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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

A model for regional analysis of carbon sequestration and timber production

Backeus Sofia, Wikström Peder, Lämås Tomas


The greenhouse effect is one of our most severe current environmental problems. Forests make up large ecosystems and can play an important role in mitigating the emissions of CO2, the most important greenhouse gas. Different management regimes affect the ability of forests to sequester carbon. It is important to investigate in what way we best can use forests to mitigate the greenhouse effect. It is also important to study what effect different actions, done to increase carbon sequestration, have on other offsets from forestry, such as the harvest level, the availability of forest biofuel and economic factors. In this study, we present an optimization model for analysis of carbon sequestration in forest biomass and forest products at a local or regional scale. The model consists of an optimizing stand-level simulator, and the solution is found using linear programming. Carbon sequestration was accounted for in terms of carbon price and its value computed as a function of carbon price and the net carbon storage in the forest. The same price was used as a cost for carbon emission originating from deterioration of wood products. We carried out a case study for a 3.2 million ha boreal forest region in northern Sweden. The result showed that 1.48–2.05 million tonnes of carbon per year was sequestered in the area, depending on what carbon price was used. We conclude that assigning carbon storage a monetary value and removal of carbon in forest products as a cost, increases carbon sequestration in the forest and decreases harvest levels. The effect was largest in areas with low site-quality classes


Boreal forest; Carbon sequestration; Forest management; Optimization; Single-tree model

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2005, number: 216, pages: 28-40
Publisher: Elsevier