Climatic Change

, Volume 44, Issue 1–2, pp 151–172 | Cite as

Potential Carbon Flux from Timber Harvests and Management in the Context of a Global Timber Market

  • Brent Sohngen
  • Roger Sedjo


This paper presents carbon flux estimates arising from the effect of increasing demand on harvests and management of industrial forests in a global timber market. Results are presented for specific regions and the globe. Harvests and management of forests are predicted to store an additional 184 Tg (1 Tg = 1012 grams) of carbon per year in forests and wood products over the next 50 years, with a range of 108 to 251 Tg per year. Although harvests in natural boreal and tropical forest regions will cause carbon releases, new plantation establishment in subtropical emerging regions more than offsets these losses. Unlike many existing studies, these results suggest that harvests and management of North American forests will lead to carbon emissions from that region over the next 50 years. The results are quantitatively sensitive to the assumed growth in demand although the results are qualitatively similar in the sensitivity analysis.


Timber Carbon Emission Tropical Forest Carbon Flux Wood Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, Darius M., Alig, Ralph J., McCarl, Bruce A., Callaway, J. M., and Winnett, S. M.: 1996, 'An Analysis of the Impacts of Public Timber Harvest Policies on Private Forest Management in the United States', Forest Sci. 42, 343–358.Google Scholar
  2. Backman, Charles A. and Waggener, Thomas R.: 1991, 'Soviet Timber Resources and Utilization: An Interpretation of the 1988 National Inventory', CINTRAFOR Working Paper 35, Center for International Trade in Forest Products, University of Washington, Seattle, p. 296.Google Scholar
  3. Bazett, Michael: 1993, Industrial Wood. Shell/WWF Tree Plantation Review Study No. 3, WWF (U.K.), Panda House, Weyside Park, Godalming, Surrey.Google Scholar
  4. Birdsey, R. A.: 1992, 'Carbon Storage and Accumulation in United States Forest Ecosystems', U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report WO-59, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  5. Birdsey, R. A., Plantinga, A. J., and Heath, L. S.: 1993, 'Past and Prospective Carbon Storage in United States Forests', Forest Ecol. Manage. 58, 33–40.Google Scholar
  6. Brazee, R. and Mendelsohn, R.: 1990, 'A Dynamic Model of Timber Markets', Forest Sci. 36, 255–264.Google Scholar
  7. China Center for Forest Inventory: 'Dynamic Changes in China's Forest Resources',Working Report, Ministry of Forestry, Beijing, China.Google Scholar
  8. Dixon, R. A. and Krankina. O. N.: 1993, 'Forest Fires in Russia: Carbon Dioxide Emissions to the Atmosphere', Can. J. Forest Res. 23, 700–705.Google Scholar
  9. Dixon, R. K., Brown, S., Houghton, R. A., Solomon, A. M., Trexler, M. C., and Wisniewski, J.: 1994, 'Carbon Pools and Flux of Global Forest Ecosystems', Science 263, 185–190.Google Scholar
  10. FAO: 1982, Forestry in China, FAO Forestry Paper 35, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  11. FAO: 1993a, Forestry Policies of Selected Countries in Asia and the Pacific, FAO Forestry Paper 115, The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United States, Rome.Google Scholar
  12. FAO: 1993b, Forest Resource Assessment 1990: Tropical Countries, FAO Forestry Paper 112, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  13. FAO: 1995, Forest Resource Assessment 1990: Global Synthesis, FAO Forestry Paper 124, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  14. FAO: 1997, FAO Provisional Outlook for Global Forest Products Consumption, Production, and Trade to 2010, Forestry Policy and Planning Division, Forest Department, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  15. Goldewijk, K. K., van Minnen, J. G., Kreileman, G. J. J., Vloebeld, M., and Leemans, R.: 1994, 'Simulating the Carbon Flux between the Terrestrial Environment and the Atmosphere', Water Air Soil Pollut. 76, 199–230.Google Scholar
  16. Harmon, M. E., Ferrell, W. K., and Franklin, J. F.: 1990, 'Effects of Carbon Storage of Conversion of Old-Growth Forests to Young Forests', Science 247, 699–702.Google Scholar
  17. Haynes, R. W.: 1990, An Analysis of the Timber Situation in the United States: 1989–2040, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-199. Fort Collins, CO, p. 269.Google Scholar
  18. Heath, L. A. and Birdsey, R. A.: 1993, 'Carbon Trends of Productive Temperate Forests of the Coterminous United States', Water Air Soil Pollut. 70, 279–293.Google Scholar
  19. Heath, L. A., Birdsey, R. A., Row, C., and Plantinga, A. J.: 1996, 'Carbon Pools and Fluxes in U.S. Forest Products', NATO ASI Series I (40), 271–278.Google Scholar
  20. Houghton, J. T., Meira Filho, L. G., Callander, B. A., Harris, N., Kattenberg, A., and Maskell, K.: 1996, Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 572.Google Scholar
  21. Johnson, D. W.: 1992, 'Effects of ForestManagement on Soil Carbon Storage', Water Air Soil Pollut. 64, 83–120.Google Scholar
  22. Kauppi, P. E., Mielikainen, K., and Kuusela, K.: 1992, 'Biomass and Carbon Budget of European Forests, 1971–1990', Science 256, 70–74.Google Scholar
  23. Kolchugina, T. P. and Vinson, T. S.: 1993, 'Equilibrium Analysis of Carbon Pools and Fluxes of Forest Biomes in the Former Soviet Union', Can. J. Forest Res. 23, 81–88.Google Scholar
