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Consequences of Environmental Service Payments for Forest Retention and Recruitment in a Costa Rican Biological Corridor

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dc.contributor.author Morse, Wayde C. en_US
dc.contributor.author Schedlbauer, Jessica L. en_US
dc.contributor.author Sesnie, Steven E. en_US
dc.contributor.author Finegan, Bryan en_US
dc.contributor.author Harvey, Celia A. en_US
dc.contributor.author Hollenhorst, Steven J. en_US
dc.contributor.author Kavanagh, Kathleen L. en_US
dc.contributor.author Stoian, Dietmar en_US
dc.contributor.author Wulfhorst, J.D. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:56:45Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:56:45Z
dc.date.issued 2009 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-05-15 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-05-15 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3061
dc.description.abstract "Compensation to landowners for forest-derived environmental services has gained international recognition as a mechanism to combat forest loss and fragmentation. This approach is widely promoted, although there is little evidence demonstrating that environmental service payments encourage forest stewardship and conservation. Costa Rica provides a unique case study in which a 1996 Forestry Law initiated environmental service payments and prohibited forest conversion to other land uses. We examined these novel policies to determine their influence on landowner decisions that affect forest change, carbon services, and connectivity in a 2425 km2 biological corridor. We used Landsat images to compare land-cover changes before and after 1996, and linked these data to landowner surveys investigating land-use decisions. Carbon stocks and storage in secondary forests were also examined. Forest change observations were corroborated by landowner survey data, indicating that the 1996 Forestry Law and environmental service payments contributed positively to forest retention and recruitment. Socioeconomic conditions also favored forest protection. Rates of natural forest loss declined from -1.43% to -0.10%/yr after 1996. Forest cover and connectivity were maintained through tree plantations and secondary forest recruitment, although forest heterogeneity increased as these forest types sometimes replaced natural forest. Carbon storage in secondary forest approached levels in primary forest after 25-30 yr of succession, although few landowners retained natural regeneration. Secondary forests will persist as minor landscape components without legal or financial incentives. The Costa Rican experience provides evidence that environmental service payments can be effective in retaining natural forest and recruiting tree cover within biological corridors." en_US
dc.subject environment en_US
dc.subject forests en_US
dc.subject landscape change en_US
dc.subject decision making en_US
dc.subject property rights en_US
dc.title Consequences of Environmental Service Payments for Forest Retention and Recruitment in a Costa Rican Biological Corridor en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.coverage.region Central America & Caribbean en_US
dc.coverage.country Costa Rica en_US
dc.subject.sector Forestry en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Ecology and Society en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 14 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 1 en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth January en_US

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