Integrating biomass and carbon values with soil productivity loss in determining forest residue removals
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Soil nutrient loss is a major concern with removing forest residues for biofuel production. Understanding the impact of residue removal on site productivity via field experiment is costly and time consuming. We developed an analytical framework and a simulation approach for determining optimal forest residue removals, which account for both the benefits of biomass and greenhouse gas offset and the cost of soil productivity loss. We derived the relationship between residue removals and the prices of timber, biomass and greenhouse gases. The marginal cost of soil productivity loss associated with residue removals from loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations in southern USA ranges from US$2.18 to 11.20/oven-dry tonne depending upon removal intensity. Given the cost of soil productivity loss, residue removal intensity will be much smaller than the quantity of biomass physically available. 2010 Future Science Ltd.
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