Skip to main content

Landscape complexity perception and representation in a wine-growing region with the designation of origin in the Loire Valley (France): a cultural ecosystem service?

  • Morgane E. T. Hervé (a1), Philippe Boudes (a2), Caroline Cieslik (a3), David Montembault (a4), Vincent Jung (a5), Françoise Burel (a6), Daniel Cluzeau (a1), Silvia Winter (a7) and Annegret Nicolai (a1)...

Ecosystem services related to biodiversity, including cultural services, are essential for agricultural production such as viticulture. In agricultural landscapes, pesticides and mechanization threaten biodiversity, lead to landscape simplification and may reduce ecosystem services. On the other hand, consumers are more and more aware of environmental issues in food production. We investigated if landscape complexity, including soil management practices, was (i) appreciated by visitors and (ii) presented by winegrowers and tourism professionals in the French vineyards with the designation of geographical origin (DGO) ‘Coteaux du Layon’. Our goal was to determine if landscape complexity provides cultural ecosystem services such as aesthetics beneficial for the wine trade and the DGO region's attractiveness. We analyzed the iconographic content and the composition of landscape photographs on 50 websites to investigate if local winegrowers and tourism professionals associate biodiversity in the landscape and soil management practices with wine promotion. A questionnaire was realized to study the perception of local landscapes by interviewing 192 visitors of the region. The benefits of landscape complexity and soil management practices favoring biodiversity in viticulture were known and appreciated by many visitors, even if photographs of wine and traditional practices appeared to encourage wine purchasing. Local winegrowers’ representation of the DGO region only partially served these preferences; instead they mainly presented the wine-growing region by photographs focusing on wine bottles and vineyards. Consumer's preferences showed that complex landscapes could provide cultural ecosystem services that winegrowers are still less aware of. Therefore, complexity-targeted landscape planning including vegetation cover in soil management should be included in policy recommendations as agroecological measures for sustainable DGO production.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Morgane E. T. Hervé, E-mail:
Hide All
Abello, RP and Bernaldez, FG (1986) Landscape preference and personality. Landscape and Urban Planning 13, 1928.
Agnelli, A, Bol, R, Trumbore, SE, Dixon, L, Cocco, S and Corti, G (2014) Carbon and nitrogen in soil and vine roots in harrowed and grass-covered vineyards. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 193, 7082.
Altieri, MA (1983) Agroecology: The Scientific Basis of Alternative Agriculture. Berkeley, USA: University of California, Division of Biological Control.
Altieri, MA and Schmidt, LL (1985) Cover crop manipulation in Northern California orchards and vineyards: effects on arthropod communities. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture 3, 124.
Ambroise, R and Brochot, A (2009) Qualité des paysages, des produits & du cadre de vie. APPORT Paysages Agricoles 3. Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin.
Arriaza, M, Cañas-Ortega, JF, Cañas-Madueño, JA, Cañas-Madueño, JA and Ruiz-Aviles, P (2004) Assessing the visual quality of rural landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning 69, 115125.
AtoutFrance (2016) Règlement d'usage de la marque collective Vignobles & Découvertes – Annexe 2 – Conditions d’éligibilité à la marque Vignobles et Découvertes. Available at (Accessed 25 November 2016).
Bahar, E and Yasasin, AS (2010) The yield and berry quality under different soil tillage and clusters thinning treatments in grape (Vitis vinifera L.) cv. Cabernet-Sauvignon. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5, 29862993.
Barber, N, Taylor, C and Strick, S (2009) Wine consumers’ environmental knowledge and attitudes: influence on willingness to purchase. International Journal of Wine Research 1, 5972.
Barroso, FL, Pinto-Correia, T, Ramos, IL, Surová, D and Menezes, H (2012) Dealing with landscape fuzziness in user preference studies: photo-based questionnaires in the Mediterranean context. Landscape and Urban Planning 104, 329342.
Begum, M, Gurr, GM, Wratten, SD, Hedberg, PR and Nicol, HI (2006) Using selective food plants to maximize biological control of vineyard pests. Journal of Applied Ecology 43, 547554.
