Research activities

The three main general areas of research interest for MEDFOREX are:

1. Valuation of Mediterranean forest externalities

2. Management and planning of Mediterranean forests

1. Valuation of Mediterranean forest externalities
There has been an incipient work over the last few years on valuing different aspects of Mediterranean forests beyond market price observation. As detected in the Inventory task co-ordinated by Prof. Maurizio Merlo and undertaken under the previous MEDFOREX program, there is no unified protocol in the procedures and the objects of valuation are very divers and partial. One of the conclusions of the mentioned inventory task is that a more systematic approach to Mediterranean forest valuation would be most useful. In the previous MEDOFREX several methodological approaches were already tested, particularly the contingent valuation method and choice experiments. Especially for Spain, the value of given forest projects and the marginal value of some forest attributes (different types of recreation activities, erosion prevention, CO2 sequestration, risk of fires) were estimated. However, a more comprehensive approach to value the different types of forests is still missing. This can be achieved by direct valuation and also by transferring values obtained in different contexts. Finally, some improvements were made in analyzing the equity implications of forest policies, but a full assessment is still needed.

The objectives of the next MEDFOREX phase want to be a step forward in filling those gaps and more specifically, for this area of research we will seek:
• To write a protocol for good practice in valuing forest goods and services
• To obtain the whole value of given amounts of different types of Mediterranean forests
• To obtain marginal values of some of the main attributes of the different types of Mediterranean forests
• To identify the good practices for transferring values from valued forest to other forests
• To further test transferability of values among types of Mediterranean forests
• To update the inventory of externalities in Mediterranean countries identified in the first phase of MEDFOREX

2. Management and planning of Mediterranean forests
Management and planning of Mediterranean forests can be a very complex problem because of their multifunctional nature and fragility. There is an increasing awareness of the impacts of extractive activities on the Mediterranean natural systems that provide habitat for wildlife, hydrological filtering, erosion control and other ecosystem services. The ecological values must be safeguarded even as we extract the tangible products from these natural systems. During the first phase of MEDFOREX much effort was put to develop growth and yield models for specific Mediterranean forest types (uneven-aged and mixed forest stands) which are critical to predict the economic, ecological and social outcomes of a given forest management schedule. During the next phase of MEDFOREX, simulation tools based on those models will be used to demonstrate their application for assessing the impacts of decision-making in forest management and planning. Emphasis will be on the development of new Mediterranean ecosystem management heuristics that may take advantage of the combined potential of multi-attribute decision methods and numerical optimization techniques. These heuristics will enable producing landscape-level management options with direct linkages to smaller spatial units e.g. stand-level considerations. Combinatorial optimization heuristic techniques will be used to formulate forested landscape structural objectives that are correlated with biodiversity and ecological functioning, with recreation or nature conservation values, and with forest fire risk issues. The new heuristics will thus be able to address a wide range of Mediterranean forest ecosystem management problems. Therefore they will become a powerful decision tool to end-users ranging from small private forest landowner to public administration. Their feedback will be also critical for developing new technology for advanced Mediterranean ecosystem management decision support.

The specific objectives of the area will be:
• To develop new risk assessment models to integrate forest fires issues into the decision making process of forest management planning

• To develop and apply multi-objective optimization techniques for multifunctional Mediterranean forest management planning

• To develop computer tools that integrates simulation models, optimization techniques as well as innovative presentation techniques to support decision making in Mediterranean forest management and planning

