Integrating methods for ecosystem service assessment and valuation: Mixed methods or mixed messages?

Caroline Hattam, Anne Böhnke-Henrichs, Tobias Börger, Daryl Burdon, Maria Hadjimichael, Alyne Delaney, Jonathan P Atkins, Samantha Garrard, Melanie C Austen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    A mixed-method approach was used to assess and value the ecosystem services derived from the Dogger Bank, an extensive shallow sandbank in the southern North Sea. Three parallel studies were undertaken that 1) identified and quantified, where possible, how indicators for ecosystem service provision may change according to two future scenarios, 2) assessed members of the public's willingness-to-pay for improvements to a small number of ecosystem services as a consequence of a hypothetical management plan, and 3) facilitated a process of deliberation that allowed members of the public to explore the uses of the Dogger Bank and the conflicts and dilemmas involved in its management. Each of these studies was designed to answer different and specific research questions and therefore contributes different insights about the ecosystem services delivered by the Dogger Bank. This paper explores what can be gained by bringing these findings together post hoc and the extent to which the different methods are complementary. Findings suggest that mixed-method research brings more understanding than can be gained from the individual approaches alone. Nevertheless, the choice of methods used and how these methods are implemented strongly affects the results obtained.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)126-138
    JournalEcological Economics
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2015


    • Ecosystem services
    • Mixed methods
    • Valuation
    • Complementarity
    • Dogger Bank


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