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Valuing ecosystem and economic services across land-use scenarios in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Dakotas, USA


  • Gascoigne, William R.
  • Hoag, Dana
  • Koontz, Lynne
  • Tangen, Brian A.
  • Shaffer, Terry L.
  • Gleason, Robert A.


This study uses biophysical values derived for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North and South Dakota, in conjunction with value transfer methods, to assess environmental and economic tradeoffs under different policy-relevant land-use scenarios over a 20-year period. The ecosystem service valuation is carried out by comparing the biophysical and economic values of three focal services (i.e. carbon sequestration, reduction in sedimentation, and waterfowl production) across three focal land uses in the region [i.e. native prairie grasslands, lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs (CRP/WRP), and cropland]. This study finds that CRP/WRP lands cannot mitigate (hectare for hectare) the loss of native prairie from a social welfare standpoint. Land use scenarios where native prairie loss was minimized, and CRP/WRP lands were increased, provided the most societal benefit. The scenario modeling projected native prairie conversion to cropland over the next 20Â years would result in a social welfare loss valued at over $4 billion when considering the study's three ecosystem services, and a net loss of about $3.4 billion when reductions in commodity production are accounted for.

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  • Gascoigne, William R. & Hoag, Dana & Koontz, Lynne & Tangen, Brian A. & Shaffer, Terry L. & Gleason, Robert A., 2011. "Valuing ecosystem and economic services across land-use scenarios in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Dakotas, USA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1715-1725, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:10:p:1715-1725

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philip J. Gerla & Meredith W. Cornett & Jason D. Ekstein & Marissa A. Ahlering, 2012. "Talking Big: Lessons Learned from a 9000 Hectare Restoration in the Northern Tallgrass Prairie," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(11), pages 1-22, November.
    2. Hauck, Jennifer & Görg, Christoph & Varjopuro, Riku & Ratamäki, Outi & Maes, Joachim & Wittmer, Heidi & Jax, Kurt, 2013. "“Maps have an air of authority†: Potential benefits and challenges of ecosystem service maps at different levels of decision making," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 25-32.
    3. Wang, Tong & Luri, Moses & Janssen, Larry & Hennessy, David & Feng, Hongli & Wimberly, Michael & Arora, Gaurav, 2016. "Farmers’ Rankings of the Determinants of Land Use Decisions at the Margins of the Corn Belt," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235109, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Emmanuelle Quillérou & Richard J. Thomas, 2012. "Costs of land degradation and benefits of land restoration: A review of valuation methods and suggested frameworks for inclusion into policy-making," Post-Print hal-01954793, HAL.
    5. Wang, Tong & Luri, Moses & Janssen, Larry & Hennessy, David A. & Feng, Hongli & Wimberly, Michael C. & Arora, Gaurav, 2017. "Determinants of Motives for Land Use Decisions at the Margins of the Corn Belt," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 227-237.
    6. Crossman, Neville D. & Burkhard, Benjamin & Nedkov, Stoyan & Willemen, Louise & Petz, Katalin & Palomo, Ignacio & Drakou, Evangelia G. & Martín-Lopez, Berta & McPhearson, Timon & Boyanova, Kremena & , 2013. "A blueprint for mapping and modelling ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 4-14.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:237:d:64941 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Wang, Yahui & Dai, Erfu & Yin, Le & Ma, Liang, 2018. "Land use/land cover change and the effects on ecosystem services in the Hengduan Mountain region, China," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 34(PA), pages 55-67.
    9. Richardson, Leslie & Loomis, John & Kroeger, Timm & Casey, Frank, 2015. "The role of benefit transfer in ecosystem service valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 51-58.
    10. Xiaoya Ma & Xiang Zhao, 2015. "Land Use Allocation Based on a Multi-Objective Artificial Immune Optimization Model: An Application in Anlu County, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-20, November.
    11. Maes, Joachim & Egoh, Benis & Willemen, Louise & Liquete, Camino & Vihervaara, Petteri & Schägner, Jan Philipp & Grizzetti, Bruna & Drakou, Evangelia G. & Notte, Alessandra La & Zulian, Grazia & Bour, 2012. "Mapping ecosystem services for policy support and decision making in the European Union," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 31-39.
    12. Juutinen, Artti & Saarimaa, Miia & Ojanen, Paavo & Sarkkola, Sakari & Haara, Arto & Karhu, Jouni & Nieminen, Mika & Minkkinen, Kari & Penttilä, Timo & Laatikainen, Matti & Tolvanen, Anne, 2019. "Trade-offs between economic returns, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in the selection of energy peat production sites," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).
    13. Richard J. Thomas & Emmanuelle Quillérou & Naomi Stewart, 2013. "The rewards of investing in sustainable land management," Working Papers hal-01954823, HAL.
    14. Lulu Liu & Wei Cao & Quanqin Shao & Lin Huang & Tian He, 2016. "Characteristics of Land Use/Cover and Macroscopic Ecological Changes in the Headwaters of the Yangtze River and of the Yellow River over the Past 30 Years," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-20, March.
    15. Ida Kubiszewski & Sharolyn J. Anderson & Robert Costanza & Paul C. Sutton, 2016. "The Future of Ecosystem Services in Asia and the Pacific," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 389-404, September.
    16. Pennington, Derric N. & Dalzell, Brent & Nelson, Erik & Mulla, David & Taff, Steve & Hawthorne, Peter & Polasky, Stephen, 2017. "Cost-effective Land Use Planning: Optimizing Land Use and Land Management Patterns to Maximize Social Benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 75-90.
    17. Patton, Douglas & Bergstrom, John C. & Moore, Rebecca & Covich, Alan P., 2015. "Economic value of carbon storage in U.S. National Wildlife Refuge wetland ecosystems," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 94-104.
    18. Johnson, Kris A. & Dalzell, Brent J. & Donahue, Marie & Gourevitch, Jesse & Johnson, Dennis L. & Karlovits, Greg S. & Keeler, Bonnie & Smith, Jason T., 2016. "Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands provide ecosystem service benefits that exceed land rental payment costs," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 175-185.
    19. Kubiszewski, Ida & Costanza, Robert & Anderson, Sharolyn & Sutton, Paul, 2017. "The future value of ecosystem services: Global scenarios and national implications," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 26(PA), pages 289-301.
    20. Hansen, LeRoy & Hellerstein, Daniel & Ribaudo, Marc & Williamson, James & Nulph, David & Loesch, Charles & Crumpton, William, 2015. "Targeting Investments To Cost Effectively Restore and Protect Wetland Ecosystems: Some Economic Insights," Economic Research Report 199283, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.


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