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Forests 2017, 8(2), 43; doi:10.3390/f8020043

Evaluating the Effects of Carbon Prices on Trade-Offs between Carbon and Timber Management Objectives in Forest Spatial Harvest Scheduling Problems: A Case Study from Northeast China

1
Department of Forestry Economics, College of Economics & Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
2
Department of Forest Management, College of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas J. Straka and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract

To mitigate global climatic changes, long-term carbon trading and carbon taxes have been implemented in many countries. However, carbon prices have varied in many of these regions. Therefore, the goal of this paper was to evaluate the effects of carbon prices on trade-offs between forest carbon and timber management objectives in spatial harvest scheduling problems. The objective function of the planning problem was designed to maximize the discounted net present value of harvested timber and the differences of carbon stocks in living tree biomass between the beginning and end of the planning horizon (DoC) within a 30-year time frame for a large forest region in northeast China. The constraints primarily related to maintaining an even flow of harvested timber and guaranteeing the maximum opening size. Forest developments were simulated using a set of standard stand-level growth and yield models, and the solutions of the planning problem were generated using the standard version of a simulated annealing algorithm. The effects of a wide range of carbon prices on the harvested timber and DoC levels were examined. The results showed that the trade-offs between forest harvested timber and the DoC displayed a typical nonlinear tendency as carbon prices increased. The current carbon prices (i.e., 25, 50 and 75 ¥/ton) in China had no significant effects on the optimal forest management plans compared with a scenario that used a carbon price of zero. The minimum carbon price that can provide the financial incentive for the forests to function as a significant carbon sink was estimated to be somewhat over 800 ¥/ton. This result could be useful in determining the appropriate carbon offset standard in this region. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest planning; multi-function forest; ecosystem services; combinatorial optimization; adjacency constraints; simulated annealing forest planning; multi-function forest; ecosystem services; combinatorial optimization; adjacency constraints; simulated annealing
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Qin, H.; Dong, L.; Huang, Y. Evaluating the Effects of Carbon Prices on Trade-Offs between Carbon and Timber Management Objectives in Forest Spatial Harvest Scheduling Problems: A Case Study from Northeast China. Forests 2017, 8, 43.

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