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An operational structure for clarity in ecosystem service values

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Author Info

  • Johnston, Robert J.
  • Russell, Marc

Abstract

Analyses used to value ecosystem services often confuse final ecosystem services with ecological functions that provide indirect benefit. Typologies of ecosystem services, such as that developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, do not ameliorate these challenges. Among the causes of ambiguity in classifying values associated with intermediate versus final ecosystem services are (1) the lack of simple, broadly applicable guidelines to assist natural and social scientists in deriving consistent and replicable classifications, and (2) attempts to define universal typologies of final services that apply to all beneficiaries. This paper presents an operational mechanism for determining whether a biophysical feature, quantity, or quality represents a final ecosystem service for an inclusive suite of beneficiaries. It is designed for straightforward application by those without expertise in natural or social sciences, and can be used within existing typologies. Illustrations of the structure demonstrate how the resulting classifications avert double counting and other ambiguities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
Pages: 2243-2249

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2243-2249

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Ecosystem services; Ecosystem benefits; Valuation; Human welfare; Cost benefit analysis; Willingness to pay;

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Cited by:
  1. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2005. "The Architecture and Measurement of an Ecosystem Services Index," Discussion Papers dp-05-22, Resources For the Future.
  2. Bauer, Dana M. & Johnston, Robert J., 2013. "Foreword: The Economics of Rural and Agricultural Ecosystem Services: Purism versus Practicality," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.
  3. Minjuan Zhao & Robert Johnston & Eric Schultz, 2013. "What to Value and How? Ecological Indicator Choices in Stated Preference Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 3-25, September.
  4. Kragt, Marit E., 2013. "Evidence-based Research in Environmental Choice Experiments," Working Papers 153335, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  5. Johnston, Robert J. & Schultz, Eric T. & Segerson, Kathleen & Besedin, Elena Y. & Ramachandran, Mahesh, 2013. "Stated Preferences for Intermediate versus Final Ecosystem Services: Disentangling Willingness to Pay for Omitted Outcomes," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.
  6. Comello, Stephen D. & Maltais-Landry, Gabriel & Schwegler, Benedict R. & Lepech, Michael D., 2014. "Firm-level ecosystem service valuation using mechanistic biogeochemical modeling and functional substitutability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 63-73.
  7. Swallow, Stephen K., 2013. "Demand-side Value for Ecosystem Services and Implications for Innovative Markets: Experimental Perspectives on the Possibility of Private Markets for Public Goods," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), April.

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