Title page for ETD etd-09142011-130734


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Parajuli, Rajan
Author's Email Address rparaj1@tigers.lsu.edu, rparajuli1@gmail.com
URN etd-09142011-130734
Title Carbon Sequestration and Uneven-Aged Management of Loblolly Pine Stands in the Southern USA: A Joint Optimization Approach
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Renewable Natural Resources
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Chang, Sun J. Committee Chair
Dean, Thomas J. Committee Member
Dunn, Michael A. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Uneven-aged management
  • Forest carbon sequestration
  • Joint optimization
Date of Defense 2011-06-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Forest carbon sequestration is regarded as a viable and cost effective option for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Several research studies analyzed the effects of joint management of carbon and timber under different even-aged forest management scenarios, and concluded that carbon benefits can alter forest management schedules significantly. However, research specifically focused on the inclusion of carbon sequestration benefits into uneven-aged management has received little attention. This study determined the optimum joint management regime of timber and carbon in uneven-aged loblolly pine stands in Louisiana, and assessed management and financial effects resulting from the integration of carbon benefits into uneven-aged management. The USDA Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) –Southern (SN) variant was used to generate both growth and carbon data of uneven-aged loblolly pine stands. The generalized Faustmann model for uneven-aged management was applied to calculate the land expectation value (LEV) at every level of residual basal area and cutting cycle. In order to analyze the effects of changes in interest rate, stumpage prices, and future land values, comparative static analyses were carried out at three different interest rates, stumpage prices and future land values.

This study determined the residual BA of 60 ft2/acre and cutting cycle of 18 years as the optimum timber management regime of uneven-aged loblolly pine stands at the interest rate of 4% and 2010 stumpage prices in Louisiana. Changes in interest rates and stumpage prices altered the optimum management schedules significantly, but effects of changes in future land value were minimal. In the joint optimization of timber production and carbon sequestration, carbon benefits were found influential in both financial and management perspectives. At every level of interest rates, the joint management of timber and carbon increased the LEV, extended the cutting cycle, and shifted the residual stocking to higher level. The joint management of timber and carbon under uneven-aged management is profitable, and the carbon offset would provide an important additional income source to landowners in the southern USA.

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