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Valuation and management of mudflats in the Yellow River Delta, China

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Author: Gui, Tao Ya
While many coastal wetland valuation studies have been conducted across China, and at different scales, only a few have been conducted in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve (YRDNNR). Furthermore, these studies have been dominated by the use of the static valuation method, which does not fully reflect value trade-offs among ecosystem services and land use types when these change over time. Since deltas are characterized by naturally changing ecosystem conditions, a more complete valuation of the coastal wetland ecosystem in the YRDNNR is desirable. Using the Benefit Value Transfer (BVT) method, I take a dynamic approach that will fill the gap in previous research by reflecting the full range of economic trade-offs among land use types and ecosystem services across varying spatial-temporal scales in the YRDNNR. In addition, my study further considers the impacts of water-sediment regulation, where coordinated annual water and sediment flushing events were initiated behind upper river dams in the early 2000s. Together, I consider these influence on the total economic value (TEV) of the YRDNNR from 2000 to 2015. The study suggests that the water-sediment regulation had a positive impact on the TEV of the YRDNNR. Such information will help the local government and resource managers to understand how this dynamic delta system is changing over time and in response to management intervention. Ultimately, it is hoped this research will lead to solutions to enhance ecosystem services.
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