Economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by crop diversification

  1. F. Alcón 1
  2. C. Marín-Miñano 1
  3. J.A. Zabala 1
  4. J.M. Martínez-Paz 2
  5. M.D. de Miguel 1
  1. 1 Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

    Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

    Cartagena, España


  2. 2 Universidad de Murcia

    Universidad de Murcia

    Murcia, España


European Conference on Crop Diversification (ECCD2019)

Year of publication: 2019

Type: Conference paper


Crop diversification is proposed as a sustainable way to address the social and environmental challengesagriculture is currently facing (Kleijn et al., 2009). It contributes to increase biodiversity (Olimpi & Philpott,2018), improve soil structure (Hunt et al., 2019) and restore landscape (Redlich et al., 2018), which istranslated into an improvement in agroecosystem resilience (Lin, 2011). Thus, crop diversificationcontributes to improve ecosystem services (ES) provided by agriculture, restoring agroecosystemsfunctioning (MEA, 2005) and linking environmental conservation and human wellbeing to ensureagricultural sustainability.Despite their contribution to human wellbeing, most ES provided by crop diversification are not marketexchanged and their economic value are undetermined. The economic valuation of ES attempts to translateinto monetary terms their social and environmental importance, focusing on their impact on humanwellbeing. This value also reports a measure to unify the impacts of crop diversification in terms easilycomprehended by stakeholders. Social demand for ES is usually estimated through non-market valuationtechniques.In this context, the aim of this work is to value the improvement of ES provision due to crop diversificationpractices. To this end, a case study, located in Murcia Region (South-East of Spain), has been used. Thisregion is characterised by fruits and vegetable agriculture focused on monoculture with some environmentalimpacts associated such as biodiversity loss and soil and landscape degradations. Here, crop diversificationcould be employed to improve agroecosystem functioning.