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The effects of invasive pests and pathogens on strategies for forest diversification

Macpherson M, Kleczkowski A, Healey J, Quine CP & Hanley N (2017) The effects of invasive pests and pathogens on strategies for forest diversification, Ecological Modelling, 350, pp. 87-99.

Diversification of the tree species composition of production forests is a frequently advocated strategy to increase resilience to pests and pathogens; 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 effect oftree disease on the optimal planting proportion of two tree species. We find that diversifying the species composition can reduce the economic loss from disease even when the benefit from the resistant speciesis small. However, this key result is sensitive to a pathogen’s characteristics (probability of arrival, timeof arrival, rate of spread of infection) and the losses (damage of the disease to the susceptible species and reduced benefit of planting the resistant species). This study provides an exemplar framework which can be used to help understand the effect of a pathogen on forest management strategies.

Bioeconomic modelling; Forest management; Natural resource management; Tree pests and pathogens; Tree species diversification

AuthorsMacpherson Morag, Kleczkowski Adam, Healey John, Quine Christopher P, Hanley Nick
Publication date24/04/2017
Publication date online24/02/2017
Date accepted by journal06/02/2017
ISSN 0304-3800

Ecological Modelling: Volume 350

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