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Research article2015Peer reviewedOpen access

Regulating invasive species with different life history

Elofsson, Katarina; Gren, Ing-Marie


Invasive species often cause economic damage due to their impact on economically valuable resident species.We study optimal regulation in terms of simultaneous control and adaptation when the purpose is to manage an invasive species which competes for scarce resources with a resident species. The optimal policy includes both subsidies for control of an invasive species with zero commercial value, and harvesting taxes on the resident species which are adjusted in the presence of an invasion. A numerical age-structured optimization model is used to analyze the role of species' life history, i.e. the degree of evolutionary specialization in survival or reproduction, for the choice of strategy and the associated economic instruments. Results show that, irrespective of life history, both policies are implemented in efficient solutions, but subsidies for controlling the invader are used to a larger extent when it is possible to target specific age classes of the invader. If a resident species is harvested nonselectively, the optimal subsidy for control of the invader is lower, and if the invader is specialized in survival the control subsidy mirrors the resident species harvest cycle.


Invasive species; Life history; Control subsidy; Harvesting tax; Adaptation

Published in

Journal of Bioeconomics
2015, Volume: 17, number: 2, pages: 113-136