economic value of ecosystem services

Collectively, these studies suggest that the average oyster harvest value of a pristine reef in North Carolina and Virginia is $51,217 per hectare (in 2011 dollars). Some members of our society are unaware of the interrelatedness between our livelihoods and the natural environment. MF We begin by presenting estimates of the commercial oyster harvest value derived from a unit of oyster reef habitat and then turn to the value of services per unit area provided by unharvested reefs (table 2). . Furthermore, oyster reef restoration efforts historically lagged far behind progress in other estuarine habitats, such as salt marshes, seagrass beds, and mangroves, even though the cost of restoring and value of ecosystem services derived from oyster reefs is roughly comparable to that of these other estuarine habitats (table 1). . JH Furthermore, the value of ecosystem services is derived from a number of ways in which humans demand their supply. Lenihan . Despite oyster reef habitat's acknowledged importance to estuarine ecosystem function, the value of ecosystem services provided by oyster reefs has yet to be quantified exhaustively. Although the degree to which the ecosystem services discussed above are provided by highly degraded habitats is currently unknown, we assume that the provision of these services will be very low or nonexistent, because they scale with reef structure and oyster net metabolism, both of which are greatly degraded by harvesting (Lenihan and Micheli 2000). Bradbury We determined the net hourly rate of nitrogen removal by each habitat to be 246 and 12 micromoles of nitrogen per square meter (m2) per hour during the day in oyster reefs and in mud habitat, respectively (see supplemental table 1, available online at Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. C 2004, Lotze et al. HS . BJ By intercepting suspended particles and nutrients before they enter microbial loops, oysters promote an increased transfer of energy among trophic levels that results in primary production moving up the food chain to bottom-feeding fishes; crabs; and higher-order predators such as red drum, tarpon, and bottle-nosed dolphins (Coen et al. The relationship between ecosystem services and biodiversity is the subject of some controversy. Silliman Baird . It is worth exploring whether such a hybrid approach is a viable management alternative. JM Colby Rothschild The collective value of ecosystem services in 1995 provided per hectare of seagrass habitat totaled $22,894 per year ($33,730 in 2011 dollars after inflating in line with the annual average consumer price index). Ruiz 2001, Peterson et al. F MC BJ Humans have been degrading and depleting ecosystems for centuries, even millennia. 2001). The irreplaceable quality of the ecosystem is really brought to light when one looks at man’s attempt to replicate it. . Hargis Based on my own experiences since the early 1990s, however, I side with a number of authors who trace the emergence of ecosystem services to efforts to motivate biodiversity conservation where biodiversity is both most plentiful and most imperiled—the developing world. RC Understanding how these processes scale across various gradients (e.g., salinity, latitude) will be especially important for taking restoration efforts to ecologically meaningful scales and especially to scales approaching historical levels of intact oyster bottom habitat. JS Currently there are 934 marine ecosystem services valuationslisted on the Marine Ecosystem Services Partnership (MESP) database, a virtual center of information based out of Duke University. Oyster reefs can function as natural, living (as opposed to human-designed) breakwaters, bulkheads, or jetties, because they are structures that interact with tidal and wave energy just like engineered shoreline stabilization devices by baffling waves and increasing sedimentation rates (Meyer et al. Robinson Tuttle Grabowski and Peterson (2007) estimated that overharvesting in Virginia reduced the value of oyster yields from a net present value (in 2011 dollars) of $65,876 per hectare of pristine oyster bottom in 1890 to $2640 per hectare of degraded bottom in 1991 (oyster yields were derived from Rothschild and colleagues [1994]). RE BR LJ 1984, Newell 1988, Ulanowicz and Tuttle 1992, Paerl et al. Kennedy The system becomes a utilitarian tactic which conserves only those environmental services that display explicit utility to mankind. There is the potential for long-term storage in shells or tissue, but there is also a significant likelihood of relatively short-term release of nitrogen by senescence of oysters, processing of shell for fertilizer, consumption of oysters, and the release of nutrients back into estuaries through sewage treatment facilities. Natural systems provide ecological services on which humans depend (Daily 1997). Countless organisms are involved in these complex interactions that put food on our tables and remove our waste. The paucity of information for this critical habitat underscores the acute need for a comprehensive and quantitative framework for the valuation of oyster reef ecosystem services. But this simplification of information also means that …

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