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Beyond food production: Ecosystem services provided by home gardens. A case study in Vall Fosca, Catalan Pyrenees, Northeastern Spain

  • Calvet-Mir, Laura
  • Gómez-Baggethun, Erik
  • Reyes-García, Victoria
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    Interest in ecosystem services provided by agroecosystems has grown over the last decades with research focusing on the type of environmental, economic and social benefits delivered by agroecosystems. Researchers suggest that, besides the provisioning of food, fuel, and fiber, agroecosystems provide habitat, cultural, and regulating services. One type of agroecosystem that remains relatively unexplored from an ecosystem service perspective is home gardens. In this paper, we aim at advancing the understanding of the value of home gardens by conducting an assessment of home gardens ecosystem services. For the empirical analysis we use home gardens in Vall Fosca (Catalan Pyrenees). We identify and characterize the most important ecosystem services provided by home gardens, and conduct a valuation of the social importance of home garden ecosystem services. The methodological approach for this work included an in-depth literature review, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, a valuation questionnaire, and a scientific panel consultation. We identified and characterized 19 ecosystem functions and related services. According to our informants, home gardens provide a large set of ecosystem services, being cultural services the category most valued. We found that the most important ecosystem services provided by home gardens differ from those provided by other types of agroecosystems.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 153-160

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:74:y:2012:i:c:p:153-160
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.12.011
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    1. Zhang, Wei & Ricketts, Taylor H. & Kremen, Claire & Carney, Karen & Swinton, Scott M., 2007. "Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 253-260, December.
    2. de Groot, Rudolf S. & Wilson, Matthew A. & Boumans, Roelof M. J., 2002. "A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 393-408, June.
    3. Bjorklund, Johanna & Limburg, Karin E. & Rydberg, Torbjorn, 1999. "Impact of production intensity on the ability of the agricultural landscape to generate ecosystem services: an example from Sweden," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 269-291, May.
    4. Swinton, Scott M. & Lupi, Frank & Robertson, G. Philip & Hamilton, Stephen K., 2007. "Ecosystem services and agriculture: Cultivating agricultural ecosystems for diverse benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 245-252, December.
    5. Pascual, Unai & Muradian, Roldan & Rodríguez, Luis C. & Duraiappah, Anantha, 2010. "Exploring the links between equity and efficiency in payments for environmental services: A conceptual approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1237-1244, April.
    6. Rodriguez, Luis C. & Pascual, Unai & Niemeyer, Hermann M., 2006. "Local identification and valuation of ecosystem goods and services from Opuntia scrublands of Ayacucho, Peru," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 30-44, April.
    7. Knoche, Scott & Lupi, Frank, 2007. "Valuing deer hunting ecosystem services from farm landscapes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 313-320, December.
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