Spatially explicit valuation of the Brazilian Amazon Forest’s Ecosystem Services

Abstract

The Brazilian Amazon forest is tremendously important for its ecosystem services but attribution of economically measurable values remains scarce. Mapping these values is essential for designing conservation strategies that suitably combine regional forest protection with sustainable forest use. We estimate spatially explicit economic values for a range of ecosystem services provided by the Brazilian Amazon forest, including food production (Brazil nut), raw material provision (rubber and timber), greenhouse gas mitigation (CO2 emissions) and climate regulation (rent losses to soybean, beef and hydroelectricity production due to reduced rainfall). Our work also includes the mapping of biodiversity resources and of rent losses to timber production by fire-induced degradation. Highest values range from US$56.72 ± 10 ha−1 yr−1 to US$737 ± 134 ha−1 yr−1 but are restricted to only 12% of the remaining forest. Our results, presented on a web platform, identify regions where high ecosystem services values cluster together as potential information to support decision-making.

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Fig. 1: Forest values for individual value components
Fig. 2: Forest values overlaid with highly biodiverse areas.
Fig. 3: Areal extent of intervals of forest values in US$ ha−1 yr−1 for each valuation component and for the total value map (see Figs. 1 and 2).

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available at http://amazones.info. Further description of how the data were processed and analysed is presented in the SI.

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Acknowledgements

We received financial support from the Norwegian government through the World Bank. Feedback was provided by Y. Kraus and J. Vincent. B.S.F., M.C., G.P., R.J. and U.O. received support from CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico). U.O., A.O. and R.H. received support from CAPES (Coordenação e Aperfeiçoamento de Nível Superior). B.S.F. was also supported by the Humboldt Foundation. P.M. was supported by TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) AgriFood project.

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J.S., B.S.F. and M.C. designed the project, conducted research and wrote the manuscript. G.P., U.O., S.R., R.R. and A.O. conducted research and helped write the manuscript. J.S. and R.M. conducted research. P.M., M.T. and R.H. helped write the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jon Strand or Britaldo Soares-Filho.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Sections 1–7, Supplementary Figures 1–75, Supplementary Tables 1–19, Supplementary References 1–163

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Strand, J., Soares-Filho, B., Costa, M.H. et al. Spatially explicit valuation of the Brazilian Amazon Forest’s Ecosystem Services. Nat Sustain 1, 657–664 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0175-0

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