  24. Kurz, W. A., Apps, M. J., Beukema, S. J., and Lekstrum, T.: 1995, '20th Century Carbon Budget of Canadian Forests', Tellus 47B, 170–177.Google Scholar
  25. Kuusela, Kullervo: 1994, Forest Resources in Europe, 1950–1990, University of Cambridge Press, Cambridge, p. 154.Google Scholar
  26. Lowe, J. J., Power, K., and Gray, S. L.: 1994, Canada's Forest Inventory 1991, Information Report PI-X-115, Canada Forest Service, Petawawa National Forest Institute.Google Scholar
  27. Lyon, Kenneth S. and Sedjo, Roger A.: 1983, 'An Optimal Control Theory Model to Estimate the Regional Long Term Supply of Timber', Forest Sci. 29, 798–812.Google Scholar
  28. Mills, J. R. and Kincaid, J. C.: 1992, The Aggregate Timberland Assessment System: A User's Guide, General Technical Report PNW-GTR-281, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR, p. 160.Google Scholar
  29. Pandey, D.: 1992, Assessment of Tropical Forest Plantation Resources, Draft Report, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Survey, p. 140.Google Scholar
  30. Plantinga, A. J. and Birdsey, R. A.: 1993, 'Carbon Fluxes Resulting from U.S. Private Timberland Management', Clim. Change 23, 37–53.Google Scholar
  31. Post, W. M., Emanuel, W. R., Zinke, P. J., and Stangenberger, A. G.: 1982, 'Soil Carbon Pools and World Life Zones', Nature 298, 156–159.Google Scholar
  32. Richardson, S. D.: 1990, Forests and Forestry in China, Changing Patterns of Resource Development, Island Press, Washington, p. 340.Google Scholar
  33. Sedjo, R. A.: 1983, The Comparative Economics of Plantation Forestry, Resources for the Future, Washington.Google Scholar
  34. Sedjo, R. A.: 1992, 'Temperate Forest Ecosystems in the Global Carbon Cycle', Ambio 21, 274–277.Google Scholar
  35. Sedjo, Roger A.: 1995, The Potential of High-Yield Plantation Forestry for Meeting Timber Needs: Recent Performance and Future Potentials, Discussion Paper 95–08, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C., p. 30.Google Scholar
  36. Sedjo, R. A. and Lyon, K. S.: 1990, The Long Term Adequacy of the World Timber Supply, Resources for the Future, Washington, p. 230.Google Scholar
  37. Sedjo, R. A. and Lyon, K. S.: 1996, Timber Supply Model 96: A Global Timber Supply Model with a Pulpwood Component, Discussion Paper 96–15, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C., p. 60.Google Scholar
  38. Sohngen, Brent L.: 1996, Integrating Ecology and Economics: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Timber Markets in The United States, Unpublished Dissertation, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT.Google Scholar
  39. Sohngen, Brent and Mendelsohn, Robert: 1998, 'Valuing the Impact of Large Scale Ecological Change in a Market: The Effect of Climate Change on U.S. Timber', Amer. Econ. Rev. 88, 686–710.Google Scholar
  40. Sohngen, Brent and Sedjo, Roger: 1998, 'A Comparison of Timber Market Models: Static Simulation and Optimal Control Approaches', Forest Sci. 44, 24–36.Google Scholar
  41. Sohngen, B., Mendelsohn, R., and Neilson, R. A.: 1998, 'Predicting CO2 Emissions from Forests during Climatic Change: A Comparison of Natural and Human Response Models', Ambio 27, 509–513.Google Scholar
  42. Sohngen, B., Mendelsohn, R., and Sedjo, R.: 1999, 'Forest Management, Conservation, and Global Timber Markets', Amer. J. Agric. Econ. 81, 1–13.Google Scholar
  43. Solomon, A. M., Prentice, I. C., Leemans, R., and Cramer, W. P.: 1993, 'The Interaction of Climate and Land Use in Future Terrestrial Carbon Storage and Release', Water Air Soil Pollut. 70, 595–614.Google Scholar
  44. Turner, D. P., Koerper, G. J., Harmon, M. E., and Lee, J. J.: 1995, 'A Carbon Budget for Forests of the Coterminous United States', Ecol. Appl. 5, 421–436.Google Scholar
  45. Turner, D. P., Koerper, G. J., Harmon, M. E., and Lee, J. J.: 1994, 'Carbon Sequestration by Forests of the United States. Current Status and Projections to the Year 2040', Tellus 47B, 232–239.Google Scholar
  46. U.S. Forest Service: 1996, Report of the Forest Service, Fiscal Year 1995, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, p. 169.Google Scholar
  47. Vogt, K. A., Vogt, D. J., Palmiotto, P., Boon, P., O'Hara, J., and Asbjornsen, H.: 1996, 'Review of Root Dynamics in Forest Ecosystems Grouped by Climate, Climatic Forest Type, and Species', Plant Soil 187, 159–219.Google Scholar
  48. Vogt, K. A., Vogt, D. J., Brown, S., Tilley, J., Edmonds, R., Silver,W., and Siccama, T.: 1995, 'Forest Floor and Soil Organic Matter Contents and Factors Controlling their Accumulation in Boreal, Temperate, and Tropical Forests', Adv. Soil Sci., 159–178.Google Scholar
  49. Wear, David N.: 1994, 'Measuring Net Investment and Productivity in Timber Production', Forest Sci. 40, 192–208.Google Scholar
  50. Wear, David N. and Newman, David H.: 1991, 'The Structure of Forestry Production: Short-Run and Long-Run Results', Forest Sci. 37, 540–551.Google Scholar
  51. Yin, Runsheng: 1995, Forestry and the Environment in China, the Current Situation and Strategic Choices, Paper presented at the 22nd PAFTAD Conference, Ottawa, Canada, September, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brent Sohngen
    • 1
  • Roger Sedjo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development EconomicsThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusU.S.A.
  2. 2.Resources for the FutureWashingtonU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations