Valuing Improvements in Biodiversity Due to Controls on Atmospheric Nitrogen Pollution

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Jones, L., Milne, A. E., Hall, J., Mills, G., Provins, A. and Christie, M. 2018. Valuing Improvements in Biodiversity Due to Controls on Atmospheric Nitrogen Pollution. Ecological Economics. 152, pp. 358-366.

AuthorsJones, L., Milne, A. E., Hall, J., Mills, G., Provins, A. and Christie, M.
Abstract

Atmospheric nitrogen pollution has severe impacts on biodiversity, but approaches to value them are limited.
This paper develops a spatially explicit methodology to value the benefits from improvements in biodiversity
resulting from current policy initiatives to reduce nitrogen emissions. Using the UK as a case study, we quantify
nitrogen impacts on plant diversity in four habitats: heathland, acid grassland, dunes and bogs, at fine spatial
resolution. Focusing on non-use values for biodiversity we apply value-transfer based on household's willingness
to pay to avoid changes in plant species richness, and calculate the benefit of projected emission declines of 37%
for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 6% for ammonia (NH3) over the scenario period 2007–2020. The annualised
benefit resulting from these pollutant declines is £32.7m (£4.4m to £109.7 m, 95% Confidence Interval), with
the greatest benefit accruing from heathland and acid grassland due to their large area. We also calculate damage
costs per unit of NO2 and NH3 emitted, to quantify some of the environmental impacts of air pollution for
use alongside damage costs for human health in policy appraisal. The benefit is £103 (£33 to £237) per tonne of
NO2 saved, and £414 (£139 to £1022) per tonne of NH3 saved.

KeywordsNitrogen deposition; Species richness; Economic value; Damage cost; Ecosystem services; Policy
Year of Publication2018
JournalEcological Economics
Journal citation152, pp. 358-366
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.06.010
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderDepartment of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Funder project or codeAQ0827
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Jun 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN0921-8009
PublisherElsevier Science Bv

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