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Land-use hysteresis triggered by staggered payment schemes for more permanent biodiversity conservation

Drechsler, Martin and Grimm, Volker (2022): Land-use hysteresis triggered by staggered payment schemes for more permanent biodiversity conservation.

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Abstract

Making conservation payment schemes permanent so that conservation efforts are retained even after the payment has been stopped, is a major challenge. Another challenge is to design conservation so that they counteract the ongoing spatial fragmentation of species habitat. The agglomeration bonus in which a bonus is added to a flat payment if the conservation activity is carried out in the neighbourhood of other conserved land, has been shown to induce the establishment of spatially contiguous habitat. I the present paper we show, with a generic spatially explicit agent-based simulation model, that the interactions between the landowners in an agglomeration bonus scheme can lead to hysteresis in the land-use dynamics, implying permanence of the scheme. It is shown that this permanence translates into efficiency gains, especially if discount rates are low and the spatial heterogeneity of conservation costs is high.

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