Ecosystem Service Value for the Common Reed Wetlands in the Liaohe Delta, Northeast China

Siyuan Ye, Edward A. Laws, Robert Costanza, Hans Brix

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The largest reed field in the world, with an area of 1000 km2 in 1953, is located in the Liaohe Delta, which lies in the five-point-in-a-line economic strategic zone of northeastern China. However, the area of reeds has declined dramatically in recent years to accommodate oil field infrastructure and societal developments. Although the direct and indirect services provided by such wetlands make valuable contributionsto human welfare, wetlands are often given little weight in policy decisions, because ecosystem services are not fully “captured” in commercial markets or adequately quantified in terms comparable with the values of economic services and manufactured capital. In this study the value of 10 of 17 ecosystem services provided by the reed wetlands in the Liaohe Delta was estimated by using market pricing, shadow projects, and benefit transfer methods. The value of the 10 services provided by the 800 km2 of reed wetland totaled approximately US $2.68 billion. Remarkably, aquaculture and the production of pulp from reeds accounted for only 19% of the total value of the reed wetland services. About 32% of the value of the ecosystem services was attributed to non-consumptive recreation, an easily perceived service that may act as a powerful incentive for sustainable management of this wetland ecosystem. The results of this study should help not only to guide management decisions with respect to this particular wetland but also to serve as an example of the approach to be taken with respect to valuation of similarly endangered wetlands throughout China
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-137
    JournalOpen Journal of Ecology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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