Economic implications of species mixtures in European beech stands enriched with coniferous trees

PhD student

Larissa Topanotti

Research Outline

This subproject aims to assess the economic returns and associated risks of mixed forests of European beech with Douglas fir and Norway spruce compared to the pure stands of these species. The main hypothesis is that the mixed forests will show higher and more stable long-term economic returns while presenting less associated risks compared to pure stands. The subproject focuses on two main audiences: the private and public beneficiaries. The first part of our subproject will analyse the wood production and stand structure of admixtures considering a risk-averse forest owner. The second part of the project will then evaluate the trade-offs between multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity, which can be of high interest for public institutions. The structural diversity and ecological trade-offs in the mixtures of such species will probably result in less associated-risks, enhanced ecosystem functioning, and higher economic utility for both private and public beneficiaries.

The study design of the subproject includes data from the 40 regular measurement plots (RMPs). We will rely our analyses on the findings of the on-going subprojects, such as tree growth (SP 9), stand structure (SP 8), tree mortality (overall RTG data), resistance to drought, carbon and nitrogen storage, water uptake (SP 1-3), and so on. We will use these data to incorporate them into a bioeconomic model and perform the economic analyses using Monte Carlo simulation and the framework of portfolio analysis borrowed from financial analyses.

Principal Investigator / Supervisor

Prof. Dr. Carola Paul, Forest Economics and Sustainanle Land-use Planning, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology