Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 3385–3408 | Cite as

Analysis and evaluation of ecosystem resilience: an economic perspective with an application to the Venice lagoon

  • Lucia Vergano
  • Paulo A. L. D. Nunes
Original Paper


This paper focuses on the analysis and evaluation of resilience anchored in an economic perspective. Resilience, as well as most of the benefits provided by ecosystems, is not priced on current markets. However, this does not mean that resilience is of no value for humans. On the contrary, the interest of using an economic perspective, and the respective scientific methodology, will be put forward in terms of resilience relevance for ecosystem functioning, and its impact on human welfare. The economic perspective is anchored in an anthropocentric analysis evaluating resilience in terms of provision of natural capital benefits. These in turn are interpreted as insurance against the risk of ecosystem malfunctioning and the consequent interruption of the provision of goods and services to humans. For this analysis, we make use of a conceptual framework that identifies and describes the different value components of resilience. Finally, we present an illustration that discusses the economic analysis of resilience benefits in the context of the Venice Lagoon.


Economic perspective Economic value Ecosystems’ resilience Ecosystems’ thresholds Natural insurance capital 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public and Environmental EconomicsUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics “M. Fanno”University of PadovaPadovaItaly
  3. 3.School for Advanced Studies in Venice FoundationVenice International UniversityVeniceItaly
  4. 4.Fondazione Eni Enrico MatteiCampo Santa Maria FormosaVeniceItaly

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