Global values of coastal ecosystem services: A spatial economic analysis of shoreline protection values

Nalini S. Rao, Andrea Ghermandi, Rosimeiry Portela, Xuanwen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A global study to estimate the ecosystem service value of specific coastal ecosystems is developed. Specific variables are identified and used to develop a global multivariate regression function that supports the identification of important drivers of the value of ecosystem service of coastal protection around the world, and the Caribbean is examined in detail. Variables hypothesized to affect the ecosystem service value fall into three categories, and were informed by a meta-analysis of existing economic literature. Site characteristics include ecosystem type and size. Study characteristics include valuation method. Context variables include measures of development, anthropogenic pressures, biodiversity, and population density. Results of the meta-analytic regression show that variables significantly affecting the ecosystem service value included size, level of development, storm frequency, valuation method and gross domestic product per capita. A benefit transfer function is then generated to extrapolate values to other sites around the world where coastal wetlands, mangrove and coral reefs exist. This function is used to derive a global map of the value of a set of coastal ecosystem services worldwide. The Caribbean region is discussed as a case study in this global analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalEcosystem Services
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Benefit transfer
  • Coast
  • Ecosystem service
  • Meta-analysis
  • Shoreline protection
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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