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Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services Provided by Oyster Reefs
Jonathan H. Grabowski, Robert D. Brumbaugh, Robert F. Conrad, Andrew G. Keeler, James J. Opaluch, Charles H. Peterson, Michael F. Piehler, Sean P. Powers and Ashley R. Smyth
Vol. 62, No. 10 (October 2012), pp. 900-909
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/bio.2012.62.10.10
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Oysters, Economic value, Aquatic habitats, Ecosystem services, Nitrogen, Habitat conservation, Provisioning ecosystem services, Cost estimates, Shorelines, Habitat loss
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Valuation of ecosystem services can provide evidence of the importance of sustaining and enhancing those resources and the ecosystems that provide them. Long appreciated only as a commercial source of oysters, oyster reefs are now acknowledged for the other services they provide, such as enhancing water quality and stabilizing shorelines. We develop a framework to assess the value of these services. We conservatively estimate that the economic value of oyster reef services, excluding oyster harvesting, is between $5500 and $99,000 per hectare per year and that reefs recover their median restoration costs in 2–14 years. In contrast, when oyster reefs are subjected to destructive oyster harvesting, they do not recover the costs of restoration. Shoreline stabilization is the most valuable potential service, although this value varies greatly by reef location. Quantifying the economic values of ecosystem services provides guidance about when oyster reef restoration is a good use of funds.
© 2012 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press’s Rights and Permissions Web site at http://www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.