Benjamin, K, Bouchard, A and Domon, G (2007) Abandoned farmlands as components of rural landscapes: an analysis of perceptions and representations. Landscape and Urban Planning 83, 228244.
Benvenuti, P, Giannace, M and Ciacci, A (2012) Landscape, town planning and old vine: when territory becomes a ‘brand’. In Université de Bourgogne and CIVC (eds), Proceedings of the 9th International Terroirs Congress. Dijon-Reims, France, pp. 2427. Presented at the 9th International Terroirs Congress, Dijon/Reims (France).
Biddoccu, M, Opsi, F and Cavallo, E (2014) Relationship between runoff and soil losses with rainfall characteristics and long-term soil management practices in a hilly vineyard (Piedmont, NW Italy). Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 60, 9299.
Boatto, V, Galletto, L, Barisan, L and Bianchin, F (2013) The development of wine tourism in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area. Wine Economics and Policy 2, 93101.
Boisvert, V (2006) From the conservation of genetic diversity to the promotion of quality foodstuff: can the French model of ‘Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée’ be exported? 49, CAPRi working papers. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Available at (Accessed 31 January 2017).
Bourassa, SC (1988) Toward a theory of landscape aesthetics. Landscape and Urban Planning 15, 241252.
Bourassa, SC (1990) A paradigm for landscape aesthetics. Environment and Behavior 22, 787812.
Briffaud, S and Davasse, B (2012) Du bon usage du passé des paysages. Récits paysagers et durabilité dans trois sites viticoles européens du Patrimoine mondial (Tokaj, Saint-Emilion, Cinque Terre). In Luginbühl, Y and Terrasson, D (eds) Paysage et développement durable. Versailles, France: Quae, pp. 171183. Available at (Accessed 25 August 2016).
Buijs, AE, Pedroli, B and Luginbühl, Y (2006) From hiking through farmland to farming in a leisure landscape: changing social perceptions of the European landscape. Landscape Ecology 21, 375389.
Candau, J and Deuffic, P (2006) Paysage: un mot et des maux pour se dire agriculteur. In Auclair, L, Aspe, C and Baudot, P (eds), Le retour des paysans?: à l'heure du développement durable. Aix-en-Provence, France: Edisud, pp. 155174.
Candau, J and Ginelli, L (2011) L'engagement des agriculteurs dans un service environnemental. L'exemple du paysage. Revue française de sociologie 52, 691718.
Castellucci (2010). Resolution OIV/VITI 333/2010 – Definition of vitivinicultural ‘terroir’. Tbilissi, International Organization of Vine and Wine. Available at (Accessed 6 June 2016).
Christ, KL and Burritt, RL (2013) Critical environmental concerns in wine production: an integrative review. Journal of Cleaner Production 53, 232242.
CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne) (2014) Viticulture durable en Champagne. Référentiel technique, version du 4 avril 2014. Available at (Accessed 31 January 2017).
Connelly, H, Poveda, K and Loeb, G (2015) Landscape simplification decreases wild bee pollination services to strawberry. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 211, 5156.
Crawley, MJ (2007) The R Book. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 950 pp.
Daily, GC, Alexander, S, Ehrlich, PR, Goulder, L, Lubchenco, J, Matson, PA, Mooney, HA, Postel, S, Schneider, SH, Tilman, D and Woodwell, GM (1997) Ecosystem services: benefits supplied to human societies by natural ecosystems. Issues in Ecology 2, 216.
Daniel, TC (2001) Whither scenic beauty? Visual landscape quality assessment in the 21st century. Landscape and Urban Planning 54, 267281.
Daniel, TC, Muhar, A, Arnberger, A, Aznar, O, Boyd, JW, Chan, KMA, Costanza, R, Elmqvist, T, Flint, CG, Gobster, PH, Gret-Regamey, A, Lave, R, Muhar, S, Penker, M, Ribe, RG, Schauppenlehner, T, Sikor, T, Soloviy, I, Spierenburg, M, Taczanowska, K, Tam, J and von der Dunk, A (2012) Contributions of cultural services to the ecosystem services agenda. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 88128819.
