Working Paper BETA #2021-25

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Title : Earth, wind and fire: A multi-hazard risk review for natural disturbances in forests

Author(s) : Félix Bastit, Marielle Brunette, Claire Montagne-Huck

Abstract : Natural disturbances are paramount in the development of ecosystems but may jeopardise the provision of forest ecosystem services. Climate change exacerbates this threat and favours interactions between disturbances. Our objective was thus to capture this dimension of multiple disturbances in forest economics through a literature review. We built a database that encompasses 101 English peer-reviewed articles published between 1916 and 2020. We looked at the relationships between six main natural hazards: fire, windstorm, drought, ice/snow, insects and pathogens/disease. Our results indicate that the most frequent pairs of hazards analysed together are “Wind-Insects” in Europe and “Fire-Insects” in North America. We observed that timber production is often the only ecosystem service considered. We show that most economic studies assume that natural hazards are independent of each other and could thus miss some of the effects of changing hazard regimes, contrary to ecology-oriented articles. Finally, we propose to refine current economic models by improving the modelling of natural hazards in order to find better-adapted silvicultural strategies in the future.

Key-words : multi-hazard risk, interaction, economics, management, ecology, review, forest

JEL Classification : D81; Q23 ; Q54