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Carbon sequestration and the optimal forest harvest decision: A dynamic programming approach considering biomass and dead organic matter

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  • Asante, Patrick
  • Armstrong, Glen W.
  • Adamowicz, Wiktor L.

Abstract

Carbon sequestration in forests is being considered as a mechanism to slow or reverse the trend of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We present results from a dynamic programming model used to determine the optimal harvest decision for a forest stand in the boreal forest of western Canada that provides both timber harvest volume and carbon sequestration services. The state of the system at any point in time is described by stand age and the amount of carbon in the dead organic matter pool. Merchantable timber volume and biomass are predicted as a function of stand age. Carbon stocks in the dead organic matter pool changes as a result of decomposition and litterfall. The results of the study indicate that while optimal harvest age is relatively insensitive to carbon stocks in dead organic matter, initial carbon stock levels significantly affect economic returns to carbon management.

Suggested Citation

  • Asante, Patrick & Armstrong, Glen W. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2011. "Carbon sequestration and the optimal forest harvest decision: A dynamic programming approach considering biomass and dead organic matter," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:foreco:v:17:y:2011:i:1:p:3-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Spring, Daniel & Kennedy, John O.S. & Mac Nally, Ralph, 2005. "Optimal management of a flammable forest providing timber and carbon sequestration benefits: an Australian case study," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 49(3), September.
    2. Samuelson, Paul A, 1976. "Economics of Forestry in an Evolving Society," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 466-492, December.
    3. Hartman, Richard, 1976. "The Harvesting Decision When a Standing Forest Has Value," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(1), pages 52-58, March.
    4. G. Cornelis van Kooten & Clark S. Binkley & Gregg Delcourt, 1995. "Effect of Carbon Taxes and Subsidies on Optimal Forest Rotation Age and Supply of Carbon Services," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(2), pages 365-374.
    5. Gutrich, John & Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Carbon sequestration and the optimal management of New Hampshire timber stands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 441-450, May.
    6. Chladna, Zuzana, 2007. "Determination of optimal rotation period under stochastic wood and carbon prices," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(8), pages 1031-1045, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Holtsmark, Bjart & Hoel, Michael & Holtsmark, Katinka, 2013. "Optimal harvest age considering multiple carbon pools – A comment," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 87-95.
    2. Hoel, Michael & Holtsmark, Bjart & Holtsmark, Katinka, 2014. "Faustmann and the climate," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 192-210.
    3. repec:eee:energy:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:76-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Vass, Miriam Münnich & Elofsson, Katarina, 2016. "Is forest carbon sequestration at the expense of bioenergy and forest products cost-efficient in EU climate policy to 2050?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 82-105.
    5. Zhou, Wei & Gao, Lan, 2016. "The impact of carbon trade on the management of short-rotation forest plantations," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 30-35.
    6. Parajuli, Rajan & Chang, Sun Joseph, 2012. "Carbon sequestration and uneven-aged management of loblolly pine stands in the Southern USA: A joint optimization approach," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 65-71.
    7. Felardo, Jeff & Lippitt, Christopher D., 2016. "Spatial forest valuation: The role of location in determining attitudes toward payment for ecosystem services policies," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 158-167.
    8. Yu, Jinna & Yao, Shunbo & Zhang, Bisheng, 2014. "Designing afforestation subsidies that account for the benefits of carbon sequestration: A case study using data from China's Loess Plateau," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 65-76.
    9. Asante, Patrick & Armstrong, Glen W., 2012. "Optimal forest harvest age considering carbon sequestration in multiple carbon pools: A comparative statics analysis," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 145-156.
    10. Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Nghiem, Nhung, 2016. "Optimal forest rotation for carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation by farm income levels," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 185-194.
    11. Couture, Stéphane & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2011. "Forest management under fire risk when forest carbon sequestration has value," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2002-2011, September.
    12. repec:eee:foreco:v:28:y:2017:i:c:p:18-32 is not listed on IDEAS

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