Assessing the Economic Resilience of Different Management Systems to Severe Forest Disturbance
Journal of Environmental and Resource Economics
54 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021 Last revised: 7 Sep 2022
Date Written: December 20, 2021
Given the drastic changes in the environment, resilience is a key focus of ecosystem management. Yet, the quantification of the different dimensions of resilience remains challenging, particularly for long-lived systems such as forests. Here we present an analytical framework to study the economic resilience of different management systems, focusing on the rate of economic recovery after severe disturbance. Our framework quantifies the post-disturbance gain in the present value of a forest compared with a benchmark system as an indicator of economic resilience. Forest values and silvicultural interventions were deter-mined endogenously from an optimization model and account for risks to tree survival. We consider the effects of both differences in forest structure and tree growth-performance post disturbance on economic resilience. We demonstrate our approach by comparing the economic resilience of continuous cover forestry against a clear fell system for typical conditions in Central Europe. Continuous cover forestry had both higher economic return and higher economic resilience than the clear fell system. The economic recovery from disturbance in the continuous cover system was between 18.2% and 51.5% faster than in the clear fell system, resulting in present value gains of between 1733 and 4535 € ha-1. The advantage of the continuous cover system increased with discount rate and stand age, and was driven by differences in both stand structure and economic return. We conclude that continuous cover systems could be an important management strategy to address the economic impacts of increasing disturbances in forest management.
Keywords: Disturbance economics, engineering resilience, present value, willingness to pay for forestland, forest value, continuous cover forestry, close to nature forestry, tree mortality
JEL Classification: Q23, Q54, Q56, Q57
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