Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a UK wetland

Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a UK wetland

Restoring degraded land is often seen as an important way of enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services, but information on the costs and benefits of restoring land is scarce. In this paper published in Ecology and Evolution Peh and his co-authors use the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment to examine the biophysical and monetary impacts of ecosystem services provided by a restored wetland at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, compared with the former arable land. Their results suggest that this change in land-use has resulted in a substantial gain to society as a whole; benefits included gains in the areas of nature-based recreation (of $671 per ha per year), grazing ($120 per ha per year), flood protection ($48 per ha per year), while reductions were seen in greenhouse gas emissions (worth an estimated $72 per ha per year) and management costs (of $1,325 per ha per year).

This paper is an output of the CCI Collaborative Fund project Measuring and monitoring ecosystem services at the site scale: building practical tools for real-world conservation 

Peh, K. S.-H., Balmford, A., Field, R. H., Lamb, A., Birch, J. C., Bradbury, R. B., … Hughes, F. M. R. (2014). Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: Rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a U.K. wetland. Ecology and Evolution, 4(20), 3875–3886. doi:10.1002/ece3.1248

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Collaboration / Project(s)

Measuring and monitoring ecosystem services at the site scale: building practical tools for real-world conservation

This project aims to develop and deploy a rapid assessment tool to understand how far conserving sites for their biodiversity importance also helps to conserve different ecosystem services (ESs), relative to a converted state. The tool is being piloted at a diverse range of sites in the UK, Nepal and Montserrat. Publication of the methods…