Dousset, S, Thévenot, M, Schrack, D, Gouy, V and Carluer, N (2010) Effect of grass cover on water and pesticide transport through undisturbed soil columns, comparison with field study (Morcille watershed, Beaujolais). Environmental Pollution 158, 24462453.
Dramstad, WE, Tveit, MS, Fjellstad, WJ and Fry, GLA (2006) Relationships between visual landscape preferences and map-based indicators of landscape structure. Landscape and Urban Planning 78, 465474.
Falcade, I, Medeiros, RMV and Pérard, J (2012) Le paysage viticole et l'identité des régions avec indications géographiques (Brésil). In Université de Bourgogne and CIVC (eds), Proceedings of the 9th International Terroirs Congress. Dijon-Reims, France, pp. 3740. Presented at the 9th International Terroirs Congress, Dijon/Reims (France).
Fassier-Boulanger, S (2006) Paysages viticoles et évolution des pratiques culturales: les vignes hautes et larges et l'enherbement (France). Sud-Ouest Européen 21, 3746.
Fisher, B, Turner, RK and Morling, P (2009) Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics 68, 643653.
Forbes, SL, Cohen, DA, Cullen, R, Wratten, SD and Fountain, J (2009) Consumer attitudes regarding environmentally sustainable wine: an exploratory study of the New Zealand marketplace. Journal of Cleaner Production 17, 11951199.
Fourny, N, Cormier, O, Rochard, J, Ambroise, R, Stevez, L and Denizot, A-M (2002) Le paysage, de multiples atouts pour la filière. Les cahiers itinéraires d'ITV France 5, 89.
Fry, G, Tveit, MS, Ode, Å and Velarde, MD (2009) The ecology of visual landscapes: exploring the conceptual common ground of visual and ecological landscape indicators. Ecological Indicators 9, 933947.
García-Llorente, M, Martín-López, B, Iniesta-Arandia, I, López-Santiago, CA, Aguilera, PA and Montes, C (2012) The role of multi-functionality in social preferences toward semi-arid rural landscapes: an ecosystem service approach. Environmental Science & Policy 19–20, 136146.
Gauttier, M (2006) Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée et Paysages. Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité. Available at (Accessed 30 September 2016).
Ginon, E, Ares, G, Laboissière, LHEDS, Brouard, J, Issanchou, S and Deliza, R (2014) Logos indicating environmental sustainability in wine production: an exploratory study on how do Burgundy wine consumers perceive them. Food Research International 62, 837845.
Gobster, PH, Nassauer, JI, Daniel, TC and Fry, G (2007) The shared landscape: what does aesthetics have to do with ecology? Landscape Ecology 22, 959972.
Haines-Young, R and Potschin, M (2013) Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CIcultural ES): Consultation on Version 4, August–December 2012. EEA Framework Contract N°EEA/IEA/09/003. Available at (Accessed 30 September 2016).
Herbin, C and Rochard, J (2012) Landscape and agriculture: tools for sustainable development projects of territories. In Université de Bourgogne and CIVC (eds), Proceedings of the 9th International Terroirs Congress. Dijon-Reims, France, pp. 4547. Presented at the 9th International Terroirs Congress, Dijon/Reims (France).
Hernández-Morcillo, M, Plieninger, T and Bieling, C (2013) An empirical review of cultural ecosystem service indicators. Ecological Indicators 29, 434444.
INAO (Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité) (2014) Cahier des charges de l'appellation d'origine contrôlée Coteaux du Layon modifiant le décret n° 2011–1619 du 23 novembre 2011 relatif à l'appellation d'origine contrôlée Coteaux du layon. Bulletin Officiel 26, AGRT1404497D, NOR 17. Available at (Accessed 6 June 2016).
Kaplan, S (1987) Aesthetics, affect, and cognition: environmental preference from an evolutionary perspective. Environment and Behavior 19, 332.
