Adoption of payments for ecosystem services: An application of the Hägerstrand model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Many governments are now offering incentive payments to private land owners to adapt their management of the land in such a way as to safeguard or enhance ecosystem service provision. These payments are offered to individual land owners, whose decisions may be influenced by economic rationality, but also other factors. Understanding factors such as social capital and neighbourhood networks is particularly relevant as these can help to create local patterns of high and coordinated uptake. This is important because the delivery of many ecosystem services depends on spatial patterns of interventions at the landscape scale, i.e. at spatial scales of multiple farms. To date little empirical work has been carried out to estimate the extent and relative importance of local land owner networks on entry into ecosystem services payment schemes. This study demonstrates a method to detect possible relationships between farm locations and the time of adoption. Based on Thorsten Hagerstrand’s model of innovation diffusion as a spatio-temporal process, a simulation approach is used to detect spatio-temporal clustering in the uptake of a case study ESP scheme, the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) scheme in Scotland. The analysis reveals clear spatio-temporal uptake patterns at different spatial scales and in different types of rural spaces. It is argued that these findings have relevance for local adaptation of policies, both to liaise more effectively with sections of the farming community, and to achieve better uptake patterns at the landscape scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Innovation-diffusion
  • Farmer decision making
  • Neighbourhood networks
  • Payments for ecosystem services (PES)
  • Agri-environmental schemes (AES)
  • Environmentally sensitive areas (ESA)


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