Natural disturbance production functions

  • Authors: Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Mercer, D. Evan; Pye, John M.
  • Publication Year: 2008
  • Publication Series: Book Chapter
  • Source: The Economics of Forest Disturbances: Wildfires, Storms, and Invasive Species, 35-58


Natural disturbances in forests are driven by physical and biological processes. Large, landscape scale disturbances derive primarily from weather (droughts, winds, ice storms, and floods), geophysical activities (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions), fires, insects, and diseases. Humans have invented ways to minimize their negative impacts and reduce their rates of occurrence. This chapter outlines ways that disturbances can be modeled using approaches familiar to economists—namely, as production processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales—and discusses the role of aggregation in characterizing their occurrence.

  • Citation: Prestemon, Jeffrey P.; Mercer, D. Evan; Pye, John M. 2008. Natural disturbance production functions. In: Holmes, Thomas P., Prestemon, Jeffrey P., and Abt, Karen L. (eds.). The Economics of Forest Disturbances: Wildfire, Storms, and Invasive Species, Springer Netherlands. Pages 35-58
  • Posted Date: June 1, 2009
  • Modified Date: January 8, 2018
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