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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


The Influence of Conversion of Forest Types on Carbon Sequestration and other Ecosystem Services in the South Central United States

By Brent Sohngen and Sandra Brown

This paper estimates a forestland management model for the three states in the South Central United States (Arkanses, Louisiana, and Mississippi). Forest type and land-use shares are estimated to be a function of economic and physical variables. The results suggest that while historically pine plantations in this region have been established largely on old agricultural land, in the future pine plantations are likely to occur on converted hardwood-forest lands. This shift in the supply of land for plantations could have large effects on above-ground carbon storage and other ecosystem services. Subsidies of approximately $12 - $27 per hectare per year would maintain the area of hardwood forests and reduce carbon emissions from the above-ground and product pool carbon stocks over the next 30 years. Across the several scenarios considered, results suggest that maintaining hardwoods could be an efficient carbon sequestration alternative. If carbon credits allow for energy emissions offsets, however, there could be additional conversions of land to softwood pine plantations.

Publication type: 
Working paper
Date published: 
Wednesday, December 15, 2004