Potential impact of invasive alien species on ecosystem services provided by a tropical forested ecosystem: a case study from Montserrat

Peh, Kelvin S.-H. and Balmford, Andrew and Birch, Jennifer C. and Brown, Claire and Butchart, Stuart H.M. and Daley, James and Dawson, Jeffrey and Gray, Gerard and Hughes, Francine M.R. and Mendes, Stephen and Millett, James and Stattersfield, Alison J. and Thomas, David H.L. and Walpole, Matt and Bradbury, Richard B. (2014) Potential impact of invasive alien species on ecosystem services provided by a tropical forested ecosystem: a case study from Montserrat. Biological Invasions. ISSN 1573-1464

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Abstract

Local stakeholders at the important but vulnerable Centre Hills on Montserrat consider that the continued presence of feral livestock (particularly goats and pigs) may lead to widespread replacement of the reserve’s native vegetation by invasive alien trees (Java plum and guava), and consequent negative impacts on native animal species. Since 2009, a hunting programme to control the feral livestock has been in operation. However long-term funding is not assured. Here, we estimate the effect of feral livestock control on ecosystem services provided by the forest to evaluate whether the biodiversity conservation rationale for continuation of the control programme is supported by an economic case. A new practical tool (Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment) was employed to measure and compare ecosystem service provision between two states of the reserve (i.e. presence and absence of feral livestock control) to estimate the net consequences of the hunting programme on ecosystem services provided by the forest. Based on this we estimate that cessation of feral livestock management would substantially reduce the net benefits provided by the site, including a 46 % reduction in nature-based tourism (from $419,000 to $228,000) and 36 % reduction in harvested wild meat (from $205,000 to $132,000). The overall net benefit generated from annual ecosystem service flows associated with livestock control in thereserve, minus the management cost, was $214,000 per year. We conclude that continued feral livestock control is important for maintaining the current level of ecosystem services provided by the reserve.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Citation: Peh, K.S.-., Balmford, A., Birch, J.C., Brown, C., Butchart, S.H.M., Daley, J., Dawson, J., Gray, G., Hughes, F.M.R., Mendes, S., Millett, J., Stattersfield, A.J., Thomas, D.H.L., Walpole, M. and Bradbury, R.B., 2015. Potential impact of invasive alien species on ecosystem services provided by a tropical forested ecosystem: a case study from Montserrat. Biological Invasions, 17 (1), pp.461-475.
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Mr I Walker
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 14:30
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 08:39
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/346857

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