• To integrate equity considerations in cost-benefit analysis

Publications

1. Valuation of externalities
Published 2007
Riera, P., Aranda L, Mavsar, R. (2007) Efficiency and equity of forest policies: a graphic analysis using the partial equilibrium framework. Forest Policy and Economics 9: 852-861
Pinto-Prades, J.L., Farreras, V., Fernandez de Bobadilla, J. (2007) “Willingness to pay for a reduction in mortality risk after a myocardial infarction: an application of the contingent valuation method to the case of eplerenone” Eur J Health Econ DOI 10.1007/s10198-007-0041-x
Riera, P., J. Peñuelas, V. Farreras and M. Estiarte (2007) Valuation of climate-change effects on Mediterranean shrublands. Ecological Applications, 17:91–100
Published 2006
Joan Mogas, Pere Riera and Jeff Bennet (2006) “A Comparison of Contingent Valuation and Choice Modelling with Second Order Interactions.” Journal Forest Economics, 12 (1): 5-30.
Pere Riera, Robert Mavsar and Dolores Garcia (2006) “The effects of illegal logging on the forest wood chain. A graphical exercise.” Presented at the conference on research priorities arising from the ENA-FLEG Ministerial Conference Programme and the EU-FLEGT-Action Plan – Science contributing to combat illegal logging and illegal trade in forest products ,  Sankt Petersburg, Russia, 2-3 February 2006.
Published 2005
Pere Riera and Joan Mogas (2005) “Una aplicació dels experiments d’elecció a la multi-funcionalitat dels boscos de Catalunya.” Forthcoming  in Revista Econòmica de Catalunya 53.
Pere Riera and Joan Mogas (2005) “Una Aplicación de los Experimentos de Elección a la Valoración de la Multifuncionalidad de los Bosques.” Forthcoming  in Interciencia.
Pere Riera, Raúl Brey, Robert Mavsar (2005) “Eficiencia y equidad de políticas forestales. Un análisis gráfico de equilibrio parcial.” Forthcoming in Economistas.
Alexandrian, D.; Lampin, C.; Mavsar, R.; Mogas, J.; Riera, P.; Tolron, J.J. (2005) “Towards methods for studying the costs-to-benefits ratio of wildland fire prevention.” EUFIRELAB project deliverable D-05-03, 47 p.
Pere Riera, Robert Mavsar, and Joan Mogas (2005) “A economia dos fogos florestais: questões e prática .” Forthcoming in  Cardoso Pereira, M., Castro Rego, F. and Santos Pereira, J. (eds.)  Incêndios Florestais em Portugal: Caracterização, Impactes e Prevenção.
Pere Riera, Robert Mavsar and Leticia Aranda (2005) “Forest policy design evaluation – Winners and loosers in Spain” Presented at the Regional Forum  – Forestry sector and sustainable development in the Mediterranean,  Rabat, Morocco, 23-26 November 2005.
Pere Riera and Robert Mavsar  (2005) “Evaluating the European policy on forest subsidies: social costs and benefits of the Spanish afforestation programme” Presented at the Regional Forum  – Forestry sector and sustainable development in the Mediterranean,  Rabat, Morocco, 23-26 November 2005.
Pere Riera and Robert Mavsar (2005) “On Forest Externalities and Related Issues” Presented at the 22nd IUFRO World Congres, Brisbane, Australia, 8-13 August 2005
Joan Mogas and Pere Riera (2005) “El valor social dels boscos a Catalunya.” Forthcoming in Centre excursionista de Catalunya.
Pere Riera, Robert Mavsar, and Joan Mogas (2005) “Forest Fire Valuation: A Survey.” Presented at International Conference “The multifunctional Role of Forests”, Padova, 28-30 April 2005.
Veronica Farreras, Pere Riera, and Joan Mogas (2005) “Does gender matter in valuation studies? Evidence from three forestry applications” Forestry 78(3), pp. 239-248.
Joan Mogas, Pere Riera, and Jeff Bennett (2005) “Accounting for afforestation externalities: a comparison of contingent valuation and choice modelling.” European Environment 15 (1), pp. 44-58.
Joan Mogas, and Pere Riera (2005) “El valor de la fijación de carbono en los programas de forestación.” Boletín Económico de ICE 2834, pp. 13-28.
Published 2004
Pere Riera and Joan Mogas (2004) “Evaluation of a Risk Reduction in Forest Fires in a Mediterranean Region.” Forest Policy and Economics, Vol. 6, pp. 521-528.
Published 2003
Pere Riera and Joan Mogas (2003) “Valoración del Riesgo de Incendios Forestales en España” Ciudad y Territorio. Estudios Territoriales, 35 (135).119-154..
Joan Mogas and Pere Riera (2003) “Validación del Experimento de Elección en la Transferencia de Beneficios”. Hacienda Pública. Revista de Economía Pública, 165 (2): 79-95.
Published 2002
Pere Riera and Joan Mogas (2002) “The Economy of Soil Degradation”. Paper presented at the European Seminar on Soil Protection for Sustainable Development, Soria, 15-16 May. Forthcoming in the proceedings of the conference.
Pere Riera and Tonatiuh Nájera (2002) “Distributional Cost-Benefit Analysis as an Integrated Tool to Assess Fiscal Policies in Efficiency and Equity Terms.”  in Andreas Ottitsch, Ilpo Tikkanen and Pere Riera (editors) Financial Instruments of Forest Policy. EFI Proceedingsm No. 42, pp. 7-14.
