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Agriculture In An Ecosystems Framework


  • Aillery, Marcel P.
  • Hrubovcak, James
  • Kramer, Carol S.
  • Shoemaker, Robbin A.
  • Tegene, Abebayehu


By broadening the definition of an ecosystem to include economic activities, can we better characterize the interactions and relationships among agricultural activities and important indicators of ecological system health? This paper addresses research approaches for assessing the role of agriculture in an ecosystems context. Environmental regulation and resource management policies have heightened the interest in understanding interactions among agricultural activities and the natural resource base, including the impacts of agriculture on environmental quality and the impacts on agriculture of ecosystem restoration efforts. What are the most meaningful indicators of environmental quality? Which agricultural practices and policies should be considered, along with which nonagricultural resource uses? Finally, does the evolving thinking about ecosystems permit us to link agricultural practices and policies more directly and meaningfully to conceptions of sustainability, of both natural and socioeconomic systems? This paper presents a brief synopsis of ecosystem management, drawing from several recent governmental initiatives. It then provides an overview of the economics of ecosystem management from the perspective of the role of agriculture; discusses two specific cases, the Pacific Northwest and South Florida; and concludes with a discussion of promising economic approaches, data needs, and caveats to those engaged in policy analysis involving ecosystem restoration.

Suggested Citation

  • Aillery, Marcel P. & Hrubovcak, James & Kramer, Carol S. & Shoemaker, Robbin A. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 1996. "Agriculture In An Ecosystems Framework," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 1-17, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:31398
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.31398

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bingham, Gail & Bishop, Richard & Brody, Michael & Bromley, Daniel & Clark, Edwin (Toby) & Cooper, William & Costanza, Robert & Hale, Thomas & Hayden, Gregory & Kellert, Stephen, 1995. "Issues in ecosystem valuation: improving information for decision making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 73-90, August.
    2. Bockstael, N. & Costanza, R. & Strand, I. & Boynton, W. & Bell, K. & Wainger, L., 1995. "Ecological economic modeling and valuation of ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 143-159, August.
    3. Hartwick, John M., 1990. "Natural resources, national accounting and economic depreciation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 291-304, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Poe, Gregory L., 1996. "Economics and Ecosystem Management: Discussion," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 118-120, October.

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    Environmental Economics and Policy;


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