Main content area

A proactive approach for assessing alternative management programs for an invasive alien pollinator species

Fleischer, Aliza, Shafir, Sharoni, Mandelik, Yael
Ecological economics 2013 v.88 pp. 126-132
Apis florea, biodiversity, control methods, decision making, economic impact, insect pollination, invasive species, issues and policy, landscapes, market value, models, plant damage, pollinating insects, willingness to pay, Israel
Most evaluations of the economic impacts of invasive species are done post facto and concentrate on direct production loss caused. However, the effects of invasive species on non-market services such as biodiversity and landscapes can be considerable. A proactive approach of assessing the expected economic impact of invasive species prior to their occurrence may contribute to greater efficiency of policy makers. Here we used a stated preference method for a priori evaluating the willingness of the population to pay for different control programs of a new invasive bee species in Israel, the dwarf honey bee, Apis florea. We evaluated possible economic impacts of A. florea using two model plant species expected to be adversely affected by its invasion due to decreased pollination. The plants have no market value but they add aesthetic value to the open landscape. Using a mixed logit model we found that the mean willingness to pay (WTP) differed between the model plants, and increased with the extent of plant loss. Respondents differentiated between levels of damage to the plants and between control methods in their preferences for a specific program. Our results provide means for informed proactive decision making in preventing the continued invasion of the bee.