UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

ARE PhD Candidate Pierce Donovan, Professor Michael Springborn and coauthors publish novel model on cost-effective control of invasive species in the journal Land Economics

July 23, 2019

Many management problems require staying above (or below) a particular threshold over time with a specified margin of safety, for example, safely maintaining endangered species away from extinction. Two challenges make achieving this goal particularly problematic: dynamic uncertainty and difficulty quantifying the consequences of crossing the threshold. This study develops a bioeconomic model to identify the cost-effective control of an invasive species (rainbow trout) to achieve a population viability goal for an endangered species (humpback chub) in the Grand Canyon of the U.S. Southwest. It uses a novel dynamic programming solution approach that is fast and forgoes the simulation method requirement of imposing structure on the policy function, and it investigates an adaptive management model that incorporates learning about uncertain biological dynamics.

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