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While you mention the weakness of your snapshot in time data, still, how do you justify using it to extrapolate to anything beyond those fields in that season?

It would be a stretch to use this short snapshot of data to extrapolate to future years in the same fields, much less to the region, but to extrapolate it to 110 countries in 15 regions goes beyond all scientific prudence to the absurd.

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Pricing nature and its services are always difficult and much debate is going on whether putting dollar value on ecosystem services will help their better use or will it result in commodifying them? Our position is that each valuation study contributes to further refinement of valuation technique and we have pioneered economic valuation based on experimental/biological data rather than value transfer approach that solely rely on data from previous studies. In ecological economics and in valuation community, both approaches are acceptable and have disadvantages and benefits.

However, as mentioned in the paper that- as a what if scenario, we extrapolated values to the 110 countries, with all caveats as identified, to see how ecosystem services can be better managed by developing a better and more efficient agricultural systems in future. We have used assumptions that two key ES do not have zero value all over the world (without estimating their value, it is the case, unfortunately). Our major contribution is that, these two key ES have approximate value as we estimated ( approximate value is far better than the zero value of ES). This can contribute to the management and enhancement of these two vital ES in agriculture and help farmers save input costs – as millions of farmers around the globe depend cannot afford costly inputs. Extrapolation to future years is also justified in similar ways as our market economy does for all commodities/services in future based on many assumptions about their demand and production in future.

We agree that more number of experimental studies are required around the globe – longitudinal ones – to better estimate value of each ES. Our future studies are aimed at including those data and land values in different parts of the world for better estimate of ES values and to improve future agriculture.

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