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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Option Value, Substitutable Species, and Ecosystem Services

Persson, Erik


The concept of ecosystem services is a way of visualizing the instrumental value that nature has for human beings. Most ecosystem services can be performed by more than one species. This fact is sometimes used as an argument against the preservation of species. However, even though substitutability does detract from the instrumental value of a species, it also adds option value to it. The option value cannot make a substitutable species as instrumentally. valuable as a non-substitutable species, but in many cases, it can add enough value to make the species more valuable than the projects that threaten its existence.


ecosystem services; philosophy

Published in

Environmental Ethics
2016, volume: 38, number: 2, pages: 165-181

Authors' information

Persson, Erik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

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