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An important determinant of ecosystem services provision from European farmland is theamount and spatial arrangement of trees, shrubs, and woodlands that are integrated into therespective land use systems. Farm trees are considered ‘keystone structures’ ofagroecosystems because of their disproportionally large ecological value (relative to their lowabundance), but are threatened by agricultural intensification, land abandonment, andurbanization. While the preservation of farm trees is a component of several command-and controlapproaches and while numerous payment schemes for ecosystem services (PESschemes) provided through agricultural practices do in general exist, there are few incentive-basedpolicies that specifically target the conservation of farm trees. This paper uses aninstitutional economics framework for the analysis of PES schemes that enhance theestablishment, protection, and management of farm trees. Using the German state of Saxonyas a case, it elaborates on the reasons for the very reluctant participation of farmers in theseschemes. The obstacles identified include high production and opportunity costs, contractualuncertainties, and land tenure implications. Further, since scheme adoption has been lowcompared with the total area covered by the respective farm tree types, the PES schemesalone cannot explain the substantial increase in number and size of some farm-tree types.Options to improve participation comprise regionalised premiums, result-orientedremuneration, and cooperative approaches. The example of PES schemes for farm treeshighlights one of the major challenges for the protection and preservation of culturallandscapes: they are man-made and thus need to be preserved, managed, and maintainedcontinuously.

Keywords: Payments for ecosystem services (PES) ; agroecosystems ; trees outside forests ; institutional economics ; East Germany ; Saxony

Subject(s): Resource /Energy Economics and Policy

Issue Date: Sep 02 2011

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier: Page range: 1-13

Total Pages: 13

Record appears in: European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) > 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland

Autor: Schleyer, Christian ; Plieninger, Tobias


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