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Impact of carbon value on the profitability of slash pine plantations in the southern United States: an integrated life cycle and Faustmann analysis

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Abstract:

The emergence of voluntary carbon markets provides an additional income opportunity to nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners because of the carbon sequestered in forest biomass. This study integrates life cycle analysis and the modified Faustmann model to assess the impact of carbon payments on the optimum rotation age and profitability of 1ha of privately owned but intensely managed slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) plantation in the southern United States. Guidelines of the Chicago Climate Exchange were followed for carbon payments. When carbon payments were included, land expectation values (LEVs) were found to be about $1384·ha–1 and $1063·ha–1 for the with and without thinning scenarios, respectively. When payment for carbon sequestered in the live forest biomass was included, LEVs increased to about $2807·ha–1 and $2765·ha–1 for the aforementioned scenarios, respectively. No significant change in the optimum rotation age was observed in the presence of carbon payments. Results suggest that voluntary carbon markets could play a key role in improving the financial returns to NIPF landowners.

Le marché volontaire du carbone qui se met en place fournit une occasion additionnelle de revenus pour les propriétaires de forêts privées non industrielles à partir du carbone séquestré dans la biomasse forestière. Cette étude intègre l’analyse du cycle de vie et le modèle de Faustmann modifié pour évaluer l’impact des paiements du carbone sur l’âge d’exploitabilité optimum et la profitabilité d’un hectare de forêt privée constituée d’une plantation de pin de Floride (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) aménagée de façon intensive dans le sud des États-Unis. Les paiements sont faits selon les directives du Chicago Climate Exchange. Sans les paiements du carbone, la valeur d’attente du fonds (VAF) est respectivement de ~1384 et ~1063 $·ha–1 avec et sans scénario d’éclaircie. Lorsque les paiements du carbone séquestré dans la biomasse vivante de la forêt sont inclus, la VAF augmente à ~2807 et 2765 $·ha–1 pour les scénarios déjà mentionnés. Aucun changement significatif de l’âge d’exploitabilité n’a été observé en présence des paiements du carbone. Les résultats indiquent que les marchés volontaires du carbone pourraient jouer un rôle important pour améliorer la rentabilité financière des propriétaires de forêts privées non industrielles.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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