The economic value of grassland species for carbon storage

Bruce A Hungate, Edward B. Barbier, Amy W. Ando, Samuel P. Marks, Peter B. Reich, Natasja van Gestel, David Tilman, Johannes M.H. Knops, David U. Hooper, Bradley J. Butterfield, Bradley J. Cardinale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Carbon storage by ecosystems is valuable for climate protection. Biodiversity conservation may help increase carbon storage, but the value of this influence has been difficult to assess. We use plant, soil, and ecosystem carbon storage data from two grassland biodiversity experiments to show that greater species richness increases economic value: Increasing species richness from 1 to 10 had twice the economic value of increasing species richness from 1 to 2. The marginal value of each additional species declined as species accumulated, reflecting the nonlinear relationship between species richness and plant biomass production. Our demonstration of the economic value of biodiversity for enhancing carbon storage provides a foundation for assessing the value of biodiversity for decisions about land management. Combining carbon storage with other ecosystem services affected by biodiversity may well enhance the economic arguments for conservation even further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1601880
JournalScience advances
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Hungate, B. A., Barbier, E. B., Ando, A. W., Marks, S. P., Reich, P. B., van Gestel, N., Tilman, D., Knops, J. M. H., Hooper, D. U., Butterfield, B. J., & Cardinale, B. J. (2017). The economic value of grassland species for carbon storage. Science advances, 3(4), [e1601880]. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601880