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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

Dwivedi, Puneet, Alavalapati, Janaki R.R., Susaeta, Andres, Stainback, Andrew
Canadian journal of forest research = 2009 v.39 no.5 pp. 990-1000
nonindustrial private forests, forest plantations, Pinus elliottii, biomass, carbon sequestration, profitability, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, forest trees, statistical models, silvicultural practices, environmental impact, life cycle assessment, Southeastern United States
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 1 ha 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.