Aligning ecology and markets in the forest carbon cycle

Matthew D. Hurteau, Bruce A Hungate, George W Koch, Malcolm P. North, Gordon R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A forest carbon (C) offset is a quantifiable unit of C that is commonly developed at the local or regional project scale and is designed to counterbalance anthropogenic C emissions by sequestering C in trees. In capand- trade programs, forest offsets have market value if the sequestered C is additional (more than would have occurred in the absence of the project) and permanent (sequestered within the project boundary for a specified period of time). Local management and ecological context determine the rate of C sequestration, risk of loss, and hence the market value. An understanding of global C dynamics can inform policy but may not be able to effectively price an ecosystem service, such as C sequestration. Appropriate pricing requires the assistance of ecologists to assess C stock abundance and stability over spatial and temporal scales appropriate for the regional market. We use the risk that sequestered C will be emitted as a result of wildfire (reversal risk) to show how ecological context can influence market valuation in offset programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

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carbon cycle
market value
ecology
markets
market
carbon sequestration
wildfires
ecologists
ecosystem services
valuation
wildfire
ecosystem service
carbon
project
programme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Aligning ecology and markets in the forest carbon cycle. / Hurteau, Matthew D.; Hungate, Bruce A; Koch, George W; North, Malcolm P.; Smith, Gordon R.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 11, No. 1, 02.2013, p. 37-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hurteau, Matthew D. ; Hungate, Bruce A ; Koch, George W ; North, Malcolm P. ; Smith, Gordon R. / Aligning ecology and markets in the forest carbon cycle. In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2013 ; Vol. 11, No. 1. pp. 37-42.
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