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Managing ecosystem services for agriculture: Will landscape-scale management pay?

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  • Cong, Rong-Gang
  • Smith, Henrik G.
  • Olsson, Ola
  • Brady, Mark

Abstract

Agriculture's reliance on ecosystem services creates economic and ecological interdependencies between crop production and biodiversity. Interactions with mobile organisms are particularly complex because they depend on the spatial configuration of habitat at large scales. As such conserving habitat is likely to benefit multiple farmers whereas conservation costs are born individually, creating potential interdependencies among farmers. We explore under what conditions landscape-scale management of ecosystem services is likely to benefit farmers compared to managing them at the farm-scale. To do this we develop an agent-based model (ABM) to predict the landscape configuration emerging from farm-scale management under different conditions: initial landscape, crop and pollinator characteristics. As a benchmark, the landscape configuration from landscape-scale management is derived through a global optimization procedure. Not only do we find that efficiency improves with landscape-scale management, but also that all farmers would benefit from it (given dependence of crop yields on ecosystem services). However, we also find that the individual incentives to avoid maintaining habitat on one's own land are relatively high; therefore creating conditions for a Prisoner's Dilemma-type problem. On the other hand we also demonstrate that an incentive-compatible contract exists that can promote efficient landscape management (by combining side-payments with fines for defection).

Suggested Citation

  • Cong, Rong-Gang & Smith, Henrik G. & Olsson, Ola & Brady, Mark, 2014. "Managing ecosystem services for agriculture: Will landscape-scale management pay?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 53-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:99:y:2014:i:c:p:53-62
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.01.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Luciano Pilati & Mario Prestamburgo, 2016. "Sequential Relationship between Profitability and Sustainability: The Case of Migratory Beekeeping," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-8, January.
    2. Laure Kuhfuss & Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer & Frans P. de Vries & Nick Hanley, 2017. "Nudging Participation and Spatial Agglomeration in Payment for Environmental Service Schemes," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2017-11, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    3. 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.
    4. Xiao-Chen Yuan & Bao-Jun Tang & Yi-Ming Wei & Xiao-Jie Liang & Hao Yu & Ju-Liang Jin, 2015. "China’s regional drought risk under climate change: a two-stage process assessment approach," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 76(1), pages 667-684, March.
    5. Schöttker, Oliver & Johst, Karin & Drechsler, Martin & Wätzold, Frank, 2016. "Land for biodiversity conservation — To buy or borrow?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 94-103.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:94:d:62475 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Baojun Tang & Yujie Hu & Huanan Li & Dongwei Yang & Jiangpeng Liu, 2016. "Research on comprehensive carrying capacity of Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region based on state-space method," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 84(1), pages 113-128, November.
    9. Trevisan, A.C.D. & Schmitt-Filho, A.L. & Farley, J. & Fantini, A.C. & Longo, C., 2016. "Farmer perceptions, policy and reforestation in Santa Catarina, Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 53-63.
    10. Kragt, Marit E. & Robertson, Michael J., 2014. "Quantifying ecosystem services trade-offs from agricultural practices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 147-157.
    11. repec:spr:annopr:v:255:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-2066-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Devan Allen McGranahan, 2014. "Ecologies of Scale: Multifunctionality Connects Conservation and Agriculture across Fields, Farms, and Landscapes," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-31, July.

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