Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 14 > Issue 1

Ecological integrity as an economic variable: An application to forested landscapes in the southern United States

Ronald Raunikar, , Joseph Buongiorno, , jbuongio@facstaff.wisc.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Ronald Raunikar and Joseph Buongiorno (2008), "Ecological integrity as an economic variable: An application to forested landscapes in the southern United States", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 14: No. 1, pp 29-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfe.2007.04.001

Published: 14 Jan 2008
© 0 2008 Ronald Raunikar, Joseph Buongiorno
 
Subjects
 
Keywords
JEL Codes:Q57Q23O47
Ecological diversityGrowthEnvironmental Kuznets curve
 

Article Help

Share

Download article
In this article:
Introduction
Previous studies
Naturalness index formulation
Implementation of the naturalness index
Effect of regional characteristics on naturalness
Summary and conclusion

Abstract

Ecological integrity is important to fully describe the development of an economy. We calculated an aggregate index that quantifies the closeness of a forested region to a natural state. This naturalness index was based on the diversity of native tree species and sizes for ecological subregions in a seral condition. The index used the spatial–temporal array of sample plots from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database of the USDA Forest Service. In the 70 survey units of the southern US between 1961 and 2005 the naturalness of forests generally improved with per capita personal income and population. The increase with income was consistent with the hypothesis of an environmental Kuznets curve for forested landscapes.

DOI:10.1016/j.jfe.2007.04.001