Monday, June 13, 2011

Valuation of ecosystem services from rural landscapes using agricultural land prices

Abstract: Agricultural lands, primarily managed for crops and livestock production, provide various ecosystem services (ES) to people. In theory, the economic value of the service flows that can be captured privately is capitalized into land prices. This study proposes an integrative framework to characterize the ecosystem services associated with agricultural lands. Using that framework, we demonstrate how hedonic analysis of agricultural land prices can be used to estimate the private values of land-based ES. The model is estimated with data from southwestern Michigan, USA. Results suggest that ES values are associated with lakes, rivers, wetlands, forests and conservation lands in rural landscapes. Ecosystem services that support direct use values, such as recreational and aesthetic services, are likely to be perceived by land owners and capitalized in land prices. Some regulating services that provide indirect use values may be partially capitalized in a land parcel's relationship to natural resources and landscapes. Other ES from the land parcel and its surroundings are unlikely to be capitalized due to lack of private incentives, unawareness, or small perceived value. The private ES values measured in this study highlight opportunities to design cost-effective public policies that factor in the value of private benefits from agricultural lands.
Research Highlights
► Land prices can reveal the economic values of many ecosystem services.
► A new framework shows when land prices can measure ecosystem service values.
► Recreational and aesthetic ecosystem services have high value in southern Michigan.
► Surrounding landscapes and nearby water bodies add value to parcels of farmland.
► Environmental values embodied in land prices can help design conservation policy.

by Shan Malow and Scott M. Swinton; both of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 20 Cook Hall, East Lansing, MI, USA. Tel.: + 1 517 256 5043; fax: + 1 517 432 1800.
Ecological Economics via Elsevier Science Direct
Volume 70, Issue 9; 15 July 2011; Pages 1649-1659
Special Section - Governing the Commons: Learning from Field and Laboratory Experiments
Keywords: Rural landscapes; Hedonic; Ecosystem services; Agricultural land price; Geographic Information System

No comments:

Post a Comment