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

23 Pages Posted: 24 May 2004

See all articles by Ingo Bräuer

Ingo Bräuer

UFZ Centre for Environmental Research - Department of Economics, Sociology and Law

Rainer Marggraf

Date Written: March 2004

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 equal 12% of the total costs of the corresponding conservation scheme.

Keywords: Biodiversity conservation programmes, Cost-benefit-analysis, Replacement cost method, Ecosystem services, Nutrient retention

JEL Classification: D61, D62, Q2, Q25

Suggested Citation

Bräuer, Ingo and Marggraf, Rainer, Valuation of Ecosystem Services Provided by Biodiversity Conservation: An Integrated Hydrological and Economic Model to Value the Enhanced Nitrogen Retention in Renaturated Streams (March 2004). FEEM Working Paper No. 54.04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=541106 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.541106

Ingo Bräuer (Contact Author)

UFZ Centre for Environmental Research - Department of Economics, Sociology and Law ( email )

Permoserstrasse 15
D-04318 Leipzig
Germany

No contact information is available for Rainer Marggraf

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