Farmer perceptions of wetland ecosystem goods and services
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Wetlands provide services to humans through ecological functions including water filtration, flood prevention, freshwater provision etc. Farmers risk losing these essential services as a result of wetland drainage. Wetlands have been established as valuable ecosystems through the economic study of ecosystem goods and services (EGS). However, in comparison to monetary valuation studies, which dominate research, few studies have examined non-monetary values such as human perceptions. In situ, unstructured interviews taking place near wetlands were used to examine farmers’ perceptions of wetland EGS on farms in the Annapolis Valley, NS. Three wetland types were used and each farmer was interviewed twice to test whether perceptions varied by wetland type and season. Analysis suggests that different wetland types elicit discussion about different EGS. The results of the qualitative analysis do not closely align with monetary valuations and could be used to inform more efficient extension programs towards better wetland conservation on farms.