This paper investigates spatial determinants of recreational ecosystem service values by combining Geographic Information System (GIS) and meta-analysis and by presenting the first review on meta-analysis studies in this field. Using meta-analytic value transfer, we map the spatial distribution of recreational values across Europe.
By combining meta-analysis and GIS we identify spatial biophysical and socio-economic determinants of recreational ecosystem service values. Nevertheless, comparing the re-sults of past meta-analyses reveals difficulties in establishing robust relationships be-tween spatial variables and recreational values per visit, as existing meta-analyses show contradicting results and methodological variables show stronger effects. Based on our findings we give guidance on how to improve geostatistical analysis within future meta-analyses on ecosystem service valuation studies.
Furthermore, we find that spatial variations of recreational visitor numbers are by far greater than variations of the value per visit. Therefore, we conclude that accurate es-timates of visitor numbers are of greater relevance than accurate estimates of the value per visit.