Volume 25, Issue 2, April 2020
Article publication « Evolving Integrated Models From Narrower Economic Tools: the Example of Forest Sector Models » by Miguel Riviere, Sylvain Caurla and Philippe Delacote in the review Environmental Modeling & Assessment.
Integrated simulation models are commonly used to provide insight on the complex functioning of social-ecological systems, often drawing on earlier tools with a narrower focus. Forest sector models (FSM) encompass a set of simulation models originally developed to forecast economic developments in timber markets but now commonly used to analyse climate and environmental policy. In this paper, we document and investigate this evolution through the prism of the inclusion of several non-timber objectives into FSM. We perform a systematic, quantitative survey of the literature followed by a more in-depth narrative review. Results show that a majority of papers in FSM research today focuses on non-timber objectives related to climate change mitigation, namely carbon sequestration and bioenergy production. Habitat conservation, deforestation and the mitigation of disturbances are secondary foci, while aspects such as forest recreation and many regulation services are absent. Non-timber objectives closest to the original targets of FSM, as well as those for which economic values are easier to estimate, have been more deeply integrated to the models, entering the objective function as decision variables.