Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Tom Holmes; Erin O. Sills
    Date: 2016
    Source: In:Tropical Forestry Handbook (2nd edition), L. Pancel and M. Kohl (editors), Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (259.0 KB)


    Bioeconomic models are idealized representations of human-nature interactions used to describe how the decisions that people make regarding the harvest of biological resources affect the future condition of resource stocks and the flow of net economic benefits. This modeling approach posits an assumed goal or objective that a decision-maker seeks to optimize subject to a set of biological constraints. The power of this method derives from its ability to evaluate a wide array of alternative policy or management innovations over timescales that are radically longer than the timescales considered in many other approaches to economic analysis. In this chapter, we review techniques and applications of two complementary classes of bioeconomic models that have been used to analyze alternative strategies for sustainable use of tropical forests. First, continuous-time bioeconomic models have been used to derive dynamic policy prescriptions for optimally balancing tropical timber production and tropical forest conservation over very long time scales. Second, discrete-time bioeconomic models have been used to evaluate alternative on-the-ground timber harvesting strategies. Emerging threats associated with climate change could be addressed with bioeconomic models that consider the resilience of tropical forests to potentially catastrophic changes.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Holmes, Thomas P; Sills, Erin O. 2016, Bioeconomic approaches to sustainable management of natural tropical forests. In: Tropical Forestry Handbook (2nd edition), L. Pancel and M. Kohl (editors), Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands 20 p.


    Ecosystem service benefits, Optimal control, Non-market values, Social welfare, Time preference, Tropical forest conservation

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page