International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 7 > Issue 1

Economics of the Marine Seascape

By Edward B. Barbier, Department of Economics & Finance, University of Wyoming, USA | Katherine D. Lee, Department of Economics & Finance, University of Wyoming, USA

Suggested Citation
Edward B. Barbier and Katherine D. Lee (2014), "Economics of the Marine Seascape", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 7: No. 1, pp 35-65.

Publication Date: 17 Apr 2014
© 2014 E. B. Barbier and K. D. Lee
Environmental Economics
SeascapeMangrovesCoral reefEcosystem servicesStorm protectionWater pollutionHabitat-fishery linkagesHabitat connectivity


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. The Marine Seascape 
3. Economic Approaches 
4. A Marine Seascape Model 
5. Conclusion 


In ecology, the term seascape is used to describe a complex dynamic patchwork of interconnected marine and near-shore habitats (e.g., coral reef, sea grass, open water, mangrove, sandy beaches). This monograph examines this novel way of viewing the marine environment and discusses how economics can contribute to this approach to provide new analytical, management, and policy insights. A simple model of a twohabitat marine system (coral reefs and mangroves) is developed. The model is used to illustrate that, even if the focus is on whether or not to develop only the coastal habitat (i.e., mangroves), taking into account its connectivity with the rest of the seascape (i.e., coral reef) can affect the decision as to how much and which part of the coastal should be developed. The impact of seascape connectivity is examined for three marine ecosystem services: storm protection, habitat-fishery linkages, and water pollution and sediment control.