Forest ecosystem services are fundamental for human life. To protect and increase forest ecosystem services, the driving factors underlying changes in forest ecosystem service values must be determined to properly implement forest resource management planning. This study examines the driving factors that affect changes in forest ecosystem service values by focusing on regional forest characteristics using a dataset of 47 prefectures in Japan for 2000, 2007, and 2012. We applied two approaches: a contingent valuation method for estimating the forest ecosystem service value per area and a decomposition analysis for identifying the main driving factors of changes in the value of forest ecosystem services. The results indicate that the value of forest ecosystem services has increased due to the expansion of forest area from 2000 to 2007. However, factors related to forest management and ecosystem service value per area have contributed to a decrease in the value of ecosystem services from 2000 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2012, respectively.
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