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Special Issue "At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Economics and Human Dimensions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Francisco X. Aguilar

School of Natural Sources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 6521,1 USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: economics; forests; landowners; spatial econometrics; certification; energy; resiliency

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue offers a compilation of articles that aims to delineate the current state-of-knowledge on forest economics. Articles also set out a roadmap for how the extant knowledge frontier needs to be expanded—particularly within some of the most pressing issues affecting forest resources. In aggregate, this Special Issue stresses the role that economics applied to forests and its multiple functions and resources have toward achieving sustainable outcomes.

Dr. Francisco X. Aguilar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Economics
  • Forests
  • Ecosystem services
  • Forest-dependent communities
  • Land owners
  • Market and non-market goods
  • Externalities
  • Environmental certification

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Investment Uncertainty Analysis in Eucalyptus Bole Biomass Production in Brazil
Forests 2018, 9(7), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070384
Received: 24 March 2018 / Revised: 19 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
Forestry investment projects for the biomass production of the eucalyptus bole can be characterized by uncertain environments, which result in economic risk to the forest producer, however that can be measured by applying probabilistic techniques. This was our motivation and justification for analyzing [...] Read more.
Forestry investment projects for the biomass production of the eucalyptus bole can be characterized by uncertain environments, which result in economic risk to the forest producer, however that can be measured by applying probabilistic techniques. This was our motivation and justification for analyzing the economic-financial viability of different silvicultural practices for eucalyptus bole biomass production under conditions of uncertainties, running Monte Carlo method for risk management. The experiment was carried out in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, using 5 treatments with spacings of 3 × 2 m; 3 × 1 m; 1.5 × 2 m; 3 m × 0.5 m; and 1.5 m × 1.0 m, i.e., different spacings between planting lines and plants. These treatments were characterized as investment projects. To develop stochastic models, we relied on technical-economic deterministic variables. We evaluated the investment projects based on the cash flows under conditions of uncertainty, discounted at the attractiveness rate calculated by capital asset pricing model. With the results of these economic flows, the net present value, the modified internal rate of return and the profitability index values were estimated, commonly used in the analysis of investments in projects. The results showed that based on economic metrics, the three-year rotation cycle for forest stands for biomass production of the main bole of eucalyptus, with a spacing of three meters between rows and two meters between plants, had an 83% probability of economic success. The sensitivity analysis showed that the bole biomass of eucalyptus is the most important variable for determining the economic-financial feasibility of the investment project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Towards a Theoretical Construct for Modelling Smallholders’ Forestland-Use Decisions: What Can We Learn from Agriculture and Forest Economics?
Forests 2017, 8(9), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8090345
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Academic research on smallholders’ forestland-use decisions is regularly addressed in different streams of literature using different theoretical constructs that are independently incomplete. In this article, we propose a theoretical construct for modelling smallholders’ forestland-use decisions intended to serve in the guidance and operationalization [...] Read more.
Academic research on smallholders’ forestland-use decisions is regularly addressed in different streams of literature using different theoretical constructs that are independently incomplete. In this article, we propose a theoretical construct for modelling smallholders’ forestland-use decisions intended to serve in the guidance and operationalization of future models for quantitative analysis. Our construct is inspired by the sub-disciplines of forestry and agricultural economics with a crosscutting theme of how transaction costs drive separability between consumption and production decisions. Our results help explain why exogenous variables proposed in the existing literature are insufficient at explaining smallholders’ forestland-use decisions, and provide theoretical context for endogenizing characteristics of the household, farm and landscape. Smallholders’ forestland-use decisions are best understood in an agricultural context of competing uses for household assets and interdependent consumption and production decisions. Forest production strategies range from natural regeneration to intensive management of the forest resource to co-jointly produce market and non-market values. Due to transaction costs, decision prices are best represented by their shadow as opposed to market prices. Shadow prices are shaped by endogenous smallholder-specific preferences for leisure, non-market values, time, risk, and uncertainty. Our proposed construct is intended to provide a theoretical basis to assist modellers in the selection of variables for quantitative analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Socioeconomic Constraints to Biomass Removal from Forest Lands for Fire Risk Reduction in the Western U.S.
Forests 2018, 9(5), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050264
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many socioeconomic constraints exist for biomass removals from federal lands in the western U.S. We examine several issues of importance, including biomass supply chains and harvesting costs, innovative new uses for bioenergy products, and the policy framework in place to provide incentives for [...] Read more.
