Ecological Risk – Benefit Analysis of a Wetland Development Based on Risk Assessment Using “Expected Loss of Biodiversity”

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Abstract:

Ecological risk from the development of a wetland is assessed quantitatively by means of a new risk measure, expected loss of biodiversity (ELB). ELB is defined as the weighted sum of the increments in the probabilities of extinction of the species living in the wetland due to its loss. The weighting for a particular species is calculated according to the length of the branch on the phylogenetic tree that will be lost if the species becomes extinct. The length of the branch on the phylogenetic tree is regarded as reflecting the extent of contribution of the species to the taxonomic diversity of the world of living things. The increments in the probabilities of extinction are calculated by a simulation used for making the Red List for vascular plants in Japan. The resulting ELB for the loss of Nakaikemi wetland is 9,200 years. This result is combined with the economic costs for conservation of the wetland to produce a value for the indicator of the “cost per unit of biodiversity saved.” Depending on the scenario, the value is 13,000 yen per year-ELB or 110,000 to 420,000 yen per year-ELB (1 US dollar = 110 yen in 1999).

Keywords: Probability of extinction; ecological risk; risk–benefit analysis; taxonomic diversity; wetland

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0272-4332.216170

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Economics and Management Research, Fukui Prefectural University, Fukui, and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Tokyo, Japan., 2: CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, and the Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan., 3: Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan.

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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