Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 17 > Issue 3

The multiple effects of carbon values on optimal rotation

Colin Price, , Rob Willis
Suggested Citation
Colin Price and Rob Willis (2011), "The multiple effects of carbon values on optimal rotation", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 17: No. 3, pp 298-306.

Publication Date: 0/8/2011
© 0 2011 Colin Price, Rob Willis
JEL Codes:Q2Q5
Optimal forest rotationCarbon fluxesBiomass energyStructural displacement


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Non-consumptive benefits which increase with crop age, like keeping carbon sequestered, lengthen optimal rotation compared with rotation for timber alone. High proposed carbon prices may extend rotation indefinitely. Carbon storage in wood products reduces this tendency. Biomass as an energy source displacing fossil fuels favours rotations near those of maximum biomass productivity. Use of sawn timber to displace structural materials with high embodied carbon favours somewhat longer rotations. Effects of rotation on soil carbon, and fossil carbon volatilised in harvesting operations, are further complications. Including all carbon effects results in optimal rotations somewhat longer than those based only on timber value, but shorter than those based on timber plus forest carbon. To include all factors intuitively is not possible: balanced appraisal needs economic calculations.