Laferté, G (2003) La mise en folklore des vins de Bourgogne: la «Paulée» de Meursault. Ethnologie française 33, 435.
Lamarque, P, Tappeiner, U, Turner, C, Steinbacher, M, Bardgett, RD, Szukics, U, Schermer, M and Lavorel, S (2011) Stakeholder perceptions of grassland ecosystem services in relation to knowledge on soil fertility and biodiversity. Regional Environmental Change 11, 791804.
Lamarque, P, Meyfroidt, P, Nettier, B and Lavorel, S (2014) How ecosystem services knowledge and values influence farmers’ decision-making. PLoS ONE 9, e107572.
Landis, DA (2016) Designing agricultural landscapes for biodiversity-based ecosystem services. Basic and Applied Ecology 18, 112.
Lindemann-Matthies, P and Bose, E (2008) How many species are there? Public understanding and awareness of biodiversity in Switzerland. Human Ecology 36(5), 731742.
Lindemann-Matthies, P, Briegel, R, Schüpbach, B and Junge, X (2010) Aesthetic preference for a Swiss alpine landscape: the impact of different agricultural land-use with different biodiversity. Landscape and Urban Planning 98, 99109.
Lothian, A (1999) Landscape and the philosophy of aesthetics: is landscape quality inherent in the landscape or in the eye of the beholder? Landscape and Urban Planning 44, 177198.
Luginbühl, Y (2005) Paysages Viticoles. In Étude thématique LES PAYSAGES CULTURELS VITICOLES dans le cadre de la Convention du Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO. Paris: International Council on Monuments and Sites, pp. 15–18. Available at (Accessed 17 August 2016).
Luginbühl, Y (2007) Pour un paysage du paysage. Économie Rurale. Agricultures, Alimentations, Territories, 297–298, 2337.
Maby, J (2002) Paysage et imaginaire: l'exploitation de nouvelles valeurs ajoutées dans les terroirs viticoles. Annales de Géographie 111, 198211.
Mace, GM, Norris, K and Fitter, AH (2012) Biodiversity and ecosystem services: a multilayered relationship. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 27, 1926.
McDonald, JH (2013) Handbook of Biological Statistics, 3rd Edn. Baltimore, Maryland: Sparky House Publishing.
McLaughlin, A and Mineau, P (1995) The impact of agricultural practices on biodiversity. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 55, 201212.
Ménadier, L (2012) Paysages de fromages: sensibilités au paysage, pratiques des agriculteurs et ancrage territorial des AOC fromagères de moyennes montagnes d'Auvergne et de Franche-Comté. Clermont-Ferrand, France: University Blaise Pascal – Clermont-Ferrand II.
Milcu, AI, Sherren, K, Hanspach, J, Abson, DFischer, J (2014) Navigating conflicting landscape aspirations: application of a photo-based Q-method in Transylvania (Central Romania). Land Use Policy 41, 408422.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Biodiversity Synthesis. World Resources Institute. Washington, DC, USA: Island Press.
Mitchell, R, Charters, S and Albrecht, JN (2012) Cultural systems and the wine tourism product. Annals of Tourism Research 39, 311335.
Mora, P and Moscarola, J (2010) Representations of the emotions associated with a wine purchasing or consumption experience: emotions associated with wine-related experiences. International Journal of Consumer Studies 34, 674683.
Nassauer, JI (1988 a) Landscape care: perceptions of local people in landscape ecology and sustainable development. Landscape and Land Use Planning 8, 2741.
Nassauer, JI (1988 b) The aesthetics of horticulture: neatness as a form of care. HortScience 23, 973977.
Nassauer, JI (1989) The aesthetic benefits of agricultural land. Renewable Resources Journal 7, 1718.
Nassauer, JI (1995) Messy ecosystems, orderly frames. Landscape Journal 14, 161170.
Nassauer, JI and Westmacott, R (1987) Progressiveness among farmers as a factor in heterogeneity of farmed landscapes. In Turner, MG (ed.), Landscape Heterogeneity and Disturbance. Ecological studies 64. New York: Springer New York, pp. 199210.
