Publications

Filter by Topic:

Filter by Author:

Filter by Type:

Assessing the Economic Contribution of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Sargasso Sea

This report provides a variety of measures of the Sargasso Sea’s economic value and impact, especially net and gross revenues associated with ecosystem services supported by the sea. It captures just a small portion of these services and does not reflect their complete and total net value. Yet analysis of data on even this small portion suggests that the economic importance of the Sargasso Sea is significant. Economic expenditures and revenues directly or potentially linked to that sea range from tens to hundreds of million of dollars a year.

Authors: L. Pendleton, F. Krowicki, P. Strosser, and J. Hallett-Murdoch, Murdoch Marine

Filters

Oceans & Coasts

Marine Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Services

Marine

Environmental Economics

Reports

Optimizing the Scale of Markets for Water Quality Trading

Allowing polluters to buy, sell or trade water-quality credits could significantly reduce pollution in river basins and estuaries faster and at a lower cost than requiring facilities to meet compliance costs on their own, a new Duke University led study finds. The scale and type of the trading programs, though critical, may matter less than just getting them started. The analysis in the journal Water Resources Research shows that water-quality trading of any kind can significantly lower the costs of achieving Clean Water Act goals.

Author(s): Martin Doyle, Lauren Patterson, Yanyou Chen, Kurt Schnier, and Andrew Yates

Filters

Science

Water

Ecosystem Services

Environmental Economics

National

Journal Articles

Mangrove Ecosystem Services Valuation: State of the Literature

A growing body of literature provides estimates of ecosystem services values derived from mangroves. If this literature is to be useful in decision making, it must have a solid foundation of value estimates. This paper identifies gaps in data and knowledge regarding mangrove ecosystem services valuations and recommends ways that future research could advance understanding of mangrove ecology, ecosystem services valuation, and conservation. 

Authors: Tibor Vegh, Megan Jungwiwattanaporn, Linwood Pendleton, and Brian Murray

Filters

Oceans & Coasts

Marine Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Services

Marine

Environmental Economics

Working Papers

Synthesis and Review: Advancing Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Quantification

Reducing emissions of agricultural greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as methane and nitrous oxide, and sequestering carbon in the soil or in living biomass can help reduce the impact of agriculture on climate change while imporving productivity. A new article in a special focus issue of Environmental Research Letters synthesizes the current findings on the state of the capacity for agricultural GHG quantification. It concludes that strategic investment in quantification can lead to significant global improvement in agricultural GHG estimation in the near term.

Author(s): Lydia P. Olander, Eva Wollenberg, Francesco N. Tubiello, and Martin Herold

Filters

Climate & Energy

Agriculture

Ecosystem Services

T-AGG

T-AGG International

Environmental Economics

National

Journal Articles

Application of an Ecosysem Services Framework for BLM Land Use Planning: Consistency with the Federal Land Policy Management Act and Other Applicable Law

Federal agencies responsible for natural areas are increasingly considering ecosystem services in their planning and management decisions. Operationalizing this new approach entails multiple challenges. To address them, the National Ecosystem Services Partnership launched the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services project, which will culminate in an online guidebook providing a framework and methodology to enhance consistency of ecosystem services approaches and describing how federal agencies are exploring or applying the ecosystem services concept. Laying the groundwork for the guidebook are this paper and Integration of Ecosystem Services Valuation Analysis into National Environmental Policy Act Compliance: Legal and Policy Perspectives. These papers explain how the the Federal Land Management and Policy Act of 1976 and the National Environmental Policy Act enable or limit agencies’ incorporation of ecosystem services approaches into federal planning and management processes. 

Author: Paul B. Smyth

Filters

Ecosystem Services

Reports

Integration of Ecosystem Services Valuation Analysis into National Environmental Policy Act Compliance: Legal and Policy Perspectives

Federal agencies responsible for natural areas are increasingly considering ecosystem services in their planning and management decisions. Operationalizing this new approach entails multiple challenges. To address them, the National Ecosystem Services Partnership launched the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services project, which will culminate in an online guidebook providing a framework and methodology to enhance consistency of ecosystem services approaches and describing how federal agencies are exploring or applying the ecosystem services concept. Laying the groundwork for the guidebook are this paper and Application of an Ecosystems Services Framework for BLM Land Use Planning: Consistency with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and Other Applicable Law. These papers explain how the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Management and Policy Act of 1976 enable or limit agencies’ incorporation of ecosystem services approaches into federal planning and management processes. 

