The Economics of Biological Invasions

The Economics of Biological Invasions

Edited by Charles Perrings, Mark Williamson and Silvana Dalmazzone

The growth of international trade and travel means that more species are being introduced to more places than ever before. This book represents the first concerted effort to understand the economic causes and consequences of biological invasions. The volume discusses the theoretical and methodological issues raised by invasion, including control strategies, modelling options, and a study of the economic, institutional and policy conditions that predispose countries to biological invasions. Also included are case studies of fisheries, agricultural systems, tropical forests and protected areas affected by invasive species in locations such as the Black Sea, Australia and Africa, and an evaluation of control programmes.

Chapter 4: Risk reduction strategies against the 'explosive invader'

Jason F. Shogren

Subjects: environment, ecological economics


4. Risk reduction strategies against the ‘explosive invader’ Jason F. Shogren 1 INTRODUCTION Organisms that move beyond their traditional natural range can have undesirable ecological and economic consequences. Scientists have documented numerous examples of exotic plants and animals causing unacceptable damages, both monetary and non-monetary. Exotic deer and livestock, for instance, have altered the structure and composition of native vegetation in the Nahuel Huapi National Park in Argentina (Veblen et al., 1992). Nile perch (Lates niloticus) released into Africa’s Lake Victoria has caused mass extinction of native fish, and water quality problems. Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is estimated to cause over $40 million in crop damages in Kansas every year (FICMNEW, 1998). Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Great Lakes have led to serious biotic and abiotic effects, for example, greatly diminished phytoplantkton biomass and biofouling of manmade structures (MacIsaac, 1996). These ‘explosive invaders’ pose a risk to society (Elton, 1958). Understanding the nature of this risk and potential risk reduction strategies is crucial for better management of exotic species. Assessing the risk–benefit tradeoffs accurately requires a consistent analytical framework to guide the information gathering on the determinants of risk, values and costs to protect society from the accidental or planned introduction of a non-native species. This chapter uses the economics theory of endogenous risk to develop such an analytical model, which frames the ecological and economic tradeoffs with undesirable invasive species. We consider a representative policy maker who allocates scarce resources to reduce the risk from invasive...

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