The effects of disease on optimal forest rotation: a generalisable analytical framework

Macpherson, M. F., Kleczkowski, A., Healey, J. R. and Hanley, N. (2018) The effects of disease on optimal forest rotation: a generalisable analytical framework. Environmental and Resource Economics, 70(3), pp. 565-588. (doi:10.1007/s10640-016-0077-4)

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Abstract

The arrival of novel pathogens and pests can have a devastating effect on the market values of forests. Calibrating management strategies/decisions to consider the effect of disease may help to reduce disease impacts on forests. Here, we use a novel generalisable, bioeconomic model framework, which combines an epidemiological compartmental model with a Faustmann optimal rotation length model, to explore the management decision of when to harvest a single rotation, even-aged, plantation forest under varying disease conditions. Sensitivity analysis of the rate of spread of infection and the effect of disease on the timber value reveals a key trade-off between waiting for the timber to grow and the infection spreading further. We show that the optimal rotation length, which maximises the net present value of the forest, is reduced when timber from infected trees has no value; but when the infection spreads quickly, and the value of timber from infected trees is non-zero, it can be optimal to wait until the disease-free optimal rotation length to harvest. Our original approach provides an exemplar framework showing how a bioeconomic model can be used to examine the effect of tree diseases on management strategies/decisions.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work is from the project titled Modelling economic impact and strategies to increase resilience against tree disease outbreaks. This is one of seven projects in the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative (phase 2) funded by BBSRC, Defra, ESRC, Forestry Commission, NERC and Scottish Government.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hanley, Professor Nicholas
Authors: Macpherson, M. F., Kleczkowski, A., Healey, J. R., and Hanley, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Environmental and Resource Economics
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0924-6460
ISSN (Online):1573-1502
Published Online:27 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Environmental and Resource Economics 70(3): 565-588
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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