A Comparative Study, Volume 2
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Anil Markandya and Marialuisa Tamborra
Ursula Triebswetter and Marialuisa Tamborra 11.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter will ﬁrst deal with forest valuation and then with ecosystem and biodiversity assessment. In this book there is an attempt to complete and update the literature mentioned by Markandya and Pavan (1999), with a special focus on both methodological and empirical ﬁndings related to biodiversity (Section 11.3). 11.2 11.2.1 FOREST DAMAGE Causes of Forest Damage Forest ecosystems are damaged by air pollution either directly or indirectly. The direct eﬀect is caused by air pollution absorbed directly by leaves and the crown, whereas the indirect eﬀect is caused by soil pollution. The literature usually identiﬁes three categories of damage: ● ● ● loss of timber production, reduced value for recreational activities, and reduced existence value. There is a fourth category of damage, namely ecological damage, which is usually recorded as a loss in biodiversity. For forests this should not be considered simply as loss of component tree species but also includes changes in the herbaceous ground cover, having consequent changes in the occurrence and size of animal populations. Valuation of ecological damage is diﬃcult to assess, in part because there is no simple accepted method of quantifying the loss. It is also diﬃcult to ascribe changes in biodiversity to individual processes. Natural systems consist of assemblages of organisms that show complex interactions between each other 319 320 Results and with the environment. Processes such as increased levels of pollutants do not always cause immediate change and the ‘lag’ before an...
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