Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 13 > Issue 43526

Economic lessons from control efforts for an invasive species: Miconia calvescens in Hawaii

Kimberly Burnett, , Brooks Kaiser, , James Roumasset, ,
Suggested Citation
Kimberly Burnett, Brooks Kaiser and James Roumasset (2007), "Economic lessons from control efforts for an invasive species: Miconia calvescens in Hawaii", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 13: No. 43526, pp 151-167.

Publication Date: 06 Aug 2007
© 0 2007 Kimberly Burnett, Brooks Kaiser, James Roumasset
JEL Codes:Q23Q51Q57
Invasive speciesMiconia calvescensHawaiiWatershed qualityBiodiversity


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In this article:
Case overview: Miconia calvescens 
Methodology: optimal control of an existing invader 
Empirical investigation 
Concluding remarks 


Once established, invasive species can rapidly and irreversibly alter ecosystems and degrade the value of ecosystem services. Optimal control of an unwanted species solves for a trajectory of removals that minimizes the present value of removal costs and residual damages from the remaining population. The shrubby tree, Miconia calvescens, is used to illustrate dynamic policy options for a forest invader. Potential damages to Hawaii's forest ecosystems are related to decreased aquifer recharge, biodiversity, and other ecosystem values. We find that population reduction is the optimal management policy for the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. On the island of Kauai, where tree density is lower and search costs higher, optimal policy calls for deferring removal expenditures until the steady state population is reached.