Author: Dinah Bear

Filters

Ecosystem Services

Reports

Refining Models for Quantifying the Water Quality Benefits of Improved Animal Management for Use in Water Quality Trading

Water quality trading (WQT) allows point-source permittees to meet their water quality obligations by purchasing credits from other point or nonpoint sources that have reduced their discharges. Improved management of animal operations could reduce nutrient discharges into waterways and thereby generate credits for WQT programs. But first, methods for quantifying pollutant reductions resulting from animal management changes must be adapted for use in such programs. This report explains the Clean Water Act underpinning of WQT programs and how animal operations fit into them. It surveys models of animal production of nutrient waste, surface water transport, and the transport and transformation of pollutants in watersheds. It also describes how direct measurement and monitoring of nutrient losses is evolving. Finally, it presents ideas on how to improve models’ accuracy and usability. The report reflects insights from three supplemental papers: Management Practices to Improve Water Quality on Central and Western Rangelands, Assessing Potential Impacts of Livestock Management on Groundwaterand Management Options for Animal Operations to Reduce Nutrient Loads

Author(s): Lydia Olander, Todd Walter, Peter Vadas, Jim Heffernan, Ermias Kebreab, Marc Ribaudo, Thomas Harter

Filters

Ecosystem Services

Land

Reports

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Opportunities in California Agriculture: Science and Economics Summary

California Assembly Bill 32 requires effective statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies. This report summarizes the results of six studies--developed to inform California policy--that review the latest science and economics of GHG mitigation opportunities in California's agricultural sector. Specifically, the report examines the potential for annual GHG reductions in cropland, rangeland, and manure management systems and through emissions-targeted optimization of feed for dairy animals. Among the examined practices, dairy manure management appears to provide the largest emissions reduction opportunity at the lowest cost per ton, but economic and other hurdles must be overcome to realize it. Other mitigation activities could yield relatively large per-acre reductions but on relatively small acreage. Yet other activities could be widely implemented, but their potential effectiveness is uncertain. More data on the GHG reduction potential and costs of management practices in California agriculture and a better understanding of adoption barriers are needed.

Author(s): Tibor Vegh, Lydia Olander, Brian Murray

Filters

Agriculture

Ecosystem Services

Land

T-AGG

Climate Change Policy

States & Regions

Western

State Policy

Reports

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Opportunities for California Agriculture: Outlook for California Agriculture to 2030

California agriculture is diverse and complex, producing several dozen major crop and livestock commodities using the state’s great spatial variation of natural and climate resources and well-developed infrastructure of input delivery systems, processing systems, and marketing services. What, where, and how these commodities are produced reflect biophysical, economic, and policy drivers, all of which have and will continue to change. This report examines the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and emissions mitigation potential of alternative futures for California agriculture through 2030. It finds that the dairy industry in California has by far the largest GHG emissions of all the state’s agricultural production systems but that the industry’s growth trajectory is uncertain. Three potential growth scenarios suggest that baseline dairy emissions could decrease by as much as 20% or increase by as much as 40% (almost one-quarter of the entire agricultural sector’s current emissions). This variation in baseline emissions projections may be as large as or larger than the industry’s emissions mitigation potential.

Author(s): Daniel A. Sumner 

Filters

Climate & Energy

Agriculture

Ecosystem Services

Land

T-AGG

Climate Change Policy

Natural Resources

Sustainability

States & Regions

Western

State Policy

Reports

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Opportunities for California Agriculture: Review of California Cropland Emissions and Mitigation Potential

Agriculture contributes approximately 7% of California’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; less than 3% of the state total comes from croplands. Efforts to reduce California’s agricultural GHG emissions from croplands will require sound information regarding how specific agricultural management practices impact those emissions over the landscape. A review of agricultural literature was conducted on studies that quantified GHG emissions in California annual and perennial croplands. This report reviews the available scientific literature relevant to GHG emissions from California croplands and quantitatively assesses the biophysical potential of various agricultural mitigation strategies relevant to California cropping systems. A total of 20 studies were identified, relating to 10 specific management practices in California croplands. Where possible, data from these studies were used to estimate the biophysical mitigation potential of various agricultural management practices. This work revealed that 3 of the 10 management practices—farmland preservation, expansion of perennial crops, and manipulation of nitrogen fertilizer rates—have high to medium relative mitigation potential. However, reliably estimating the biophysical mitigation potential of these practices is not possible at this time due to many uncertainties and lack of information. Relatively few field studies conducted in California rigorously examine GHG emissions from changes in agricultural management activities and practices. Thus, more research is needed to inform future management and policy alternatives.

Author(s): Steven W. Culman, Van R. Haden, Toby Maxwell, Hannah Waterhouse, and William Horwath

Filters

Climate & Energy

Adaptation

Science

Agriculture

Ecosystem Services

Land

T-AGG

Western

State Policy

Reports

Pages