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Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions

Economic Issues

Clement A. Tisdell

This innovative book identifies socio-economic processes which transform the stock of genetic resources and ecosystems and discusses sustainability issues raised by variations in this stock. It focuses subsequently on the socio-economics of the conservation and change in the stock of human developed germplasm and ecosystems. Particular attention is given to crops, livestock, GMOs, reduced economic value due to biological erosion, alternative agroecosystems, and property rights in germplasm. The book concludes with an exploration of the economic topics dealing with changes in the stock of wild germplasm and natural ecosystems, and discusses the associated valuation problems.
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Chapter 17: Economics and spatial aspects of ecosystem use: land sharing versus land sparing – wildlife conservation and forestry

Clement A. Tisdell


Spatial dimensions of ecosystem use have a major influence on the supply of ecosystem services. They affect the composition of this supply and the volumes of the supply of these services. Considerable attention has been given by ecologists to the effects on the conservation of species of changing the spatial dimensions of ecosystem use. Moreover, it is clear that changes in the patterns and mosaics of land use have other major environmental consequences. Nevertheless, at the same time, the biophysical relationships involved are often complex and frequently cannot be generalized. While much attention has been given to the biophysical consequences of the spatial use of ecosystems, much less attention has been given to the economic assessment of these patterns.

The purpose of this chapter is to show the relevance of economics to assessing the value of alternative spatial forms of ecosystem use. To do this, its focus is mainly on the economics of alternative patterns of logging and their consequences for the conservation of forest wildlife and other ecosystem services. In order to do so, it concentrates primarily on a concrete case, namely the economics of conserving the orangutan by means of alternative patterns of logging forests, for example, intensive forms of logging versus less intensive selective forms. Therefore, it extends the discussion in Chapter 12.

This chapter is relevant to the debate about the virtues of land sharing versus land sparing as alternative approaches to supplying ecosystem services. Aspects of the debate about...

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