Mitigating greenhouse gases: The importance of land base interactions between forests, agriculture, and residential development in the face of changes in bioenergy and carbon prices Conference Paper uri icon


  • The forest sector can contribute to atmospheric greenhouse gas reduction, while also providing other environmental, economic, and social benefits. Policy tools for climate change mitigation include carbon-related payment programs as well as laws and programs to impede the loss of agricultural and forest lands to development. Policy makers will base their expectations of the effectiveness of these strategies to some degree on anticipated land use impacts. We examine a number of scenarios about carbon prices, urban development rates, and potential future land transfers between forestry and agriculture to provide information about the potential effectiveness of policies to address climate change in the U.S. Because large areas of land can move between forestry and agricultural uses, we used the Forest and Agriculture Sector Optimization Model-Greenhouse Gases model to examine responses between sectors as part of GHG policy analysis. The model projects changes in land uses, has full carbon accounting for both forestry and agriculture, and can examine a broad range of adaptation and climate change mitigation options. Modeling results suggest that receipt of carbon-related payments by landowners in forestry and agriculture can have substantial impacts on future land use patterns, levels of terrestrial carbon sequestration, forest resource conditions, agricultural production trends, and bioenergy production.

published proceedings

  • Forest Policy and Economics

author list (cited authors)

  • Alig, R., Latta, G., Adams, D., & McCarl, B.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Alig, Ralph||Latta, Greg||Adams, Darius||McCarl, Bruce

publication date

  • January 2010