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Temporal and spatial scale effects on carbon stocks and financial value

Picture of trees in a forest

Congratulations to Tristan Bakx, BECC-doctoral student, who has published his first paper from his PhD. The researchers studied temporal and spatial scale effects on carbon stocks and financial value, showing that early carbon storage led to higher costs than late carbon storage, which should be considered in potential climate policies.

Increasing carbon stock in standing forests is one of the proposed ways to mitigate climate change. However, in production forests, this typically would lead to reduced harvesting possibilities and thus reduced financial gain for the forest owners. The size of this reduction should depend on the chosen target level of the carbon stock as well as the required speed of accumulation. Furthermore, due to landscape heterogeneity, the size of the loss can be expected to vary the planning scale, often related to forest property size.

In his study, Tristan Bakx et. al. aimed to quantify the effects of spatial and temporal planning scales on the severity of the trade-off between Net Present Value (NPV) of future timber sales and carbon storage in production forests in Southern Sweden.

The results shows that there was a strong effect of temporal scale, with consistently lower NPV, with the same carbon stock in 2100, when the intermediate target for 2045 was applied. The effect of the spatial scale was only apparent between the smallest (50 ha) scale and the larger scales (300 and 3300 ha), with consistently lower NPV with the same carbon stock at the smallest scale.

Read the paper

The paper "The effect of spatial and temporal planning scale on the trade-off between the financial value and carbon storage in production forests" was published in ScienceDirect. Click here to read the paper