The role of spatial information in the preservation of the shrimp nursery function of mangroves: A spatially explicit bio-economic model for the assessment of land use trade-offs

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Abstract

Conversion to aquaculture affects the provision of important ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems, and this effect depends strongly on the location of the conversion. We introduce in a bioeconomic mathematical programming model relevant spatial elements that affect the provision of the nursery habitat service of mangroves: (1) direct or indirect connection of mangroves to watercourses; (2) the spatial allocation of aquaculture ponds; and (3) the presence of non-linear relations between mangrove extent and juvenile recruitment to wild shrimp populations. By tracing out the production possibilities frontier of wild and cultivated shrimp, the model assesses the role of spatial information in the trade-off between aquaculture and the nursery habitat function using spatial elements relevant to our model of a mangrove area in Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam. Results show that where mangrove forests have to coexist with shrimp aquaculture ponds, the inclusion of specific spatial information on ecosystem functions in considerations of land allocation can achieve aquaculture benefits while largely preserving the economic benefits generated by the nursery habitat function. However, if spatial criteria are ignored, ill-advised land allocation decisions can easily lead to a collapse of the mangrove’s nursery function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume143
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • managing ecosystem services
  • brown shrimp
  • sustain biodiversity
  • distribution pattern
  • coastal fisheries
  • forest management
  • economic returns
  • mekong delta
  • conservation
  • habitats

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