurement of environmental images. Environment and Behavior 7:3–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hatvany MG (2002) The origins of the Acadian aboiteau: an environmental-historical geography of the northeast. Historical Geography 20:121–137Google Scholar
  38. Hauer G, Weber M, Price D (2002) Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture/Forestry Land Use Patterns: Developing and Applying an Integrated Economy-Ecosystem Response and Adaptation Impacts Assessment Model. Climate Change Action Fund, Online at http://www.adaptation.rncan.gc.ca/projdb/pdf/crosscutting1_e.pdf
  39. Kessel-Taylor I (1983) An evaluation of a methodology (Snell 1981) for determining presettlement and existing wetlands in Canada. Environment Canada Land DirectorateGoogle Scholar
  40. Kessel-Taylor I (1984) The application of the Canada Land Data System for quantitative analysis of land use dynamics on wetlands for twenty-three urban centered regions in Canada. Application Report R003200. Environment Canada Lands DirectorateGoogle Scholar
  41. Klepeis P, Gill N, Chisholm L (2009) Emerging amenity landscapes: invasive weeds and land subdivision in rural Australia. Land Use Policy 26:380–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mackinnon K, Scott DB (1984) An evaluation of salt marshes in Atlantic Canada. Technical Report 1. Environmental Canada Lands and Integrated Programs Directorate—Atlantic RegionGoogle Scholar
  43. Manuel P (2003) Cultural perceptions of small urban wetlands: cases from the Halifax regional municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. Wetlands 23:921–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Marshall NA (2010) Understanding social resilience to climate variability in primary enterprises and industries. Global Environmental Change 20:36–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Maxwell JA (2010) Using numbers in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry 16:475–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mensing DM, Galatowitsch SM, Tester JR (1998) Anthropogenic effects on the biodiversity of riparian wetlands of a northern temperate landscape. Journal of Environmental Management 53:349–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005b) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Wetlands and water World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, and online at http://www.maweb.org/documents/document.358.aspx.pdf
  48. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  49. Mitsch WJ, Gosselink JG (2000) The value of wetlands: importance of scale and landscape setting. Ecological Economics 35:25–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Newell RB (2002) Wetland and riparian edge conservation in the agricultural landscape. p. 124–126. In Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (ed), Proceedings of 5th Workshop and Coastal Forum Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership Wolfville NSGoogle Scholar
  51. Nova Scotia Agricultural Land Review Committee (2010) Preservation of agricultural land in Nova Scotia. Government of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS and Online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/agri/elibrary/NSALRC-rpt.pdf
  52. Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing (1987) Maritime Dykelands—The 350 Year Struggle. Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS and online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/agri/rs/marsh/maritime.shtml
  53. Nova Scotia Department of Environment (2011) Wetland Conservation Policy. Government of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS and online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/wetland/conservation.policy.asp
  54. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (2002) Nova Scotia wetland vegetation and classification inventory. Government of Nova Scotia, Kentville, NSGoogle Scholar
  55. Prosser J, Schwartz D (1998) Photographs within the sociological research process. In: Prosser J (ed) Image-based research: a sourcebook for qualitative researchers. Falmer Press, London, UK, pp 115–130Google Scholar
  56. Province of Nova Scotia (2009) Toward a Greener Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Action Plan. Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Halifax, NS and online at http://climatechange.gov.ns.ca/doc/ccap.pdf
  57. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (2010) Caring for wetlands - an answer to climate change. Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Gland, Switzerland and Online at http://www.ramsar.org/pdf/wwd/10/wwd2010_aa_leaflet_e.pdf
  58. Richards W, Daigle R (2011) Scenarios and Guidance for Adaptation to Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise—NS and PEI Municipalities. Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association (ACASA), Online at http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/ccscenarios.pdf
  59. Rideout E (2012) Setbacks and Vegetated Buffers in Nova Scotia: A Review and Analysis of current practice and management options. Hydrologic Systems Research Group, Halifax, NS, and online at http://www.sterlinglab.ca/setbacks-and-vegetated-buffers-in-nova-scotia
  60. Roberts B (2009) Identification and assessment of the provision of environment goods and services by the primary agriculture sector and determining societal expectations of the farm community. Ecological Goods & Services Technical Meeting. Prairie Habitat Joint Venture, Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  61. Robinson S, van Proosdij D, Kolstee H (2005) Change in Dykeland Practices in Agricultural Salt Marshes in Cobequid Bay, Bay of Fundy. The Changing Bay of Fundy: Beyond 400 Years. Proceedings of the 6th Bay of Fundy Workshop. Cornwallis, NS and online at http://docs.informatics.management.dal.ca/gsdl/collect/bofep1/pdf/WF/BOFEP6-2004-400.pdf
  62. Rogge E, Nevens F, Gulinck H (2007) Perception of rural landscapes in Flanders: looking beyond aesthetics. Landscape and Urban Planning 82:159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ryan GW, Bernard HR (2003) Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods 15:85–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Scott J (2003) Farm and Community Viability: Report on Interview Results. Genuine Progress Index Nova Scotia, Online at http://www.gpiatlantic.org/pdf/agriculture/farmviab.pdf