Joan Mogas, Pere Riera, and Jeff Bennett (2002) “A Comparison of Contingent Valuation and Choice Modelling: Estimating the environmental values of Catalonian Forest.” Working Paper  of the Australian National University.
Joan Mogas, Pere Riera, and Jeff Bennett (Submitted in 2002) “A Comparison of Contingent Valuation and Choice Modelling: Estimating the environmental values of Catalonian  Forests.” Submitted to the European Review of Agricultural Economics in August 2002.
Published 2001
Pere Riera and Tonatiuh Nájera (2001) “Equity and Efficiency of Financial Instruments.” Presented in the EFFE conference at Rovaniemi, Finland, June 2001.
Joan Mogas and Pere Riera “The Economic Value of Risk Reduction of Forest Fires in Spain”. Paper presented at the IUFRO conference in Solsona, June 7-10, 2001.
Joan Mogas and Pere Riera (2001) “Comparación de la Ordenación Contingente y del Experimento de Elección en la Valoración de las Funciones no Privadas de los Bosques.” Economía Agraria y Recursos Naturales, No. 2, 2001.
Joan Mogas, Pere Riera, and Melchior Sayawa (2001) “Valoraçao dos Riscos de Incêndios Florestais na Espanha.” I Simposio Iberoamericano de Gestión y Economía Forestal, Porto Seguro, Brazil, 4-7 July 2001.
Published 2000
Pere Riera (2000) Assessment of Methodologies for Valuing Biological Diversity of Forests. Report to the Work Programme on The Conservation and Enhancement of Biological and Landscape Diversity in Forest Ecosystems, 1997-2000 of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE).
2. Forest management
Published 2007
González J.R; Palahí M; Pukkala T; Trasobares A. (2007) Modelling the risk of forest fires in Catalonia (North-East Spain) for forest management planning purposes. Proceedings of the 4th international Wildland Fire conference. Seville, Spain 13-17 May 2007
González, JR., Palahí, M., Pukkala, T., Trasobares , A. (2007) Nuevas herramientas y técnicas para integrar el riesgo de incendios en la gestión forestal en Cataluña. Montes, 89: 19-25
González, JR., Kolehmainen, O., Pukkala, T. (2007) Using expert knowledge to model forest stand vulnerability to fire. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 55: 107–114.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2006.12.005
González, JR., Pukkala, T. (2006) Characterization of forest fires in Catalonia (north-east Spain). European Journal of Forest Research, 126: 421-429. DOI: 10.1007/s10342-006-0164-0
Jeran, Z., T. Mrak, R. Ja?imovi?, F. Bati?, D. Kastelec, R. Mavsar and P. Simon?i? (2007) Epiphytic lichens as biomonitors of atmospheric pollution in Slovenian forests. Environmental Pollution 146(2): 324-331
Published 2006
Palahí, M., González, J.R., Pukkala, T. and Trasobares, A. (2006) Modelització del risc d´incendis per a la gestió forestal a Catalunya .Selvicultura 51: 2-5.
Palahí, M.,  Pukkala, T., Trasobares, A.(2006). Modelling the diameter distribution of Pinus sylvestris , Pinus nigra and Pinus halepensis forest stands in Catalonia using the truncated Weibull function. Forestry, Vol. 79, No. 5. DOI:10.1093/forestry/cpl037
Palahí, M., Pukkala, T., Trasobares, A. (2006) Calibrating predicted tree diameter distributions in Catalonia, Spain. Silva Fennica 40(3): 487–500.
González, J.R. (2006) Integrating fire risk into forest planning . The Finnish Society Of Forest Science, Dissertaciones Forestales 23.
González, J.R.,  A fire probability model for forest stands in Catalonia (north-east Spain). Annals of Forest Science 63: 169-176.
Published 2005
González, JR., Palahí, M., Pukkala, T. (2005). Integrating fire risk considerations in forest management planning in Spain– a landscape level perspective. Landscape Ecology 20 (8), 957-970.
González, JR., Pukkala, T., Palahí, M. (2005). Optimising the management of Pinus sylvestris L. stand under risk of fire in Catalonia (north-east of Spain). Annals of Forest Science 62: 493-501.
Loff, J., Palahí, M., Falcão, A., Martins, H., Borges, J.G. 2005. “Addressing sustainability concerns in Mediterranean forest ecosystem management.” Presented at the Regional Forum  – Forestry sector and sustainable development in the Mediterranean,  Rabat, Morocco, 23-26 November 2005.
Trasobares, A., Pukkala, T., Palahí, M. (2005). Noves Eines per planificar la gestió dels sistemes forestals: el programa MONTE. Revista Barcelona Verda. Parcs i jardins de Barcelona.
Palahí, M. Bonet. JA. (2005). Noves eines per la gestió multifuncional del bosc mediterrani. Pròximament a Centre Excursionista de Catalunya.
Palahi M., Solano, J.M., Ottitsch A. Plantations in the Mediterranean region; in Merlo, M. and Croitoru, L. (eds). Valuing Mediterranean forests: Towards total economic value  pp. 8; CABI publishing, CAB Internacional, Wallingford, 2005.
Palahi M., Solano, J.M., Ottitsch A. Forest plantations and timber-based industry in Spain; in Merlo, M. and Croitoru, L. (eds). Valuing Mediterranean forests: Towards total economic value  pp. 320-321; CABI publishing, CAB Internacional, Wallingford, 2005.
