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The Impact of Soil Degradation on the Expected Present Net Worth of Future Timber Harvests

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The standard Faustmann method for computing soil expectation values and economically optimal rotation times ignores potential declines in future soil productivity. In reality, common forestry practices can lead to substantial declines in soil productivity through such factors as soil compaction and nutrient losses. Adjustments to the Faustmann formulation that account for soil degradation are developed in this paper. A dynamic programming algorithm is developed, which permits the assessment of direct, long-term losses associated with destructive logging practices. Sample calculations of these losses demonstrate both the crucial impact of the discount rate and the limited role of projections for distant rotations. For. Sci. 33(4):823-834.

Keywords: Clearcutting; Faustmann formula; dynamic programming; soil expectation value; whole-tree harvesting

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6

Publication date: 1987-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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