Natori, Y and Chenoweth, R (2008) Differences in rural landscape perceptions and preferences between farmers and naturalists. Journal of Environmental Psychology 28, 250267.
Naveh, Z (2001) Ten major premises for a holistic conception of multifunctional landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning 57, 269284.
Ode, Å, Tveit, MS and Fry, G (2008) Capturing landscape visual character using indicators: touching base with landscape aesthetic theory. Landscape Research 33, 89117.
Ode Sang, Å and Tveit, MS (2013) Perceptions of stewardship in Norwegian agricultural landscapes. Land Use Policy 31, 557564.
Othman, N, Mohamed, N and Ariffin, MH (2015) Landscape aesthetic values and visiting performance in natural outdoor environment. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 202, 330339.
Parsons, R and Daniel, TC (2002) Good looking: in defense of scenic landscape aesthetics. Landscape and Urban Planning 60, 4356.
Pelosi, C, Pey, B, Hedde, M, Caro, G, Capowiez, Y, Guernion, M, Peigné, J, Piron, D, Bertrand, M and Cluzeau, D (2014) Reducing tillage in cultivated fields increases earthworm functional diversity. Applied Soil Ecology 83, 7987.
Quétier, F, Rivoal, F, Marty, P, de Chazal, J, Thuiller, W and Lavorel, S (2010) Social representations of an alpine grassland landscape and socio-political discourses on rural development. Regional Environmental Change 10, 119130.
R Core Team (2014) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
Rochard, J (2015) Un nouveau support de communication: l’éco-oenotourisme, paysage, biodiversité, écoconception des caves. In 38th World Congress of Vine and Wine (Part 2). Les Ulis, France: EDP Sciences, p. 07009.
Rousseau, R (1991) Reconnaissance de la structure de blocs d'un tableau par la classification ascendante hiérarchique. Les cahiers de l'analyse de données 16, 237248.
Swaffield, SR and McWilliam, WJ (2013) Landscape aesthetic experience and ecosystem services. In Dymond, JR (ed.) Ecosystem Services in New Zealand – Conditions and Trends. Lincoln, New Zealand: Manaaki Whuena Press, pp. 349362.
Swanwick, C (2009) Society's attitudes to and preferences for land and landscape. Land Use Policy 26, S62S75.
Tempesta, T (2010) The perception of agrarian historical landscapes: a study of the Veneto plain in Italy. Landscape and Urban Planning 97, 258272.
Tempesta, T and Vecchiato, D (2015) Testing the difference between experts’ and lay people's landscape preferences. AESTIMUM 66, 141.
Tompkins, J-M (2010) Ecosystem Services Provided by Native New Zealand Plants in Vineyards. Christchurch, New Zealand: Lincoln University.
van Zanten, BT, Verburg, PH, Koetse, MJ and van Beukering, PJH (2014) Preferences for European agrarian landscapes: a meta-analysis of case studies. Landscape and Urban Planning 132, 89101.
van Zanten, BT, Zasada, I, Koetse, MJ, Ungar, F, Häfner, K and Verburg, PH (2016) A comparative approach to assess the contribution of landscape features to aesthetic and recreational values in agricultural landscapes. Ecosystem Services 17, 8798.
Williams, P (2001) The evolving images of wine tourism destinations. Tourism Recreation Research 26, 310.
Winkler, KJ and Nicholas, KA (2016) More than wine: cultural ecosystem services in vineyard landscapes in England and California. Ecological Economics 124, 8698.
Zaleskienė, E and Gražulevičiūtė-Vileniškė, I (2014) Landscape aesthetics theories in modeling the image of the urban landscape. Journal of Sustainable Architecture and Civil Engineering 7, 1021.
Zube, EH, Sell, JL and Taylor, JG (1982) Landscape perception: research, application and theory. Landscape Planning 9, 133.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • ISSN: 1742-1705
  • EISSN: 1742-1713
  • URL: /core/journals/renewable-agriculture-and-food-systems
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Hervé et al. supplementary material
Appendices 1-8

 Word (2.2 MB)
2.2 MB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed