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Measuring the economic, environmental and ecosystem services value of woodland, heathland and heritage gardens in the context of determining potential impacts from the regulated plant pathogens Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae - PG0102

Description
Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae are invasive alien species of fungi which cause damage to woodlands, heathlands and heritage gardens, particularly in the South and West of the UK. These pathogens have the ability to kill certain trees and native heathland species and cause serious damage to a very wide range of garden shrubs affecting heritage gardens and the hardy ornamental nursery trade. They were first found in the UK in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Defra have funded a disease management programme of £25 million over five years from 1 April 2009.

This study will provide more precise socio-economic values for the habitats and industries at risk from these pathogens. The project will determine and apply methods to better estimate the total economic value of woodlands, heathlands and heritage gardens.

The study has the following research activities: 1. Develop a methodological framework, 2. Review of science and valuation literature, 3. Produce estimates of total economic, environmental and ecosystem service value of woodland at potential risk from Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae, 4. Produce estimates of total economic, environmental and ecosystem service value of heathlands at potential risk from Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae, 5. Produce estimates of the total economic, environmental and ecosystem service value of heritage gardens at potential risk from Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae, 6. Primary data collection via a survey on deterrence of visitors, 7. Report and disseminate findings.

Development of a robust methodology framework will be crucial to the success of this study. The approach required to will be agreed with the steering group before the project team go on to estimate the values through a number of subsequent activities.

Broadly the methodology will involve:
- That some values will be updated via transferring values from more up to date studies than those used in the 2008 Impact Assessment (benefits transfer).
- That some values will be estimated from existing data such as garden visitor numbers and other information reflecting use values (e.g. grouse shooting data if appropriate).
- Primary data collection on the impact of the disease on visitation rates both in terms of regional distributions of such impacts and whether people simply substitute one visit with another leading to no overall impact.

The study is due to be completed with a presentation in April 2011.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Final report for project PG0102 Ramorum 060911   (9135k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2011

Cost: £96,500
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Biodiversity              
Economic Research              
Environment              
Plant diseases              
Plant health