Sequestering carbon in forest stands and using woody bioenergy are two potential ways to utilize forests in mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Such forestry related strategies are, however, greatly influenced by carbon and bioenergy markets. This study investigates the impact of both carbon and woody bioenergy markets on land expectation value (LEV) and rotation age of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests in the southeastern United States for two scenarios—one with thinning and no fertilization and the other with thinning and fertilization. Economic analysis was conducted using a modified Hartman model. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during various activities such as management of stands, harvesting, and product decay was included in the model. Sensitivity analysis was conducted with a range of carbon offset, wood for bioenergy, and forest product prices. The results showed that LEV increased in both management scenarios as the price of carbon and wood for bioenergy increased. However, the results indicated that the management scenario without fertilizer was optimal at low carbon prices and the management scenario with fertilizer was optimal at higher carbon prices for medium and low forest product prices. Carbon payments had a greater impact on LEV than prices for wood utilized for bioenergy. Also, increase in the carbon price increased the optimal rotation age, whereas, wood prices for bioenergy had little impact. The management scenario without fertilizer was found to have longer optimal rotation ages.

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Published in Forests, v. 6, no. 9, p. 3045-3059.

© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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The authors would like to thank the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky for financial support.