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Valuing Ecological Systems and Services
F1000 Biology Reports
  • Robert Costanza, Portland State University
  • Ida Kubiszewski, Portland State University
  • David E. Ervin, Portland State University
  • Randall Bluffstone, Portland State University
  • Darrell Brown, Portland State University
  • Heejun Chang, Portland State University
  • Veronica Dujon, Portland State University
  • Elise F. Granek, Portland State University
  • Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota
  • Vivek Shandas, Portland State University
  • J. Alan Yeakley, Portland State University
  • James Boyd, Resources for the Future
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  • Environmental protection,
  • Ecosystem services

Making trade-offs between ecological services and other contributors to human well-being is a difficult but critical process that requires valuation. This allows both better recognition of the ecological, social, and economic trade-offs and also allows us to bill those who use up or destroy ecological services and reward those that produce or enhance them. It also aids improved ecosystems policy. In this paper we clarify some of the controversies in defining the contributions to human well-being from functioning ecosystems, many of which people are not even aware of.We go on to describe the applicability of the various valuation methods that can be used in estimating the benefits of ecosystem services. Finally, we describe some recent case studies and lay out the research agenda for ecosystem services analysis, modeling, and valuation going forward.


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Costanza, R., Kubiszewski, I., Ervin, D., Bluffstone, R., Boyd, J., Brown, D., & ... Yeakley, A. (2011). Valuing ecological systems and services. F1000 Biology Reports, 3,14.