  65. Scott J, Cameron SD, Benjamin C (2010) Opportunities and Challenges in Atlantic Agriculture. Atlantic Federations of Agriculture, Online at http://www.nsfa-fane.ca/opportunities-and-challenges-atlantic-canada
  66. Seabrook L, McAlpine C, Fensham R (2008) What influences farmers to keep trees? A case study from the Brigalow Belt, Queensland, Australia. Landscape and Urban Planning 84:266–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Semlitsch RD, Bodie JR (2003) Biological criteria for buffer zones around wetlands and riparian habitats for amphibians and reptiles. Conservation Biology 17:1219–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sherren K, Fischer J, Price R (2010) Using photography to elicit grazier values and management practices relating to tree survival and recruitment. Land Use Policy 27:1056–1067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sherren K, Fischer J, Clayton H, Hauldren A, Dovers S (2011a) Lessons from visualising the landscape and habitat implications of tree decline—and its remediation through tree planting—in Australia’s grazing landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning 103:248–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sherren K, Fischer J, Pink J, Stott J, Stein J (2011b) Australian graziers value sparse trees in their pastures: a viewshed analysis of photo elicitation. Society and Natural Resources 24:412–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Sherren K, Fischer J, Fazey I (2012a) Managing the grazing landscape: insights for agricultural adaptation from a mid-drought photo-elicitation study in the Australian sheep-wheat belt. Agricultural Systems 106:72–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sherren K, Yoon H-J, Clayton H, Schirmer J (2012b) Do Australian graziers have an offset mindset about their farm trees? Biodiversity and Conservation 21:363–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Smit B, Skinner MW (2002) Adaptation options in agriculture to climate change: a typology. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 7:85–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Statistics Canada (2006) Tenure, land use, land management, 2006—Nova Scotia (18 counties). Census of Agriculture, farm data and farm operator data. Government of Canada Online via E-Stat at http://estat.statcan.gc.ca
  75. Statistics Canada (2011) Farm and farm operator data, 2011—Nova Scotia (18 counties). Census of Agriculture. Government of Canada Online via www.statcan.gc.ca
  76. Stedman RC, Beckley TM (2007) If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? Society and Natural Resources 20:939–943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Stedman RC, Beckley TM, Wallace SM, Ambard M (2004) A picture and 1000 words: using resident-employed photography to understand attachment to high amenity places. Journal of Leisure Research 36:580–606Google Scholar
  78. Stern PC (2000) Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behaviour. Journal of Social Issues 56:407–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Stevens C, Diamond A, Gabor T (2002) Anuran call surveys on small wetlands in Prince Edward Island, Canada restored by dredging of sediments. Wetlands 22:90–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Thomas DR (2006) A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation 27:237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Van Auken PM, Frisvoll SJ, Stewart SI (2010) Visualising community: using participant-driven photo-elicitation for research and application. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 15:373–388Google Scholar
  82. Vasseur L, Catto NR (2008) Atlantic Canada. p. 119–170. In Lemmen DS, Warren FJ, Lacroix J, Bush F (eds.), From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007. Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON and online at http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/climate-change/community-adaptation/assessments/132
  83. Vouligny É, Domon G, Ruiz J (2009) An assessment of ordinary landscapes by an expert and by its residents: landscape values in areas of intensive agricultural use. Land Use Policy 26:890–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wang C, Burris MA (1997) Photovoice: concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Education & Behavior 24:369–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Weber M, Hauer G (2003) A regional analysis of climate change impacts on Canadian agriculture. Canadian Public Policy 29:163–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Williams KJH, Cary J (2002) Landscape preferences, ecological quality, and biodiversity protection. Environment and Behaviour 34:257–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Williams DR, Patterson ME (2007) Snapshots of what, exactly? A comment on methodological experimentation and conceptual foundations in place research. Society and Natural Resources 20:931–937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wilson SJ (2000) The GPI Water Quality Accounts: Nova Scotia’s water resource values and the damage costs of declining water resources and water quality. Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada, Glen Haven, NS and online at http://www.gpiatlantic.org/publications/abstracts/waterquality-ab.htm
  89. Withey P, van Kooten GC (2011) The effect of climate change on optimal wetlands and waterfowl management in Western Canada. Ecological Economics 70:798–805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Woltemade CJ (2000) Ability of restored wetlands to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in agricultural drainage water. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 55:303–309Google Scholar
  91. Woolmer G, Trombulak SC, Ray JC, Doran PJ, Anderson MG, Baldwin RF, Morgan A, Sanderson EW (2008) Rescaling the human footprint: a tool for conservation planning at an ecoregional scale. Landscape and Urban Planning 87:42–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Zedler JB (2003) Wetlands at your service: reducing impacts of agriculture at the watershed scale. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 1:65–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School for Resource and Environmental StudiesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

Personalised recommendations