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The Economic Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species: A Review of the Literature

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  • Sabrina J. Lovell
  • Susan F. Stone

Abstract

Invasive species are a growing threat in the United States, causing losses in biodiversity, changes in ecosystems, and impacts to economic enterprises such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, power production, and international trade. The costs of preventing and controlling invasive species are not well understood or documented, but estimates indicate that the costs are quite high, in the range of millions to billions of dollars per year. EPA’s Office of Water needs to develop a national estimate of the costs of aquatic invasive species and the benefits of control. This review of the economic literature on invasive species is the first stage in the development of that estimate. The review includes studies on fish, mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates, and plants. There are few theoretical, and even fewer empirical, studies dealing with the economic costs of aquatic invasive species. Due to the high level of invasions in the Great Lakes, a number of studies focus on species found there, and on Zebra Mussels in particular. The aquatic studies reviewed show values ranging from several hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to tens of millions of dollars a year. It seems apparent that a systematic approach is needed to develop a consistent method to estimate such costs. As the literature points out, invasive species and their control have definite public good aspects and thus call for some level of government intervention. However, to what extent and what form that intervention takes place depends on myriad of issues associated with both the region and the species involved. Optimal policy appears to be as unique as the individual species or ecosystem it is attempting to control and protect.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabrina J. Lovell & Susan F. Stone, 2005. "The Economic Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species: A Review of the Literature," NCEE Working Paper Series 200502, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jan 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200502
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    File URL: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/working-paper-economic-impacts-aquatic-invasive-species-review-literature
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Davis, Alison & Moeltner, Klaus, 2010. "Valuing the Prevention of an Infestation: The Threat of the New Zealand Mud Snail in Northern Nevada," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 56-74, February.
    2. David Simpson, 2008. "Preventing Biological Invasions: Doing Something vs. Doing Nothing," NCEE Working Paper Series 200811, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Nov 2008.
    3. Horsch, Eric J. & Lewis, David J., 2008. "The Effects of Aquatic Invasive Species on Property Values: Evidence from a Quasi-random Experiment," Staff Paper Series 530, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    4. repec:eee:thpobi:v:85:y:2013:i:c:p:38-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Eric J. Horsch & David J. Lewis, 2009. "The Effects of Aquatic Invasive Species on Property Values: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(3), pages 391-409.
    6. Heidi Tuhkanen & Evelin Urbel-Piirsalu & Tea Nõmmann & Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley, 2015. "Valuing the benefits of improved marine environmental quality under multiple stressors," Working Papers 2015-41, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    7. Rosa, Inês C. & Pereira, Joana L. & Gomes, João & Saraiva, Pedro M. & Gonçalves, Fernando & Costa, Raquel, 2011. "The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea in the European freshwater-dependent industry: A latent threat or a friendly enemy?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1805-1813, August.
    8. Yajie Liu & Jon Olaf Olaussen & Anders Skonhoft, 2011. "When a Fish is a Fish: The Economic Impacts of Escaped Farmed Fish," Working Paper Series 12011, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    9. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:4:p:964-972 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:14:p:2202-2212 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Marten, Alex L. & Moore, Christopher C., 2011. "An options based bioeconomic model for biological and chemical control of invasive species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2050-2061, September.
    12. Lirong Liu & Brian Piper, 2014. "Predicting the Total Economic Impacts of Invasive Species: The case of the Red Streaked Leafhopper," Working Papers 1412, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
    13. repec:eee:ecomod:v:361:y:2017:i:c:p:14-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Liu, Lirong & Piper, Brian, 2016. "Predicting the total economic impacts of invasive species: The case of B. rubostriata(red streaked leafhopper)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 139-146.
    15. Olson, Lars J., 2006. "The Economics of Terrestrial Invasive Species: A Review of the Literature," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 178-194, April.
    16. Goodenberger, James & Klaiber, H. Allen, 2013. "Evading Invasives: How Eurasian Water-Milfoil Effects the Development of Lakefront Properties," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150309, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. Gren, Ing-Marie & Isacs, Lina & Carlsson, Mattias, 2007. "Calculation of costs of alien invasive species in Sweden - technical report," Department of Economics publications 3125, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    18. Kataria, Mitesh, 2007. "Environmental valuation, ecosystem services and aquatic species," Department of Economics publications 1437, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    19. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:3:p:781-800 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    costs; literature; aquatic invasive species;

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