Economic Analysis of Soil Carbon in Afforestation and Forest Management Decisions
This chapter shows potential effects of afforestation and management decisions on the value of soil carbon. It assesses the importance of soil carbon in afforestation decisions, and considers the potential effects of soil carbon dynamics on forest rotation lengths. The chapter also presents a discussion on different payment mechanisms that have been proposed in the literature to provide incentives for landowners to sequester carbon in forestland or in soils. It deals with the Faustmann formula, which has been widely used to analyze optimal management decisions in forestry since it was invented in 1849. The chapter explores the potential effect of soil carbon on the value of forests in carbon sequestration activities. Reducing soil erosion in US forests would lead to only a small increase in soil C sequestration, about 0.2 to 0.5 Mt C/year. Most of the forestland in the United States is in the temperate zone and is occupied by coniferous or deciduous trees that are relatively productive.