Agriculture and ecosystem services
In: Handbook of Agricultural Economics
A broad range of agriculture-environment interactions can be organized around the concept of agriculture as a producer and consumer of ecosystem services. Viewed as capital assets, ecosystems embody production technologies that are valuable, complex, and often poorly understood. The quantity and quality of services they deliver depend almost always on the joint actions of many dispersed resource users. Furthermore, ecosystems deliver multiple types of services, across widely varying spatial scales. Efficient delivery of alternative environmental "crops" such as carbon sequestration, water quality, and wildlife habitat requires distinctive institutional forms, and an intellectual integration of ecology into agricultural economics.
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