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The Effects of Invasive Pests and Diseases on Strategies for Forest Diversification

Morag F. Macpherson (), Adam Kleczkowski, John R. Healey, Chris Quine and Nick Hanley ()
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Morag F. Macpherson: Computing Science and Mathematics, School of Natural Sciences, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling
Adam Kleczkowski: Computing Science and Mathematics, School of Natural Sciences, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling
John R. Healey: School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, College of Natural Sciences, Bangor University
Chris Quine: Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Midlothian

Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics from University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development

Abstract: Diversication of the tree species composition of production forests is a frequently advocated strategy to increase resilience to pests and diseases, however there is a lack of a general framework to analyse the impact of economic and biological conditions on the optimal planting strategy in the presence of tree disease. To meet this need we use a novel bioeconomic model to quantitatively assess the eect of tree disease on the optimal planting proportion of two tree species. We nd that diversifying the species composition can reduce the loss from disease even when the benet from the resistant species is small. However this key result is sensitive to a pathogen's characteristics (probability of arrival, time of arrival, rate of spread of infection) and the costs (damage of the disease to the susceptible species and reduced benet of planting the resistant species). This study provides an exemplar framework which can be used to help understand the eect of a pathogen on forest management strategies.

Keywords: Bioeconomic modelling; Forest management; Natural Resource management; Tree pests and pathogens; Species diversification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env
Date: 2016-05
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