Assessing the Economic Resilience of Different Management Systems to Severe Forest Disturbance

Thomas Knoke, Carola Paul, Elizabeth Gosling, Isabelle Jarisch, Johannes Mohr, Rupert Seidl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Given the drastic changes in the environment, resilience is a key focus of ecosystem management. Yet, the quantification of the different dimensions of resilience remains challenging, particularly for long-lived systems such as forests. Here we present an analytical framework to study the economic resilience of different forest management systems, focusing on the rate of economic recovery after severe disturbance. Our framework quantifies the post-disturbance gain in the present value of a forest relative to a benchmark system as an indicator of economic resilience. Forest values and silvicultural interventions were determined endogenously from an optimization model and account for risks affecting tree survival. We consider the effects of differences in forest structure and tree growth post disturbance on economic resilience. We demonstrate our approach by comparing the economic resilience of continuous cover forestry against a clear fell system for typical conditions in Central Europe. Continuous cover forestry had both higher economic return and higher economic resilience than the clear fell system. The economic recovery from disturbance in the continuous cover system was between 18.2 and 51.5% faster than in the clear fell system, resulting in present value gains of between 1733 and 4535 € ha−1. The advantage of the continuous cover system increased with discount rate and stand age, and was driven by differences in both stand structure and economic return. We conclude that continuous cover systems can help to address the economic impacts of increasing disturbances in forest management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-381
Number of pages39
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Close to nature forestry
  • Continuous cover forestry
  • Disturbance economics
  • Engineering resilience
  • Forest value
  • Present value
  • Tree mortality
  • Willingness to pay for forestland


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