Ottitsch, A., Michie, B., Palahí, M., Wardle, P. Changes in the forest sector in Europe and Russia; in Mery, G., Alfaro, R., Kanninen, M., Lobovikov, M. (eds). Forest in the global balance changing paradigms. IUFRO World Series Volume 17. Helsinki. 318 p.
Published 2004
González, JR. & Palahí, M., Pukkala, T., Trasobares, A. (2004) “Integrating fire risk considerations in forest management planning – a landscape level perspective. ” II Simposio Ibero-Americano de Gestión y Economía Forestal. Barcelona, Setembre 2004.
Palahí, M., Tomé, M., Pukkala, T., Trasobares, A., Montero, G. (2004) “Site-Index Model for Pinus sylvestris in north-east Spain.” Forest Ecology and Management.” Vol. 187 : 35-47.
Palahí, M., Pukkala, T., Pascual, L., Trasobares, A. (2004) “Examining alternative landscape metrics in ecological forest landscape planning: a case for capercaillie in Catalonia.” Investigaciones Agrarias: Sist. Recur. For. 13 (3), 527-538.
Palahí, M. & Pukkala. (2004). Aplicación de métodos heurísticos en la resolución de problemas de planificación forestal. Cuadernos de la sociedad de ciencias forestales españolas, 18, 103-109.
Trasobares A., Pukkala T., Miina J. (2004). Growth and yield model for uneven-aged mixtures of Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arn. in Catalonia, north-east Spain. Annals of Forest Science 61 (1), 9-24.
Trasobares A. and Pukkala, T. (2004). Using past growth to improve individual-tree diameter growth models for uneven-aged mixtures of Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arn. in Catalonia, north-east Spain. Annals of Forest Science 61 (5), 409-417.
Trasobares A. and Pukkala, T. (2004). Optimising the management of uneven-aged Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arn. mixed stands in Catalonia, north-east Spain. Forthcoming in Annals of Forest Science.
Trasobares A., Tomé M., Miina J. (2004). Growth and yield model for Pinus halepensis Mill. in Catalonia, north-east Spain. Forest Ecology and Management 203 (1): 49-62.
Trasobares, A. (2003). Modelling and management of uneven-aged pine forests in Catalonia, north-east Spain. Academic Dissertation. Research notes 155. Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu.
Palahí, M. (2004) El sistema de planificación forestal MONTE. II Simposi Ibero-Americà de Gestió i Economía Forestal. Barcelona, Setembre 2004.
Palahí, M., Pukkala, T., Pérez, E., Trasobares, A. (2004). Herramientas de soporte a la decisión en la planificación forestal. Revista forestal MONTES. Nº 78 – IV Trim. Pag. 40.
Published 2003
Palahí, M., Trasobares, A., Pukkala, T. (2003). Implementing individual-tree models for optimising stand-level management of P. sylvestris and P. nigra in Catalonia. IUFRO Symposium: Silviculture and sustainable management in mountain forests. Navarra, Spain.
Palahí M., Pukkala, T., Miina, J., Montero, G. (2003) “Individual-tree growth and mortality models for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in north-east.” Spain. Annals of Forest Science. 60: 1-10.
Palahí, M., and Pukkala, T., (2003) “Optimising the management of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in Spain based on individual-tree models.” Annals of Forest Science. 60: 105-114.
Palahí, M., Grau Corbí, J. (2003) “Preliminary site index model and individual-tree growth and mortality models for Black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) in Catalonia (Spain).” Investigaciones Agrarias: Sistemas y Recursos Forestales Vol.12 (1) 137-148.
Prokofieva, I. & Palahí, M. (2003) Incentives to sustainable forest management – a key issue in Russian forestry. 2003. Number 2, Volume 10.
Palahí, M & Trasobares, A., (2003). Inventari I valoració de les externalitats del bosc mediterrani per a una gestió sostenible. Rural & Forests (1): 3-9.
Published 2002
Palahí, M. (2002). Modelling stand development and optimising the management of even-aged Scots pine forests in north-east Spain. Academic Dissertation. Research notes. Research notes 143. Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu.
Palahí, M., Miina, J., Tomé, M., Montero, G., (2002). “Simultaneous stand level growth and mortality models for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in north-east Spain.” Investigaciones Agrarias: Sistemas y Recursos Forestales. Vol.11 (2).
Pukkala, T., Miina, J., and Palahí, M. (2002). “Thinning Response and Thinning Bias in a Young Scots Pine Stand.” Silva Fennica 36(4): 827-840.
Published 2001
Ottitsch A., Palahi M.: European Forest Policies; in: Palo M. et al. (eds.): World Forests Markets and Policies – pp. 630 – 631; Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, London, Boston, 2001.
Published 2000
Palahí, M. (2000) Mediterranean Forest Fires. European Forest Institute news. 2/00.
Palahí, M. (2000) Mediterranean Forest Externalities. European Forest Institute news. 1/00.