Raviv, O., Shamir, S. Z., Izhaki, I., Sagie, H., Negev, M., Mazor-Tregerman, M., … & Lotan, A. (2020). The socioeconomic value of multiple ecosystem types at a biosphere reserve as a baseline for one holistic conservation plan. Ecosystem Services, 41, 101043. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.101043
• Seasonal and spatial features of a biosphere reserve affect the human value domain.
• Higher springtime values reflect longer distances traveled to the site in autumn.
• The seashore landscape yields a higher value than maquis and conifer forests.
• Despite yielding the lowest value, the most visited landscape-type is agricultural.
• The main reason to preserve the site is bequeathing it for future generations.
The value estimates and conservation plan of ecosystem services (ES) may have multiple interpretations in a site consisting of a mixture of ecosystems (e.g., maquis, conifer forest, seashore and agroecosystems) and overlapping management practices (e.g., national parks and nature reserves as part of a biosphere reserve). This study examines the relative socioeconomic value of the revealed and stated preferences for distinct seasons, types of ecosystem, and management practices within the Carmel biosphere reserve (BR), Israel. The results show that the highest annual consumer-surplus (CS) per household was measured in springtime at a mixed maquis-forest ecosystem (USD 35.11). The springtime value mainly represented the preferences of local visitors, whereas the lower autumn CS (USD 11.2) value arose mainly from non-local visitors. Analysis of the reasons underlying willingness to pay (WTP) reveals that heritage is a strong positive predictor of WTP in all ecosystem types. The higher predicted WTP to preserve the ecosystems was estimated at the forest and the seashore locations (USD 59.5 and 49.6 respectively). This method highlights the preservation preferences for other areas besides the protected BR core-zone and nature-reserves and is recommended as a support-tool for decision-makers aiming to plan preservation for complex sites while maintaining social welfare.