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dc.contributor.author
Schaub, Sergei
dc.contributor.supervisor
Finger, Robert
dc.contributor.supervisor
Buchmann, Nina
dc.contributor.supervisor
Lüscher, Andreas
dc.contributor.supervisor
Di Falco, Salvatore
dc.date.accessioned
2020-10-23T05:58:29Z
dc.date.available
2020-10-22T12:15:34Z
dc.date.available
2020-10-23T05:58:29Z
dc.date.issued
2020
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11850/447273
dc.identifier.doi
10.3929/ethz-b-000447273
dc.description.abstract
Grasslands cover large shares of the world’s terrestrial area and are essential for the global food security as well as for the agricultural economy as they provide feed for animals. The same grasslands are a host of biodiversity and provide a wide range of other ecosystem services. Changes in the climatic conditions, population, consumer demands and policies, which put pressure on grasslands and grassland-based production, requires farmers to adapt. For farmers and their utility, two aspects are especially important in this context: expected income and stability of income, i.e. income risk. Farmers have a set of tools to adapt and influence grassland production, including the choice of the (plant) species diversity level in their grassland. Species diversity have been shown to increase yields and yield stability as well as that it can mitigate adverse effects of weather extremes, such as droughts. A key challenge is to transform these findings also into economic terms and to quantify these potential benefits of species diversity in terms of farmers’ utility. Empirical economic assessments of the effects of species diversity (‘diversity effects’) in grasslands that aim to value these effects from farmers’ perspectives have been conducted only in a limited number. Those studies that did such economic assessment usually focused on biomass yields (i.e. quantity of yield) and extensively managed grasslands and neglected essential aspects for farmers, such as forage quality, different management intensities, extreme weather events (e.g. droughts), market responses (e.g. hay prices) or differences in farm types. Droughts that are a severe risk for grasslands are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity in the future due to climate change. Understanding the economic consequences of drought effects and how species diversity, among other tools, can help to reduce adverse effects is important. Moreover, droughts can not only cause yield losses but also market response (e.g. hay prices response), which are equally important to farmers but not explored so far. The overall research goal of the thesis is to support farmers, extension services and policy makers by answering the question ‘What is the value of species diversity in grasslands for farmers?’. Therefore, we conduct an economic valuation of the diversity effect in grasslands from a farmers’ perspective in Chapter 2 to 4: In Chapter 2, we economically assess the diversity effects on expected yields, expected revenues and risk in intensively managed grasslands, considering biomass yields and forage quality. We find that species diversity increased biomass yields while it did not affect forage quality. Thus, species diversity increased quality-adjusted yields (biomass yields x forage quality) and potential revenues from milk production. Moreover, species diversity decreased farmers’ risk. In Chapter 3, we investigate the diversity effect on expected yields and revenues, considering biomass yields and forage quality across a wide range of management intensities. The results show that species diversity increased quality-adjusted yields and revenues across management regimes and that the benefits from species diversity can be as high as increasing management intensity. In Chapter 4, we analyze the diversity effect under increasing drought risks while considering hay yield and price responses to droughts as well as different farm types. We find that species diversity increased income and decreased risk. The diversity effect was independent of drought probability and the drought effect largely dependent on farm type. We complement the economic assessment of species diversity by an in-depth analysis of droughts effect hay prices and differences between drought effects on hay prices and feed grain prices (Chapter 5). We find that regional and national droughts substantially increased hay prices while feed grain prices were not affected in South Germany. The differences between hay and feed grain price responses can be linked to transport and transaction costs, thus, to market integration. Moreover, we provide supplementary analysis about biodiversity loss communication, public interest in biodiversity in climate change and societal concerns on pesticide use in the appendices of the thesis. In conclusion, the thesis adds to the existing knowledge of species diversity and its economic value by extending the (economic) assessment of species diversity. Considering key aspects for farmers, we show that species diversity is an economically relevant factor of production and that maintaining and reestablishing species diverse grasslands can contribute to future sustainable intensification of grassland-based production. Moreover, we provide new insights to the consequences of droughts on hay and feed grain prices and that these prices are differently affected. The knowledge on these drought effects on prices in combination with diversity effects in grasslands can help to better understand and mitigate adverse drought effects in grassland-based production, especially considering climate change. The gained insights in this thesis, about the species diversity effects and the drought effects, should be considered in farm management as well as in the decisions of policy makers.
en_US
dc.format
application/pdf
en_US
dc.language.iso
en
en_US
dc.publisher
ETH Zurich
en_US
dc.subject
Agricultural economics
en_US
dc.subject
Ecological economics
en_US
dc.subject
Biodiversity
en_US
dc.subject
Grassland
en_US
dc.subject
Weather extremes
en_US
dc.title
Economic Perspective on Grasslands, Biodiversity and Weather Extremes
en_US
dc.type
Doctoral Thesis
dc.date.published
2020-10-23
ethz.size
240 p.
en_US
ethz.code.ddc
DDC - DDC::3 - Social sciences::333.7 - Natural resources, energy and environment
en_US
ethz.identifier.diss
26860
en_US
ethz.publication.place
Zurich
en_US
ethz.publication.status
published
en_US
ethz.leitzahl
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02120 - Dep. Management, Technologie und Ökon. / Dep. of Management, Technology, and Ec.::09564 - Finger, Robert / Finger, Robert
en_US
ethz.leitzahl
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02350 - Dep. Umweltsystemwissenschaften / Dep. of Environmental Systems Science::02703 - Institut für Agrarwissenschaften / Institute of Agricultural Sciences::03648 - Buchmann, Nina / Buchmann, Nina
en_US
ethz.leitzahl.certified
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02350 - Dep. Umweltsystemwissenschaften / Dep. of Environmental Systems Science::02703 - Institut für Agrarwissenschaften / Institute of Agricultural Sciences::03648 - Buchmann, Nina / Buchmann, Nina
en_US
ethz.leitzahl.certified
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02120 - Dep. Management, Technologie und Ökon. / Dep. of Management, Technology, and Ec.::09564 - Finger, Robert / Finger, Robert
en_US
ethz.date.deposited
2020-10-22T12:15:45Z
ethz.source
FORM
ethz.eth
yes
en_US
ethz.availability
Embargoed
en_US
ethz.date.embargoend
2023-10-23
ethz.rosetta.installDate
2020-10-23T05:58:46Z
ethz.rosetta.lastUpdated
2021-02-15T19:03:11Z
ethz.rosetta.versionExported
true
ethz.COinS
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