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Economic Impact of Forest Damage in an Alpine Environment

Author(s): NOTARO, Sandra | PALETTO, Alessandro | RAFFAELLI, Roberta

Journal: Acta Silvatica & Lignaria Hungarica
ISSN 1786-691X

Volume: 5;
Start page: 131;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: forest damage | forest functions | interaction between damage and functions | economic valuation | Alpine forests

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the situation regarding the main types of damage to forests and their respective economic consequences, with reference to a case study in the Italian Alps (Trentino province). Each kind of damage (wind and snow, defoliation, fire and tillage) has been analysed in terms of its impact on four forest functions (production, protection, tourism-recreation and carbon sequestration) and evaluated in monetary terms. Market value was used to estimate the production and carbon sequestration functions, replacement cost method for protection, and contingent valuation for tourism-recreation. Applying desk research on damage caused by the main biotic and abiotic factors to this particular case study led us to estimate a annual damage of about € 1,624,921 equal to 4.71 € per hectare. This can be considered a lower bound estimate of possibly greater damage. Another interesting result that emerged from the evaluation exercise is that the wealth of information produced through monitoring and scientific research in the last twenty years does not readily lend itself to economic analysis.
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