Keywords: carbon sequestration, optimal rotation, recreational services, timber, forest rotation, Spain, sustainable development
Influence of carbon dioxide abatement and recreational services on optimal forest rotation
This paper presents and applies a theoretical framework to integrate the influence of carbon dioxide abatement as well as recreational services on the optimal bio-economic determination of forest rotation. Recreational services are included in the standard way proposed by Hartman, but carbon fixation benefits are introduced in a different manner to previous studies, concentrating on total permanent carbon fixation produced by the forest. This framework is then applied to a case study in Spain, with a long-rotation indigenous species and in an area with important additional benefits. In the application, the ancillary benefit studied is recreation, but the framework could also be applied to include biodiversity values within the benefits of a given forest alternative. Data are obtained for Scots Pine in the Sierra de Guadarrama (Spain). A timber yield function specifically developed for the area is used. Carbon fixation is estimated for the whole biomass produced, taking into account carbon stored in deposits before being released. Recreational values associated with different age stands are determined by means of a contingent valuation study and photographs representing different age stands rated by visitors.