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A Novel, Spatiotemporally Explicit Ecological-economic Modeling Procedure for the Design of Cost-effective Agri-environment Schemes to Conserve Biodiversity


  • Frank Wätzold
  • Martin Drechsler
  • Karin Johst
  • Melanie Mewes
  • Astrid Sturm


Agri-environment schemes (AES) compensate farmers for land use measures that are costly to them but beneficial to biodiversity and the environment. We present an ecological-economic modeling procedure for the design of cost-effective AES to conserve grassland biodiversity, which is applicable to large areas, covers many endangered species and grassland types, and includes several hundred different types of mowing regimes, grazing regimes, and combinations of mowing and grazing regimes as land use measures. The modeling procedure also accounts for the spatial variations in the land use measures' costs and in the effects on species and grassland types. The procedure's main novelty is that it considers variations of the costs and impacts on species and grassland types that arise from different timings of the land use measures. Considering the spatial and the temporal dimension of land use measures makes the modeling procedure spatiotemporally explicit. We demonstrate the power of the modeling procedure by evaluating an existing grassland AES in Saxony, Germany, and identify substantial improvements in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Wätzold & Martin Drechsler & Karin Johst & Melanie Mewes & Astrid Sturm, 2016. "A Novel, Spatiotemporally Explicit Ecological-economic Modeling Procedure for the Design of Cost-effective Agri-environment Schemes to Conserve Biodiversity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(2), pages 489-512.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:98:y:2016:i:2:p:489-512.

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:agisys:v:173:y:2019:i:c:p:424-434 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gerling, Charlotte & Sturm, Astrid & Wätzold, Frank, 2017. "The impact of organic farming on endangered birds and butterflies: applying an ecological-economic model," MPRA Paper 83290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bartkowski, Bartosz & Droste, Nils & Ließ, Mareike & Sidemo-Holm, William & Weller, Ulrich & Brady, Mark V., 2019. "Implementing result-based agri-environmental payments by means of modelling," UFZ Discussion Papers 5/2019, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    4. Markova-Nenova, Nonka & Wätzold, Frank, 2017. "Fairness to dairy cows or fairness to farmers: What counts more in the preferences of conventional milk buyers for ethical attributes of milk?," MPRA Paper 83066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:eee:agisys:v:161:y:2018:i:c:p:113-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. repec:eee:ecomod:v:393:y:2019:i:c:p:135-151 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Schöttker, Oliver & Wätzold, Frank, 2017. "Cost-effectiveness of buying land for conservation versus paying land-users for conservation measures – the case of preserving an oligotrophic lake in a Natura 2000 area in North Germany," MPRA Paper 80661, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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