Silvicultural Options to Conserve and Sequester Carbon in Forest Systems: Preliminary Economic Assessment

WithRobert K. Dixon

Forest establishment and management can be employed to conserve and sequester carbon (C) in the terrestrial biosphere. A 40 nation assessment of silvicultural practices and techniques revealed that forest drainage, thinning, fertilization, weeding and modified harvesting can be employed to sequester or conserve 1–64 Mg C ha1. Sequestration or conservation of C in forest systems due to the application of silvicultural practices can be achieved for $2–56 Mg C. A small proportion of the world’s forests are actually managed, and, theoretically, silvicultural practices could conserve or sequester 0.1-0.3 Pg C annually. Silvicultural practices can contribute to future C sequestration of forests, but the biologic and economic opportunities and constraints merit careful consideration before large-scale implementation in the field.