Working Paper BETA #2018-38

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Title : An economic comparison of adaptation strategies towards a drought-induced risk of forest decline.

Author(s) : Sandrine Brèteau-Amores, Marielle Brunette, Hendrik Davi

Abstract : Drought is a source of stress affecting forest growth and resulting in financial losses for forest owners and amenity losses for society. Due to climate change, such natural event will be more frequent and intense in the future. In this context, the objective of the paper is to compare, from an economic perspective, different forest adaptation strategies towards drought-induced risk of decline. For that purpose, we focus on a case study of a forest of beech in Burgundy (France) and, we studied several adaptation options: density reduction, reduction of the rotation length and substitution by Douglas-fir. We also considered two levels of drought risk (intermediate and low soil water capacity) and two climatic scenarii from IPCC (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). We combine a process-based forest-growth simulator (CASTANEA) with a traditional forest economics approach. The results showed that adaptation provided the best economic return in most of the scenario considered. Combining strategies appears as a relevant way to adapt forest towards a drought-induced risk of forest decline. The interest to consider two disciplinary fields was also demonstrated with beneficial scenarii in an ecological perspective that were not in an economic one and reversely.

Key-words : forest, drought, adaptation, climate change, economics, risk, carbon, CASTANEA.

JEL Classification : D81, Q23, Q54.