Many socioeconomic constraints exist for biomass removals from federal lands in the western U.S. We examine several issues of importance, including biomass supply chains and harvesting costs, innovative new uses for bioenergy products, and the policy framework in place to provide incentives for biomass use. Western states vary greatly in the extent and utilization of forest resources, the proportion of land under federal ownership, and community and stakeholder structure and dynamics. Our research—which focused on the socioeconomic factors associated with biomass removal, production, and use—identified several important trends. Long-term stewardship projects could play a role in influencing project economics while being conducive to private investment. State policies are likely to help guide the growth of biomass utilization for energy products. New markets and technologies, such as biofuels, for use in the aviation industry, torrefied wood, mobile pyrolysis, and wood coal cofiring could greatly change the landscape of biomass use. Social needs of residents in wildland urban interfaces will play an important role, especially in an era of megafires. All of these trends—including significant unknowns, like the volatile prices of fossil energy—are likely to affect the economics of biomass removal and use in western forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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Open AccessReview Forest Accountancy Data Networks—A European Approach of Empirical Research, Its Achievements, and Potentials in Regard to Sustainable Multiple Use Forestry
Forests 2018, 9(4), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040220
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A Forest Accountancy Data Network represents an intermediate approach of empirical economic research between surveys based on questionnaires on the one hand and case studies on the other, with time as a third dimension. Over the past decades, the few institutions operating such [...] Read more.
A Forest Accountancy Data Network represents an intermediate approach of empirical economic research between surveys based on questionnaires on the one hand and case studies on the other, with time as a third dimension. Over the past decades, the few institutions operating such networks have accumulated a bulk of experience with this methodology and the possibilities for its adaptation to upcoming requirements. By summarizing and evaluating the potential of this methodology, we provide an up-to-date reference for designing empirical studies in forest economics at the enterprise level. Aspects of sustainability as well as the economics of multiple use forestry are specifically addressed. Forestry-specific extensions to existing agricultural networks could be a cost saving approach for investigating such crucial questions like the role of forestry for regional development and for the livelihood of farms. The study is based on an extended literature research which has been complemented by expert interviews. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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Open AccessReview Challenges and Opportunities for North American Hardwood Manufacturers to Adopt Customization Strategies in an Era of Increased Competition
Forests 2018, 9(4), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040186
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
Much of the North American wood products industry was severely impacted by the recession of 2008–2009. In addition, many sectors within this industry face intense global competition. Against this backdrop, we examine economic opportunities for hardwood manufacturers to achieve greater competitive advantage via [...] Read more.
Much of the North American wood products industry was severely impacted by the recession of 2008–2009. In addition, many sectors within this industry face intense global competition. Against this backdrop, we examine economic opportunities for hardwood manufacturers to achieve greater competitive advantage via product customization, through a literature review and synthesis. We also discuss several related themes including agility, lean manufacturing, and clustering. We found that, in globally competitive environments, hardwood producers must be agile to adapt to economic conditions and dynamic customer demand. We discuss how some sectors of the hardwood industry have effectively exhibited customized production, and subsequently fared relatively well in the current economy. We conclude the synthesis by evaluating the importance of supply chains to achieving customization for hardwood producers. In the future, supply chains will need to be configured to rapidly respond to changing consumer demands, and pressure to provide more services will likely extend further back up the supply chain to hardwood sawmills. It is expected that sustainability practices, including green supply chain management, will impact operational and economic performance of hardwood firms as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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Open AccessReview Adaptation to Climate Change in Forestry: A Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA)
Forests 2018, 9(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010020
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 6 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We analyze economic perspectives of forest adaptation to risk attributes, caused mostly by climate change. We construct a database with 89 systematically chosen articles, dealing simultaneously with climate, adaptation, risk and economy. We classify the database with regard to 18 variables bearing on [...] Read more.
We analyze economic perspectives of forest adaptation to risk attributes, caused mostly by climate change. We construct a database with 89 systematically chosen articles, dealing simultaneously with climate, adaptation, risk and economy. We classify the database with regard to 18 variables bearing on the characteristics of the paper, the description of the risk and the adaptation strategy, the topic and the corresponding results. To achieve a “high level-of-evidence”, we realize a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) to identify which variables were found in combination with one other in the literature and make distinct groupings affecting adaptive decisions. We identify three groups: (i) profit and production; (ii) microeconomic risk-handling; and (iii) decision and behavior. The first group includes economic costs and benefits as the driver of adaptation and prioritizes simulation, and a mix of theoretical and empirical economic approach. The second group distinctly involves risk-related issues, in particular its management by adaptation. The third group gathers a large set of social and behavioral variables affecting management decisions collected through questionnaires. Such an approach allows the identification of gaps in the literature, concerning the impact of owners’ preferences towards risk and uncertainty regarding adaptation decisions, the fact that adaptation was often reduced in an attempt to adapt to the increasing risk of wildfire, or the existence of a regional bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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