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Valuation of Ecosystem Services Provided by Biodiversity Conservation: An Integrated Hydrological and Economic Model to Value the Enhanced Nitrogen Retention in Renaturated Streams

Author

Listed:
  • Ingo Bräuer

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics Research Unit, Georg-August University)

  • Rainer Marggraf

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics Research Unit, Georg-August University)

Abstract

The importance of ecosystem functions for humankind is well known. But only few attempts have been undertaken to estimate the economic value of these ecosystem services. In particular, indirect methods are rarely used, even though they are most suitable for the task. This discrepancy is because quantitative knowledge of changes in ecosystem functions is scarce. This paper presents a user-friendly procedure to quantify the increased N-retention in a renaturated river using easily available data. In a case study of the renaturated River Jossa (Germany) the benefits of increased nitrogen retention caused by beaver reintroduction are determined by using the replacement cost method. The quantification of chemical processes is discussed in detail, as well as the problems of defining an adequate reference scenario for the substitute costs. Results show that economic benefits from the evaluated ecosystem service (€12,000/annum) equal 12% of the total costs of the corresponding conservation scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingo Bräuer & Rainer Marggraf, 2004. "Valuation of Ecosystem Services Provided by Biodiversity Conservation: An Integrated Hydrological and Economic Model to Value the Enhanced Nitrogen Retention in Renaturated Streams," Working Papers 2004.54, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.54
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Olof Byström, 2000. "The Replacement Value of Wetlands in Sweden," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(4), pages 347-362, August.
    2. Brouwer, Roy & Slangen, Louis H G, 1998. "Contingent Valuation of the Public Benefits of Agricultural Wildlife Management: The Case of Dutch Peat Meadow Land," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 53-72.
    3. Gren, Ing-Marie, 1995. "The Value of Investing in Wetlands for Nitrogen Abatement," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 157-172.
    4. Bystrom, Olof, 1998. "The nitrogen abatement cost in wetlands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 321-331, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Biodiversity conservation programmes; Cost-benefit-analysis; Replacement cost method; Ecosystem services; Nutrient retention;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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