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Ecosystem services in agriculture: Determining suitability for provision by collective management


  • Stallman, Heidi R.


Agricultural ecosystems provide many ecosystem services (ES) which are essential to human health and well-being. In turn, some ES affect agricultural productivity. Managing agricultural lands to provide more ES and higher quality ES may be essential for the long-term sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. Most agricultural lands, however, are managed for the short-term production of food, fiber, and fuel, often at the expense of other ES. Proposed solutions to the underprovision of ES often involve government regulation or market incentives. A growing number of scholars, however, recognize the potential for a third approach—cooperative solutions. One important element in determining if an ES is a suitable candidate for cooperative solutions is its resource characteristics. Accordingly, this paper: 1.) provides a framework for determining an ES's suitability for collective management based on its resource characteristics, 2.) provides an in-depth analysis of three agricultural-based ES to show how the framework differentiates between ES and 3.) uses the framework to analyze fourteen agricultural-based ES for their suitability for collective management. Ten out of the fourteen ES analyzed may be well suited (e.g. pollination), suited (e.g. flood control), or moderately suited (e.g. nature recreation) for collective management under current incentive systems in agricultural ecosystems.

Suggested Citation

  • Stallman, Heidi R., 2011. "Ecosystem services in agriculture: Determining suitability for provision by collective management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 131-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:71:y:2011:i:c:p:131-139
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.08.016

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    Cited by:

    1. McCann, Laura, 2013. "Transaction costs and environmental policy design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 253-262.
    2. Smith, Helen F. & Sullivan, Caroline A., 2014. "Ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes—Farmers' perceptions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 72-80.
    3. Buks, Joanna & Obiedzińska, Agnieszka & Prandecki, Konrad, 0. "Environmental Externalities And Food Security," Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, University of Life Sciences, Poznan, Poland, issue 2.
    4. Turner, Katrine Grace & Anderson, Sharolyn & Gonzales-Chang, Mauricio & Costanza, Robert & Courville, Sasha & Dalgaard, Tommy & Dominati, Estelle & Kubiszewski, Ida & Ogilvy, Sue & Porfirio, Luciana &, 2016. "A review of methods, data, and models to assess changes in the value of ecosystem services from land degradation and restoration," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 319(C), pages 190-207.
    5. Vincent Bretagnolle & Elsa Berthet, 2012. "Managing grasslands biodiversity at a landscape level to foster ecosystem services in intensive cereal systems: from ecological knowledge to collective action," Post-Print hal-00781244, HAL.
    6. Cong, Rong-Gang & Ekroos, Johan & Smith, Henrik G. & Brady, Mark V., 2016. "Optimizing intermediate ecosystem services in agriculture using rules based on landscape composition and configuration indices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 214-223.
    7. Stallman, Heidi R. & James, Harvey S., 2015. "Determinants affecting farmers' willingness to cooperate to control pests," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 182-192.


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